Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Music Review (updated) -2015

To make music reviews more noticeable and easy to navigate each review, thought will classify each review as follows based on the rating in my blog
BA - less than 7 (Below Average Album)
A - less than 8 (Average Album)
AA - less than 9 (Above Average Album)
E - 9 and above (Excellent Album)

Music Review (Telugu): Kalyana Vaibhogame

Music Review (Telugu): Kalyana Vaibhogame
Music Composer: Kalyan Koduri

         Album opens up with Chakkandala Chukka ebullient marriage song has the traces of Dol Dolre ambience from Bhale Manchi Roju, but Kalyan Koduri owns the song in his own way. Kalyan Koduri's vocal is serene especially in the prelude and Sunitha bolstered him very well. Kalyan Koduri's arrangements also feature enjoyable nadhaswaram, Sitar, percussions and pleasant string sections throughout the song. Chirunavvule is a peppy song but treads on a most familiar tune while Haricharan infuses enough liveliness with his vocals and Sushma Thriya supports him very well. This song needs appealing visuals to spruce up the tune. Kalyan Koduri ropes in Pearle Maaney, VJ and actor from Kerala to croon the energetic Pal Pal song and this one too suffers from the pedestrian tune. Chinmayi rules the pleasant melody Manasantha Meghamai while Kalyan Koduri builds the arrangement with sweeping string sections throughout the song. Overall delightful composition with top notch vocal. Evaru Neevu, melancholy rides mainly on the earnest rendition from Vijay Yesudas and Kalyan peppered the languishing tune with some lovely string portions in the background. Pelli Pelli is the fun song with amusing lyrics and Kalyan Koduri also complement the tone of the song with quirky sounds throughout the song. Deepu, Dhanraj, labhu and Hemanth rules this conversational whimsical song very well

Verdict: Kalyana Vaibhogame is backed by two lovely melodies and Kalyan Koduri's remarkable orchestration makes this underrated composer's album enjoyable. Catchy tunes in some of the songs would have made this album memorable.

My rating:7.5/10

Pick of the Album: Chakkandala Chukka, Manasantha Meghamai, Chirunavvule

You can listen to the songs in Youtube.

Music Review (Telugu): Nenu Sailaja

Music Review (Telugu): Nenu Sailaja
Music Composer: Devi Sri Prasad

Night is still young is a monotonous tedious listen mainly because of the highly deja-vu feel of the tune with pedestrian techno sounds. David Simon sounds more like the composer itself while jazzy drums meet Telugu Kuthu being the standout sound in an otherwise routine number from DSP. Ram's dance skills may spruce up the song along with the visuals.Crazy feeling's tune has inevitable composer's stamp however, background keyboard sounds along with catchy trumpet throughout the song makes this one enjoyable listen till it lasts. Ramajogaya Sastry's imaginative lyrics about the feeling of love deserves special mention. Prudhvi Chandra sounds apt for this lilting peppy song.

Masti masti reminds of DSP's earlier tunes especially title hook while DSP makes for the grouse with engaging Charanam portions and enticing background with lovable flute, piano portions and hip- hop elements. Sooraj Santhosh and Swetha Mohan especially sounds fabulous which gives the much-needed prod for this average tune.Sailaja Sailaja has the predictable tune and rides on the tried and tested catchy rhythm with occasional brilliance in the second interlude. However, Sagar's attitude and Bhaskarabhatla's lyrics about the protagonist feelings after love failure makes this one listenable. The song may become chartbuster with appealing quirky visuals.Em Cheppanu is a lovely melody with a tinge of melancholy handled well with the effectual vocals from Karthik and Srivennella Seetharama Sastry with his lyrics. DSP's arrangements are also enjoyable with violin bits to set the mood accompanied by flute and chord progressions in the second interlude. The same song comes in another version where vocal is handled by ever reliable Chitra and the song is of very short duration to create any lasting impact compared to the male version.

Verdict: Devi Sri Prasad churns out another neat winner for Ram Pothineni after Shivam. Though songs lack novelty factor, tunes are engaging and catchy enough to clasp the listeners.

My rating:7.25/10

Pick of the Album: Crazy feeling, Em cheppanu, Masti Masti

You can listen to the songs in youtube.

P.S Edited version of the review is available in Moviecrow.

