Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Music Review (Malayalam): Double Barrel

Music Review (Malayalam): Double Barrel
Music Composer: Prashant Pillai 

Athala Pithala is a perfect start to a gangster movie album with an addictive hook musical bit and the song features brilliant vocal layering from the string of credited singers. Prashant Pillai's sound mixing also quite enticing with an engaging string sections in the interludes. Athala Pithala's reprise version fared better than the original version mainly due to its waltzy feel. Om hare also has brilliant and heard before hook sound, but the song and the tune are so trippy which mitigates those minor grouses. Franco's throaty rendition adds further wackiness to the song. Kadala varathu too carries mystic, an eccentric sound filled with lovely country styled guitar strums and particularly loved the percussion bits towards the end. Shabareesh Varma continues with his hoarse and monotonous vocals throughout the song. 

Selfie is filled with the potpourri of electronic sounds with addictive whistling sound throughout the song. Song is adequately catchy, but it's the fourth song with similar soundscape which bogs down the enthusiasm of the listener. Apart from assorted  techno sounds with occasional highs especially towards the end, Shakeela's tune is quite uninspiring despite effective vocals of Prashant Pillai and Gagan Baderiya. Bum attam's lyrics sure to bring chuckles and K S krishnan aces with his quirky vocals. Prashant Pillai strikes the chord with retro duet Mohabbat and song rides mainly on the mesmerizing Preethi Pillai and Shahabaz vocals. Prashant Pillai's orchestration is in tandem with the mood of the song. Amour Amour, all an out french song by Gilles Denizot but the song lacks instant catchy factor despite some lovely European strings throughout the song.

Verdict: Prashant Pillai's musical score for Lijo Jose Pellissery is in line with the trailer of the movie promised- a freaky, unconventional, eccentric soundtrack. However still Amen tops the list from this wonderful duo.

My rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Athala Pithala (both versions), Mohabbat, Om hare, Kadala Varuthu

you can listen to the soundtrack here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Music Review (Telugu): Subramanyam for Sale

Music Review (Telugu): Subramanyam for Sale
Music Composer: Mickey J Meyer

       Title song for this Sai dharam starrer is typical hero introduction song and Rahul Nambiar's energetic rendition elevate the song further. Mickey J Meyer's conventional tune aside, sprightly trumpet along with assorted sounds prop up this routine tuned song to an engaging one till it lasts. Vanamali's lyrics bring out the materialistic hero characterization very well. I'm in love fared better, thanks to its foot tapping rhythm, simple duet along with the vocals of Aishwarya Majmudar and Aditya. Mickey J Meyer kept the minimal orchestration although shades of his previous song in the charanam portions of the tune. Overall, hummable sing along tune from Mickey J Meyer. 

       Aakasam Thassadiyya is fast paced mass number with Punjabi beats in the background but the feel is bogged down by quite a heard-before tune whereas interludes also didn't add much enthusiasm. Krishna Chaitanya and Ramya Behera's energetic rendition and Bhaskara Bhatla's rhthmic lyrics aside, this one is conventional song from Mickey. Mickey Meyer remixed the yesteryear chiranjeevi starrer Khaidi No 786's Guvva Gorinkatho and the tune of the song is so addictive that it can't go wrong in any versions. Mickey J Meyer retains the flavour of the song with orchestration while Mano and Ramya Behera did a commendable and splendid rendition especially Ramya's vocals is lovely. It will be exciting to see the visuals of this song. Telugante starts with heard-before trumpet section, but Mickey's upbeat engaging orchestration mitigates those minor grouses. Chandra bose's inspirational lyrics about telugu culture and supremacy of the places in the states surely will gel well with Telugu audiences. The tune is cakewalk for Shankar Mahadevan who aces the tune with his energetic rendition.

Verdict: Mickey J Meyer cleared to his music listeners that he can equally deliver mass songs also with his latest album Subramanyam for Sale. Songs may become chart busters along with the visuals.