Music Review(Telugu): Nannaku Prematho

Music Review(Telugu): Nannaku Prematho
Music Composer: Devi Sri Prasad

The opening song in the album Follow Follow has enough reasons for the Jr. NTR fans to go crazy because fans get to listen to their favourite actor's vocals in a catchy song and also already released video creates much rage among the fans. Actor did a nice job with his vocals and DSP makes sure the song's rhythm is catchy enough with reuttered words throughout the song. Templatized tune aside, DSP's use of funky trumpets occasionally catches the listener's attention. Na manasu Neelo's highlight is jazzy keys throughout the song and Martin's sax in the interludes. The tune has heard before feel to it mainly because of DSP's vocals and the feel is accentuated mainly in the pallavi portions, Bhaskara Bhatla lyrics and especially husky vocals of Sharmila makes this duet an enjoyable listen till it lasts.

Don't stop is the anthemic number with some remarkable optimistic lyrics from chandrabose. The only grouse being that Raghu Dixit is being relegated to mostly songs of inspirational number by DSP. However Raghu continue to excel and spruce up the song with his energetic vocals. DSP mixes stock percussion sound and hard core Guitar riffs throughout the song. However the song is worth a listen for Raghu's vocals and lyrics.Love me again features intense lyrics by Chandrabose where protagonist pleads the lover and the feel brings back to Sukumar's Arya. However the tune is not as effectual compared to the Sukumar-DSP combo's repertoire in this genre. Sooraj Santosh expressive vocals along with Manoj Ramachandran's wailing violin solos being the highlight in this poignant number.Love Dhebba is the mass song in the album and DSP's use of Arabic funky sounds and fabulous Karthik's violin throughout the song makes it differ from other mass songs from telugu industry. Although the arrangements has an enticing quirky sounds, DSP's tune still has a tinge of typical folk song. Deepak and Shravana Bhargavi's swag in their vocals makes this one an interesting listen.

Verdict: DSP-Sukumar combo continues to delight the listners with peppy energetic songs. Though Naannaku Prematho didn't match with the combo's previous collaborations, this one has engaging set of songs from DSP.

My rating: 7.25/10

Pick of the Album: Na Manasu Neelo, Follow Follow, Love Dhebba

You can listen to the songs in Youtube.

P.S. Edited version of the review is available in Moviecrow

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Music Review (Tamil): Aranmanai 2

Music Review (Tamil): Aranmanai 2
Music Composer: Hip Hop Tamizha

          Party with the Pei is restrained within the composer duo's framework and the vocals of Kharesma Ravichandran is totally subdued in the loud techno sounds. The lyrics by the Hip Hop Tamizha is relatively mediocre and the vocal of the composer is also passable at the best. Overall Party with the Pei rides on the familiar techno rhythms which are sporadically enticing.Maya Maya starts off in quite a lofty note with enchanting chorus portions, but the conventional tune is salvaged mainly by the Padmalatha's sweet vocals and Kailash Kher's vocals didn't fit the bill. The only solace in the quintessential orchestrated song praising the regal queen is occasional Shehnai solos in the arrangements.

           Poraada Poraada falls into the realm of Hip Hop Tamizha and the highlight of the song is mainly catchy electronic synthesized beats throughout the song in the background. Aadhi did quite a good job behind the vocals and although the tune is similar to many of the composer's indie works, this songs works for its enchanting synthesized sounds in the interludes.Kuchi Mittai is another mediocre track from Hip Hop Tamizha and the tune is awfully archaic even Anthony Daasan unable to salvage this tepid track. The passable folk elements in the interludes with nadhaswaram and Thavil sounds better when compared to the unenthusiastic tune.The level of soundtrack continues to spirally dive downwards with this Amman song and the composer duo mutilated the typical Amman tune with the loud assorted orchestration. Malathi Lakshman tries to spruce up with her energetic vocals but ends in vain.Composer duo who scored well with the theme songs in their recent soundtracks and in Aranmanai2 the theme ends being an average one compared to their previous works. The theme is filled with indispensable spooky eerie sounds, dubstep electronic sounds, string sections and misfit child vocals towards the end.

Verdict: After a couple of engaging soundtracks from Hip Hop Tamizha, the composer duo fails to deliver memorable music for the mass movie like Aranmanai2. Overall the album sounds bland without anything to take home for the listeners.

My rating: 6/10

Pick of the Album: Poraada Poraada, Maya Maya.

You can listen to the songs in Youtube.

P.S. Edited version of the review is available in Moviecrow.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Music Review(Hindi): Wazir

Music Review(Hindi): Wazir
Music Composers: Shantanu Moitra, Prashant Pillai, Advaita, Ankit Tiwari

In Tere bin, Shantanu Moitra throws us back into his Parineeta while Shreya Goshal and Sonu Nigam's rendition are delightful as always especially Shreya's lovely sargams throughout the song. Shantanu's pleasant tune is complemented well by soothing arrangements with minimal violin and tabla. Tu mere pass is a typical Ankit Tiwari song with stretched prelude portions followed by breezy guitar laden track sung earnestly by composer itself. Maula is a standard qawwali affair where the instrumentals follow a templatized song with Javed Ali behind the mic being the only silver lining in this seven-minute song by Shantanu Moitra. Prashant Pillai's Tere Liye Mere Kareem is the most effective song in the soundtrack which starts as an earnest prayer kind of vocals whereas the song shifts in the midway into an adrenaline pumping string sections with quite an enticing vocals of Gagan Baderiya. Next best song in the album belongs to Advaita band's Khel Khel main and the song is mostly intriguing instrumental with reverberating vocals of Amitabh Bachanr. Loved especially Sarangi solos in the song. The theme song of wazir although three minutes long makes less impact and the theme may make an impact with visuals.

Verdict: Bejoy Nambiar's Wazir soundtrack features again multi-composer, but this soundtrack falls behind when compared to the effectual diverse sounds in David.

My rating: 7.5/10

Pick of the Album: Tere Liye Mere Kareem, Khel Khel main, Tere bin

You can listen to the songs in saavn.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Music Review(Tamil): Gethu

Music Review(Tamil): Gethu
Music Composer: Harris Jayaraj

         Thillu Mullu is peppy and trendy while the tune is mostly revamped from the Harris templates, However, the song is an enjoyable listen especially for Naresh Iyer's quirky rendition. Ranina Reddy bolster enough with her humming and lovely why baby portions. Harris's interludes are enticing and dominated with synth sounds and mild guitar strums.Thaen Katru is sweet serene melody while the uncluttered arrangements from Harris and fabulous vocals of Haricharan and Shashaa Tripati. The tune and arrangements have an undeniable nod to Rahman's Pookale Satru Oyivedungal from I . Thamarai once again marks her presence with her remarkable lyrics. The classical infusion with nadhaswaram in the interludes, electrical guitar played in a classical manner and in Charanam portions makes this one delightful listen.

           Yevanda Ivan is a potpourri of assorted sounds with rap portions by MC Vickey and Sharmila. Only silver lining in this track is Harris's arrangements with energetic electric guitar, live drums and catchy techno sounds. The rap portions blend well with the sprightly arrangements.Adiyae Adiyae's tune also has the stamp of Harris Jayaraj all over it and the heard before feel of the melody is mitigated to some extent by the ever reliable vocals of Karthik. It's a delight to hear Shalini's vocals after a hiatus in Harris Jayaraj song. The arrangements are pretty much generic dominated by guitar strums and in the lines of numerous Harris songs.Mutta Bajji with the string of promising singers Gana vinoth, Anthony Dass, Marana Gana Viji and ebisa and the team tries hard to recreate the success of Venam Machan from Ok OK, However the song fails to impress apart from the occasional highs like brief retro harmonium usage. Overall the track ends as average one with few engaging lines from Gana Vinoth and G Prabha.

Verdict: Gethu soundtrack is a kind of mixed bag from Harris Jayaraj and the composer continues to churn out pleasant melodies confined to the minimal Harris soundscape.

My rating: 7/10

Pick of the Album: Thillu Mullu, Thaen Katru, Adiyae Adiyae

You can listen to the songs in youtube.

P.S Edited version of the review is available here.

Music Review(Tamil):Thaarai Thappattai

Music Review(Tamil):Thaarai Thappattai
Music Composer: Ilayaraja

     Bala and Ilayaraja define the soundscape for Thara Thappattai with the hero entry theme itself. A perfect usage of Nadhaswaram and Thavil for one and half minute which takes the listeners directly to the days of Karakattakaran.Vathana Vathana Vadivelan's arrangements are pretty ordinary with Nadhaswaram and Thavil, However Kavitha Gopi's vocal is a sure show stealer with enough support from Priyadarshini. The tune by maestro is also a standard one which requires appealing visuals to spruce up the song further.Idarinum is a perfect classical song from Ilayaraja with ambient minimal instruments dominated by Ghatam and wailing violin sections trademarked by Maestro. Sharreth's recent collaborations with Ilayaraja turns out to be masterpieces and this one also elevated by the prolific singer's improvisations and soul-stirring rendition.