My rating: 7/10

Pick of the Album:  I'm in love, Telugante, Guvva Gorinkatho

P.S Edited version of the review will be available here

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Music Review (Telugu): Courier boy Kalyan

Music Review (Telugu): Courier boy Kalyan
Music Composer: Karthik and Anup Rubens

Bangaramma is typical trendy song infused with teen pop sounds and the feel is emphasized further by the cool vocals of Karthik while Sricharan's rap portions along with brief Megha vocals makes this enjoyable till it lasts. Maya O Maya also has pleasant tune especially lovely charanam portions and Karthik filled the interludes with upbeat brass sections and string sounds. Karthik behind the vocals with his splendid impeccable rendition. Overall winner in the album. Mandu Mandu is loaded with electronic sounds, but song suffers by the stale tune. Karthik and Baba Sehgal behind the vocals unable to prop up the mediocre tune. Vaalu Kalla Pilla, solo composition from Anup Rubens and the tune is rather templatized and pedestrian. Song particularly to appease the ears of mass audience.

Verdict: Courier Boy Kalyan is short cool soundtrack from Karthik and Anup Rubens but still I miss Dola Dola kind of composition from Karthik.

My rating:7.25/10

Pick of the Album: Maya O Maya, Bangaramma

P.S. Edited version of the review will be available here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Music Review (Tamil): Andhra Mess

Music Review (Tamil): Andhra Mess
Music Composer: Prashant Pillai

Aana Oona has captivating tune build around the tribal sound ambiance accentuated by percussion elements and occasional tribal cantillation. Particularly second interlude is quite enticing and the thumping sound is complemented well by Amrit Rao's exuberant singing. Orey Oor is a haunting tune and the gloomy mood is bolstered further by Prashant Pillai's minimal orchestration especially those whistling sound in the background and brilliant ghatam usage along with chimes throughout the song. K S Krishnan behind the mic has done apposite rendition of Kutty Revathi's thoughtful lyrics. Sittham, too treads the soundscape of the previous track, eerie tune and the effect is actualized with assorted sounds in the background. Song rides mainly on the Mathangi's brilliant vocal range, however languorous pacing of the tune is the minor grouse of the song which makes this one may work well with visuals but not as a standalone track. In Sittham's Hindi version, orchestration is kept intact as in original version while Mathangi, Hafiz Khan and Preethi Pillai rendition remains top notch in this one also. Sittham's remix version is surprisingly seven minutes long loaded with electronic sounds but still the song is underwhelming compared to the original one.

The loot plan instrumental, brilliant concoction of punchy percussion along with brilliant guitar strums towards the end and Prashant Pillai brings out heist flavor very well in this two minute instrumental theme. The Loot ride theme also sound mixed in an intriguing manner with occasional brass and harmonica sounds peppered generously throughout the song. Two liberated soul is catchy among the three instrumental theme especially for its brilliant guitar usage and this one also carries the same atmosphere like other two instrumentals. 

Verdict: Prashant Pillai delivered an unconventional partially engaging soundtrack in his first full fledged Tamil movie debut and the songs may not become chart busters given its thematic soundscape.

My rating:7.75/10

Pick of the Album: Aana Oona, Ore Oor, Loot plan and Two liberated soul

Monday, August 17, 2015

Music Review (Telugu): Bhale Bhale Magadivoy

Music Review (Telugu): Bhale Bhale Magadivoy
Music Composer: Gopi Sundar

      Gopi Sundar gives title song in truly upbeat Telugu mass kind of song with punchy orchestral elements loaded with heavy percussion elements especially dhols. Karthik and especially Mohana Bhograju's sprightly rendition  along with BhaskaraBhatia's lyrics which glorifies protagonist capabilities makes this song funny exuberant ride throughout the song. In Endaro, Gopi Sundar is in full form played his strength effectually, brilliant classical fusion of one of the Pancharatna Keerthanai, especially loved the violin bits which featured in the trailer too. Apart from the splendid fusion, Reneka Arun's rendition of this keerthanai is top-notch and loved the manner in which her aalaap synced beautifully with the drumming in the background towards the end. 

       How How is a funky song rendered with apposite attitude by Karthik while orchestration too features modish sounds with nadhaswaram adorned with Veena'ish string sounds. Bhaskarabhatia's whimsical lyrics is another major asset in this enjoyable song which will work well with visuals rather than as a standalone song. Motta Modatisari has a simple pleasant tune especially charanam portions and the mood is accentuated with Sachin Warrier's splendid rendition along with kid's chorus sections. Gopi Sundar kept the sounds too simple and rhythmic whereas composer's prowess is apparent with the usage of strings in the interludes adorned with upbeat punjabi styled percussions. Hello Hello is a racy composition dominated by synthesized electronic sounds sung with enough enthusiasm by Karthik and Chinmayi, same duo who gave wonderful melody in Gopi's Telugu debut. Apart from the synthesized elements, Gopi Sundar gave rich sounds with classical guitar played like veena and ghatam in the first and second interlude respectively.