     In Paruruvaaya Ilayaraja is in exceptional form and he churned out another masterpiece classical song which features wonderful usage of Veena from its prelude and interlude. Ilayaraaja kept the orchestration minimal to give the serene feel to the song while SathyaPrakash and Surmukhi nails in delivering this classically rich song which features the verses of Thiruvasagam.Aattakkari Maman Ponnu is a delightful throwback duet from maestro while M M Mansi's sensual vocals and Prasanna's vocals complement each other well. The arrangements feature predominantly reminds of Ilayaraja's yesteryear songs with lovely orchestral string sections and flute. Ilayaraja rounds off the captivating soundtrack with intriguing theme track where string section speaks itself with emotions. Maestro mixes the traditional sounds of Nadaswaram and Thavil with splendid string portions effectually and the energy of the theme music from start till the end is exceptional. Aarambam Aavathu is the only weak link in the album with very pedestrian arrangements but amusing lyrics make up for the grouse. The song may well go with visuals but as a standalone song this can be skipped and immerse in the other wonderful songs in the album.

Verdict: Ilayaraja once again proves that undeniably he is the maestro by delivering culturally rich sounds in Tharai Thappattai. The two classical songs is a surprising bonus for the movie on Karakattam.

My rating: 8.5/10

Pick of the Album: Paruruvaaya, Idarinum, Thaarai Thappattai theme, Aattakkari maman Ponnu

You can listen to the songs in Youtube.

P.S Edited version of the review is available here.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Music Roundup -2015

         Another year has come to an end and I'm happy for two reasons. One being actively blogged my thoughts on most of the music albums I've listened this year and another being listened to a lot of Malayalam songs which I was unable to do in 2014. Let's just list top songs across Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Indie albums which got released in 2015. Among all the music industry, Malayalam composers continue to churn out pleasant melodies in each movie.

     I know the list will not be agreed by everyone...Feel free to give your valuable opinions and thoughts in the comments section.


         Tamil music scenario is spectacular with a lot of young composers like Ghibran, Anirudh, Imman, Hip Hop Tamizha, Justin Prabahakaran and K delivered an enjoyable set of  songs while many debutants like Ron Ethan Yohan, Sam C S, Leon James, Prashant Pillai and Amrit gave spell-binding songs in their debut album. Among the established composers Rahman steals the listeners with O Kadhal Kanmani while Harris Jayaraj continues to do his best with his minimal confined soundscape. Yuvan Shankar Raja doesn't have any endearing album this year apart from Yatchan. Another young composer I missed this year in action is Santosh Narayanan. Let's wait for Kabali to unveil his prowess as a composer.

      Composer of the year 2015 in Tamil is surely Ghibran for his genre-defying, extraordinary work in Uttama Villain and also an enjoyable set of songs in Papanasam.

Composer of the year: Ghibran - Uttama Villain, Papanasam, Thoongavanam

Top Tamil Soundtracks of 2015

1) Uttama Villain- Ghibran
2) Oh Kadhal Kanmani - A R Rahman
3) Naanum Rowdy Thaan - Anirudh

Top Tamil Songs of 2015

1)  Kadhalam Kadavul Mun - Uttama Villain - Ghibran
2)  Naane Varugiren - Oh Kadhal Kanmani - A R Rahman
3)  Neeyum Naanum - Naanum Rowdy Than - Anirudh
4)  Eppo Varuvaro - Oru Naal Koothu - Justin Prabhakaran
5)  Rasathi - 36 Vayathinile - Santosh Narayanan
6)  Mora Saiyaa - Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam - Amrit
7)  Unakkena Venum Sollu - Yennai Arindhaal- Harris Jayaraj
8)  Poove Pooviname - 144 - Sean Roldan
9)  Donnu Donnu - Maari - Anirudh
10) Aayiram Aayiram - Maya - Ron Ethan yohan
11) Naanal Poovai - Kirumi - K
12) Iraniyan Nadagam - Uttama Villain - Ghibran
13) Parandhu Sella Vaa - Oh Kadhal Kanmani - A R Rahman
14) Siru Nadai - Urumeen - Achu
15) Yeya Yen KottiKaara -Papanasam - Ghibran

Songs worth mentioning

16) Kannana Kanne - Naanum Rowdy Than - Anirudh
17) Iravaaga Nee - Idhu Enna Maayam - G V Prakash Kumar
18) Anbane Anbane - Asurakulam- C Sathya
19) Kannala Kannala - Thani Oruvan - Hip Hop Tamizha
20) Aahaa Kadhal Vandhu - Valiyavan - Imman
21) Vellai Kanavu- Mellisai - Sam C S
22) Vaaya Veera - Kanchana2 - Leon James
23) Sel Sel - Kaaka Muttai - G V Prakash Kumar
24) Idharkuthane Aasai Pattai - Romeo Juliet - Imman
25) Aana Oona - Andhra Mess -Prashant Pillai
26) Red Road-u - Jil Jung Juk - Vishal Chandrasekhar
27) Neeye Unakku Raja - Thoongavanam - Ghibran
28) Kadhale Kadhale - Indru Netru Naalai - Hip Hop Tamizha
29) Silukku Marame - Paayum Puli - Imman
30) Danga Maari Oothari - Anegan - Harris Jayaraj

You can listen to all the songs in the youtube as a playlist.


   Compared to 2014, Hindi music in 2015 is off- colour mainly because Shankar Eshaan Loy, Vishal Baradwaj and Pritam's soundtrack didn't influence me as expected although SEL gave stellar classical debut in Marathi film Katyar Kaljat Ghusali. Amit Trivedi gave esoteric wonderful soundtrack Bombay Velvet although the film is a box office dud, music by Amit is top-notch and easily it's the best soundtrack released this year. Sanjay Leela Bhansali gave grandeur soundtrack for Bajirao Mastani while Rahman captures the audience with lovable Tamasha.Sachin Jigar duo also gave consistently wonderful music this year with Badlapur and ABCD2.

Composer of the year: Amit Trivedi - Bombay Velvet, Shaandaar, Guddu Rangeela

Top Hindi Soundtracks of 2015

1) Bombay Velvet - Amit Trivedi
2) Bajirao Mastani - Sanjay Leela Bhansali
3) Tamasha - A R Rahman

Top Hindi Songs of 2015:

1) Moh Moh Ke Dhaage - Dum Laga Ke Haisha - Anu Malik
2) O Sathi Mere - Tanu Weds Manu returns - Krsna
3) Behroopiya - Bombay Velvet - Amit Trivedi
4) Agar Tum Saath Ho - Tamasha - A R Rahman
5) Aayat - Bajirao Mastani - Sanjay Leela Bhansali
6) Judaai - Badlapur - Sachin Jigar
7) Sooraj Dooba Hain - Roy - Amaal Malik
8) Sun Saathiya - ABCD2 - Sachin Jigar
9) Journey Song - Piku - Anupam Roy
10) Sooiyaan - Guddu Rangeela - Amit Trivedi
11) Maaza My lord - Hawaizaada - Mangesh Dhakde
12) Naak Pe Gussa - Bombay Velvet - Amit Trivedi
13) Jee Karda - Badlapur - Sachin Jigar
14) Banno - Tanu weds Manu returns - Tanishk Bagchi and Vayu
15) Aaj Ibaadat - Bajirao Mastani - Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Songs worth mentioning:

16) Hey Ganraya -ABCD2 - Sachin Jigar
17) Janam Janam - Dilwale - Pritam
18) Nazdeekiyaan - Shaandaar - Amit Trivedi
19) Carbon copy - Drishyam - Vishal Bhardwaj
20) Tu Jo Mila - Bajrangi Bhaijan - Pritam
21) Sapna Jahan - Brothers - Ajay Atul
22) Saturday Night - Bangistan - Brothers
23) Calcutta Kiss - Detective Byomkesh Bakshy - Madboy/Mink
24) Afghan Jalebi - Phantom - Pritam
25) Kinna Sona - Bhaag Johnny - Mithoon
26) Main Jo - NH10 - Ayush Shrestha and Savera Mehta
27) Dusokute- Margarita with a straw - Joi Barua
28) Dil Tod Ke - Ishq Ke Parindey - Vijay Verma
29) Insaaf - Talvar - Vishal Bhardwaj
30) Main Tujhse Pyaar Nahin Karta - Baby - Keeravani

You can listen to all the songs in Youtube as a playlist.


     Telugu music scenario is comparatively fluctuant in terms of music mainly because all big budget and mass hero films are filled with cliche sounds churned out by Devi Sri Prasad and Thaman occasional beautiful tunes notwithstanding. However fledgling music directors like Gopi Sundar, Sunny M R, Ghibran and Radhan showcases their prowess in respective albums. Veterans like Ilayaraja and M M Keeravani proves that still they can mesmerise and stay relevant to this generation music lovers with Baahubali, Abbayitho Ammayi and Rudramadevi.  Another extraordinary album released this year is Kanche by Chirantan Bhatt and equal credit must go for Krish and lyricist Srivennela also.