Verdict: Gopi Sundar gave quite an engaging and interesting sounds to Telugu album after his splendid debut in Malli Malli idi Rani Roji

My rating: 8.5/10

Pick of the Album: Endaro, Hello Hello, Motta Modatisari   

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Music Review (Hindi): Phantom

Music Review (Hindi): Phantom
Music Composer: Pritam

Afghan Jalebi, is enjoyable fun song with adequate mix of middle east folk elements and Asrar (Syed Asrar Shah) singing makes this one hummable till it lasts notwithstanding whiff of Pungi from Agent Vinod. It's too bizzare that Jalebi is being compared to a girl by Amitabh Bhattacharya. Afghan Jalebi comes in another Dumbek version with another Pakistan Singer Akhtar Chanal Zahiri with some lovely use of string instruments in the interludes and playfulness in the singer's vocals. Same song comes as filmy version with vocals of Akhtar Chanal Zahiri and it's quite similar in arrangements too with Asrar's one. It seems the listener will get exhausted when the same tune comes as Ya baba with vocals by Nakash Aziz and though he did splendid job with vocals, this one fared tad low compared to other version.

Saaware rides mainly on the soulful rendition by Arijit Singh vocals and breezy soft rock arrangements by Pritam especially lovely second interlude where guitar played with slight classical touches. Nachda is soundtrack's best with brilliant mix of middle east string instruments (Rubab i guess) and Rock flavoured arrangements while Shahid Mallya carries the gloomy tune quiet effectually.

Verdict: Short soundtrack (not considering Afghan Jalebi's four versions) from Pritam which engages partially given its thematic soundscape.

My rating:7.25/10

Pick of the Album: Nachda, Saaware, Afghan Jalebi (Dumbek version)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Movie Review (Telugu): Srimanthudu

Movie Review (Telugu): Srimanthudu 

Mahesh Babu joins hands with the dialogue writer turned director Koratala Siva for Srimanthudu and the expectations for this movie reaches zenith mainly because Mahesh Babu's Psychological Thriller movie Nenokkadine and Aagadu didn't perform well in the Box office as expected and also this is the next high-profile actor's movie releasing after Baahubali's humongous success from Telugu movie industry.


Koratala Siva's Srimanthudu revolves around the basic premise that every person born in this world should not forget their land and the society which nurtures them. Human being should give back to the society which flourishes them. Harsha (Mahesh Babu) descends from rich family but wants to lead a simple life and who considers company workers as a part of family. Harsha meets Charuseela (Shruti Haasan), girl from village studying rather an interesting course on rural development in Hyderabad. Harsha fascinated by her thoughts and at one juncture even proposes like she is beautiful from inside. Harsha comes to know about his native village through Charuseela and whether he is able to give back what his family earned to society by adopting his village or not. It is presented in well saleable commercial formulaic manner by Koratala Siva.

Cast and Performances:

Srimanthudu main pull factor is Mahesh Babu's charisma, screen presence, effortless dialogue delivery and matured performance. Koratala Siva understands Mahesh Babu's idiosyncratic style, body language very well and utilized it in an effectual way. Mahesh Babu gives his earnest performance throughout the movie especially in the scenes involving his father Jagapati Babu. He is totally in control on screen with his mass as well as stylish appeal.  Shruti Haasan got substantial role in the movie and She seems to be getting better with each movie and makes her presence felt with her portions in a hero centric movie. Romance in the first half are engaging and satisfactory especially due to lead actors enchantment and refreshing appeal.

Jagapati Babu is convincing as multi billionaire who yearns a lot for his son’s love and also to understand his thoughts. Sampath Raj and Harish Uttaman are the usual baddies one can expect in any commercial masala movies.  Among the huge supporting cast which includes Sukanya as affectionate mother, Rahul Ravindran as cousin, Thulasi as frustrated village women, only Rajendra Prasad as Narayana Rao catches attention with his performance in a pivotal role as a righteous man who don't want to leave his native village at any cost and wishes his villagers to think alike. Vennela Kishore and Ali brings comic relief while the former wins at ease with his expressions and dialogues. Another interesting character touch is local tea vendor in the village who is keeping count on the number of families willing to stay in the village.