Composer of the year is undeniably Ilayaraja for the lovely nostalgic Abbayitho Ammayi and makes me crave for the similar type of music in Tamil.

Composer of the year: Ilayaraja

Top Telugu Soundtracks of 2015

1) Abbayitho Ammayi - Ilayaraja
2) Bhale Bhale Magadivoy - Gopi Sundar
3) Yevade Subramanyam - Radhan and Ilayaraja

Top Telugu Songs of 2015

1) Idhera - Yevade Subramanyam - Radhan
2) Kanulu Kalanu Piliche - Abbayitho Ammayi - Ilayaraja
3) Endaro - Bhale Bhale Magadivoy - Gopi Sundar
4) O Kala - Yevade Subramanyam - Radhan
5) Emaindhi vela - Jil - Ghibran
6) Meghaalu Lekunna - Kumari 21F - Devi Sri Prasad
7) Tanu Nenu - Tanu Nenu - Sunny M R
8) Itu Itu Ani chitikelu Evvarivo - Kanche - Chirantan Bhatt
9) Evari Roopo - Bhale Manchi Roju - Sunny M R
10) Edhuru Choosthunna - Abbayitho Ammayi - Ilayaraja
11) Motta Modhatisari - Bhale Bhale Magadivoy - Gopi Sundar
12) Jil Jil Jil - Jil - Ghibran
13) Manohari - Baahubali - M M Keeravani
14) Maya O Maya - Courier Boy Kalyan - Karthik
15) Punnami Puvvai - Rudhramadevi - Ilayaraja

Songs worth mentioning

16) Anandam Anandam - Tungabhadra - Hari Goura
17) Nuvve Nuvve - Kick 2 - Thaman
18) Bhale Manchi Roju - Bhale Manchi Roju - Sunny M R
19) Andamaina Lokam - Shivam - Devi Sri Prasad
20) Dhivara - Baahubali - M M Keeravani
21) Nakem Tochade - Soukhyam - Anoop Rubens
22) Hayi Hayi - Dohchay - Sunny M R
23) Tummeda Jummanipichaku - Columbus - Jithin Roshan
24) Nee Aahaha - Hora Hori - Kalyan Koduri
25) Samayaa - Tiger - Thaman
26) Jathakalise - Srimanthudu - DeviSri Prasad
27) Kala idhe Kala Idhe - Tungabhadra - Hari Goura
28) Super machi - S/O Satyamurthy - Devi Sri Prasad
29) Padessave - Akhil - Thaman
30) Le Chalo - Bruce Lee - Thaman

You can listen to all the songs in Youtube as a playlist.


    Among all the regional languages, Malayalam music directors are the one able to consistently delivered numerous pleasant melodies even though most of the albums are very short with respect to the number of songs.
     Composer of the year is unarguably Bijibal who churned out the slew of wonderful work topped by the Kaliyachan, classical album drenched with authentic Kerala sounds. It's no wonder that Kaliyachan score got the national award for Background score. Since most of the songs in Kaliyachan is of very short duration didn't include the songs in the ranking. However, Kaliyachan is the outstanding soundtrack from Bijibal.
   Another prolific composer from Malayalam is Gopi Sundar who charmed the listeners with his melodious songs in Mili, charlie and one stellar song in Ennu Ninte Moideen.

Composer of the year: Bijibal
Top Malayalam soundtracks of 2015

1) Kaliyachan - Bijibal
2) Ennu Ninte Moideen - M Jayachandran, Ramesh Narayan & Gopi Sundar
3) You too Brutus - Roby Abraham

Top Malayalam Songs

1) Hemanthamen - Kohinoor - Rahul Raju
2) Mukkathu Penne - Ennu Ninte Moideen - Gopi Sundar
3) Vasanthamalike - Chandrettan Evideya - Prashant Pillai
4) Sarangiyil - You too Brutus - Roby Abraham
5) Ottathoval - Rajamma@Yahoo - Bijibal
6) Kannondu Chollanu - Ennu Ninte Moideen - M Jayachandran
7) Malare - Premam - Rajesh Murugesan
8) Chantham Thelinju - Utopiayile Rajavu - Ousseppachan
9) Akale - Charlie - Gopi Sundar
10) Kaathil Parayumo - Rudhra Simhasanam - Viswajith
11) Athala Pithala - Double Barrel - Prashant Pillai
12) Vaanam Chaayum - Anarkali - Vidyasagar
13) Chiriyude Pinnil - You too Brutus - Roby Abraham
14) Ee Kadalinu Kolu - Mariyam Mukku - Vidyasagar
15) Kanmaniye - Mili - Gopi Sundar

Songs worth mentioning:

16) Puthumazhayai - Charlie - Gopi Sundar
17) Arikil Ninnarikil - Rockstar - Prashant Pillai
18) Kaikkotum Kanditilla - Oru Vadakkan Selfie - Shaan Rahman
19) Kandittindo Ningal - My God - Bijibal
20) Oru Venal Kaataai - Kanal - Ousseppachan
21) Mohabbat  - Double Barrel - Prashant Pillai
22) Malarvaka Kombathu Ennum Eppozhum - Vidyasagar
23) Hridayathin Nirame - 100 days of love - Govind menon
24) Duniyaavin - KL 10 Patthu - Bijibal
25) Varu Pokaam Parakkam - Rani padmini - Bijibal
26) Dithiki Dithiki - Ennum Eppozhum - Vidyasagar
27) Padiyirangunnu - Pathemari - Bijibal
28) Chenthengin - Two countries - Gopi Sundar
29) Raavinte - Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam - Bijibal
30) Ende Maavum Poothe - Adi Kapyare Kootamani - Shaan Rahman

You can listen to all the songs in Youtube as a playlist.

Independent Music albums and Other languages:

     Some of the other language albums and Indie albums released this year is listed below and these are the songs and albums which are in my playlist for the long period of time. It's been listed here without any ranking order. I've mentioned the most enjoyed song by me in each album together with the album name and artist although all the songs in the album warrant multiple listen.

1) Romance, Adoration - Swappnam - Ilayaraja
2) Navarasam, One - Navarasam - Thaikkudam Bridge
3) At the Theatres, Boundless - Indo Soul - Karthick Iyer
4) Inayat - Ananthaal - Clinton Cerejo, Bianco Gomes, Vijay Prakash
5) Man Mandira, Sur Niragas Ho, Dil Ki Tapash - Katyar Kaljat Khusli - Shankar Ehsaan Loy
6) Aj Notun Probhat, Ay Tobe Shohochori - Kadambari  - Bickram Gosh
7) Aare Chanda (all 4 songs), Chal Chal Sakhi - Filament - Shankar Tucker
8) Iravu Pagal, Muthai Tharu, Santhatham - Poorvaa - Pradeep Kumar
9) Oh love, Fire, Go - In Tokens and charms - Prateek Kuhad
10) Ennai Marandhale, Munnala Pona - Kulam - Pradeep Kumar,Jhanu and Tapass
11) Coke Studio Pakistan Season 8
       a) Bewajah - Nabeel Shaukat Ali
       b) Rockstar - Ali Zafar
       c) Kalis Makhan - Bakshi Brothers
       d) Kinarey- Mekhaal Hasan Band
       e) Piya Dekhan Ko - Ustad hamid Ali Khan and Nafees Ahmed
       f) Tajdar - E - Haram - Atif Aslam
       g) Rangeela - Ali Azmat

Music Review(Tamil): Kathakali

Music Review(Tamil): Kathakali
Music Composer: HipHop Tamizha

Azhage has a typical hip hop song synth beats in the background throughout the song, however, Hip Hop Tamizha's languorous rendition along with pretty good lyrics makes this song pleasant listen till it lasts. Amidst the techno sounds, soothing minimal flute portions in the interludes standout in this leisurely paced song.Erangi Vandhu is a mix of folk and electronic techno sounds sung with enough verve by both Aadhi and Anthony Dassan. Apart from the boisterous sounds with percussions, cool techno sounds and sporadic nicely mixed Nadhaswaram bits, this song about the value of friendship lacks arresting tune to make it an enjoyable track in the album.Kathakali Theme is an effective mix of chendamelam, konnakol and grungy vocals of Hip Hop Tamizha. The transition between chendamelam bits to techno sounds is done smoothly and brief string section in the half way deserves special mention. Overall engaging melange of sounds which makes it an impressive and compelling listen in the album.Kathakali whistle theme is another persuasive theme from Hip hop tamizha with a perfect mix of whistles and sweeping string sections. The theme ends with light percussion touches and especially goosebump inducing string portions serve well for this action packed movie.