Screenplay and Direction:

Screen play and direction by Koratala Siva is tactful enough without deviating from the main story line and also the way in which three villains and their tryst with hero on three different events which finally brings them together in hero's native village itself is appreciable.  Dialogues by Siva is excellent especially one towards the climax with Jagapati Babu and one-liners by Mahesh.

However over stretched stunt sequences test the patience of the viewers and also more detailing in the rural development portions in the movie rather than as a single montage song, might make this movie high with social content instead ends up being a usual social consciousness movie camouflaged by the commercial format to please the particular section of the audiences. Among the many over stretched, law defying stunt sequences, one which happens in the marriage function is choreographed well.

Technical Departments:

Songs and background score by Devi Sri Prasad is average and elevated mainly due to Mahesh Babu's Screen presence. Among the songs, title song’s placement gels well with the plot and Charuseela is choreographed in an enticing manner with its thematic settings. Cinematography by R Madhi which adds strength to the story and captures both jubilant, colourful frame of city life and also drought stricken village land in a compelling manner. 

To sum up, Srimanthudu is a routine commercial entertainer build upon the relevant social interest angle. Movie is surely treat for Mahesh Babu fans and he is awesome throughout the movie. For others, Srimanthudu is yet another entertaining movie which makes viewers to enjoy two hours and forty minutes duration without squirming. 

Verdict: A completely crowd pleasing entertainer from Mahesh with relevant social interest angle.

My Rating: 3/5

P.S .Edited version of the review will be available here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Music Review (Malayalam): Kunjiramayanam

Music Review (Malayalam): Kunjiramayanam
Music Composer: Justin Prabhakaran

Ayyayyo Ayyayyo is quite a quirky song and Justin Prabhakaran's composition and Vineeth Srinivasan's singing too has whiff of Yuvan's style, although song is thoroughly enjoyable mainly due to Vineeth's singing style. Paavada, apart from Daya Bijibal's chaste vocals, Justin's minimal Ghatam background throughout the song and native tune is the highlight. Masala coffee band's salsa has interesting title hook and sporadic orchestral elements like tabla, harmonium and quite effectual singing too but only grouse being the end packaging of the song didn't appeal much, nevertheless enjoyable one. Thumba Poove Sundari is the soundtrack's best with heady mix of native Malayalam folk sounds with electronic sounds while Shankar Mahadevan's punchy rendition complements well the orchestration tone of the track.

Verdict: Justin Prabhakaran's Malayalam debut is not offbeat although enjoyable mix of songs and totally different from his Tamil songs.

My rating:7/10

Pick of the Album: Thumba Poove Sundari, Ayyayyo Ayyayyo, Salsa

Monday, August 3, 2015

Music Review(Tamil): Yatchan

Music Review(Tamil): Yatchan
Music Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

       Parapara is templatized opening number and Yuvan takes the tried and tested tune by himself umpteen number of times. However Vijay Yesudas and Ranjith's energetic rendition spruce up the song and makes this track enjoyable while Yuvan's quirky nadhaswaram bits and hip hop elements in the interludes is the highlight in the percussion driven orchestration. Konjalaai starts off like a relaxing melody with cool piano sounds but slowly as song progresses, arrangements too shift between synthesized sounds and Yuvan ends the soundtrack with fancy upbeat trance section. Yuvan pulls off the singing part also quite effectually along with Tanvi Shah although processing in Yuvan vocals irks to some extent in an otherwise pleasant track. KaakaPonnu is foot tapping eclectic mix where trendy addictive synthesized beats meets local kuthu drums. Yuvan's choices of singers with Anthony dasaan, Priyadarshini and Yuvan Shankar Raja behind the mic to deliver in their respective vocal ranges which complements well the arrangements. Apart from other assorted sounds, Yuvan's cool guitar riffs in the interlude is the highlight.

         Innum Enna's pièce de résistance is the orchestration which is done quiet beautifully especially prelude with generous Jazz elements like live drums, piano base and lovely violin interspersed throughout the song. Yuvan aces the singing part while song's short duration being the minor grouse in an otherwise lovely composition. Yuvan's association with Rabbit Mac and Sheezay from psycho unit always results in energetic party track champion, which is bound to scorch the dance floors. Rap portions by the singers are highly addictive and cool which is sure to appease the fans of this genre.

Verdict: Yuvan- Vishnuvardhan combo delivers another engaging and delightful mix of songs to please the listeners in Yuvan's style. Yuvan finally delivers enjoyable commercial album after a long time.

My rating: 7.5/10

Pick of the Album: Konjalaai, Innum Enna, Kaakaponnu

P.S : Edited version of the review will be available here

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Music Review (Tamil): Puli

Music Review (Tamil): Puli
Music Composer: Devi Sri Prasad

Jingiliya is a passable replete with staid tribal sounds and tune is dredged out of DSP's stockpile. Javed Ali and Pooja AV tries hard with their punchy rendition to spruce up this ordinary track. Manidha Manidha's aspirational grand percussiis not complemented by an equally engaging tune which makes this number falls flat. Only solace being Tipu's rendition in an otherwise largely drab track. Mannavane Mannavane too treads on the previous song's grand sound with mainly string section and percussions, but this one fared better due to  effectual vocals by Sooraj Santhosh, MLR Karthikeyan, Chinmayi and Anitha. Title song is also excruciatingly bad and DSP treats it like his conventional Telugu song while singing by Mano being the only silver lining in an otherwise humdrum package. Sottavala is also a tepid tune even Shankar Mahadevan's earnest singing unable to make this one listenable. Only highlight being the usage of Nadhaswaram and Thavil. After listening to all the above tracks, Yaendi Yaendi appears to be the best one DSP able to deliver for this magnanimous high budget project. DSP's usage of acoustic guitar with occasional ghatam touches accentuated by Vijay and Sruthi Hasaan's singing.

Verdict: Devi Sri Prasad's tunes are pretty much ordinary and the soundtrack is impertinent with the ambitious project and star cast.

My rating:6.5/10

Pick of the Album: Yaendi Yaendi, Mannavane 

Music Review (Tamil): Paayum Puli

Music Review (Tamil): Paayum Puli
Music Composer: Imman

      Marudakaari is traditional Imman's percussion cum guitar  laden track with the hummable tune and the ear-friendly orchestration with enjoyable violin solo and strings cum percussion section in the first and second interlude respectively. Diwakar's lively vocals and sing along tune props up the tune very much.Naa Soodana Mogini is also conventional tune which occasionally traces the yesteryear hit songs and the song is strengthened by Jyoti Nooran's rustic, powerful vocals and chorus portions in Telugu verses. Imman's arrangements treads along the rural backgrounds with an extensive use of pipe instruments and percussions peppered with brass sections.Title song rides on the vocal powerhouse of Malgudi Subha and the Imman mixes grungy angst filled Guitar cum drums combination adorned with  extensive Idakka sounds and particularly loved the guitar strums towards the end. Vairamuthu's powerful lyrics deserves special mention.

        Nowadays Imman started introducing Bollywood singers to Tamil songs and thankfully Tamil diction is not sabotaged in that ventures.  Divya Kumar joins the list to croon the enjoyable Silukku Marame  tête-à-tête kind of interplay between the lead singers. Sharanya Gopinath sings more like a cameo with brief English verses whereas Imman's arrangements also lovely especially violin in the first interlude. Overall although conventional and the package  is  reminiscent of Imman's previous works, Silukku Marame is an enjoyable ride. Imman tries to bring back his addictive and simple tune magic with Yaar Indha Muyalkutti and succeeds in clasping the listeners for four-minute duration. Hummable tune with Imman's sweeping and enticing arrangements with clarinet, Piano and vocal harmonies makes this one lovely listen and Vairamuthu's allegorical lyrics with rabbit deserves special mention while Armaan Malik apt vocals makes this one enjoyable ride.

Verdict: Imman brings back his mojo after previous two debacles and Imman- Susseenthiran Combo turns out to be a successful combo with Paayum Puli. Special credit must be provided to Imman for his knack in the selection of  singers, quite an interesting list of singers in this album.

My Rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Yaar Indha MuyalKutti, Silukku Marame, Puli Puli Paayum Puli