Verdict: Once again Hip Hop Tamizha delivers quite an effectual short functional soundtrack with two outstanding theme tracks and an enjoyable song.

My rating:7/10

Pick of the Album: Kathakali theme, Azhage, Kathakali whistle theme. 

P.S. Edited version of the review is available here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Music Review (Telugu): Dictator

Music Review (Telugu): Dictator
Music Composer: Thaman

       Gam Gam Ganesha is a usual Ganesh Bhajan with frenzy percussion bits and pleasant programming by Thaman makes up for the mangled rendition by Divya Kumar. Thaman maintains the energy of the song from start till the end. However, the song fails to make an impact when compared to other Ganesh bhajans released this year across various languages.What's up baby's background beats and the tune is straight out of the Thaman's stock repertoire whereas auto tuning of the vocals irks a lot, especially with male singer Naveen. However, the verve in the vocals of Naveen and Malavika is enough to make Balayya fans to go crazy with visuals. Foot tapping sporadic brass sections are the only solace in this typical Thaman song.

        Thaman makes sure to deliver one engaging melody in each of his albums and in Dictator Thaman's Chura Chura makes a pleasant impact on the listeners. Thaman's programming along with lead vocals humming portions and  Sanjana's vocals blends so well and makes this one engaging listen. Rama Jogayya sastry scores with memorable lyrics and lovely melody from Thaman after Nuvve Nuvve in Kick 2.In Tingo Tingo, Thaman mired himself into his templatized sounds, however female lead singers Kousalya and Geetha Madhuri saves the languishing tune with their enthusiastic vocals while Simha gave enough support to make this song a passable listen in the album. Thaman's percussion in the interludes scores in this average song.Dictator's title track has the deja vu feel associated with it, however, Thaman's haunting programming along with eerie background humming makes this work despite the heard before tune. The slew of singers leads by Satyan delivered a wonderful vocal for the esoteric ambiance created by Thaman.Thaman ends with the high energetic mass song Gana Gana and the song is foot-tapping enough to please the audience with the visuals. However as a soundtrack this one goes into the list of conventional mass songs churned out from the Telugu music directors. Sameera Bharadwaj vocal works to the song's favour compared to Deepak and Simha's.

Verdict: Thaman continues to play it safe when it comes to mass hero albums and Dictator too falls into the same category. It's high time for Thaman to come out of his comfortable zone considering the number of high profile Telugu movie soundtrack scored by him.

My rating:6.5/10 

Pick of the Album: Chura Chura, Dictator, Gam Gam Ganesha.

You can listen to the songs in Saavn.

P.S Edited version of the review is available 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Music Review (Tamil): Azhagu Kutti Chellam

Music Review (Tamil): Azhagu Kutti Chellam
Music Composer: Ved Shankar Sugavanam

Azhagu Kutti chellam's waltz'y tune combined with rousing orchestration with string harmonies, mild violin backdrop, mellifluous flute topped by Balram's vocals makes this an enjoying listen. Na Muthukumar's lyrics bolstered the feel of the song further along with the baby crying voice samples. The title song's reprise version rides mainly on the Shakthishree's earnest rendition with her magical vocals. Ved kept the orchestration minimal with piano notes and singer takes the front stage in delivering the equally enticing version of the original. Ved Shankar's captivating violin solos steal the show in Kadhal Oru Sadhurangam also while Chinmayi and Abhay Jodhpurkar takes care of the breezy tune and Na Muthukumar's lovable lyrics effectually. Ved's penchant for violin is apparent in the prelude of Boom Shakalaka Boom, lovely upbeat solo it is. Although the tune is quite gimmicky but it is passable at it's best mainly because of Ved's imaginative orchestration in the interludes. Yazhini, Neha, Ken and Rajesh has done enough justice to bring out the childish voices in their rendition. The soundtrack ends with the verses of Thiruvasagam and composer nails in bringing the serene mood of the lyrics with minimal orchestration with bells, flute and ending of the song is simply top notch. Balram, Sharanya Srinivas, Madhu Iyer, Saptaparna Chakraborty's vocal blend well with the flow of the tune.

Verdict: After quite an innovative soundtrack for Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanom, Ved unveils another impressive album backed by superlative singers and wonderful tunes from the composer.

My rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Azhagu Kutti chellam (Both versions), Thiruvasagam,  Kadhal Oru Sadhurangam

You can listen to the songs here.