Sunday, July 31, 2016

Music Review (Telugu): Thikka

Music Review (Telugu): Thikka
Music Composer: Thaman

Thikka's title song's only effective part is an easy sing-along rhythm structure and Dhanush's casual singing debut in Telugu is least exciting mainly because of the insipid and hackneyed tune which composers usually relegate to the singer. Ramajogayya Sastry's unrestrained lyrics set the mood of the song effectively. Thaman ropes in another Kollywood star Simbu to croon techno based track Hot Shot hero which is adequately engaging. Thanks once again to the pop techno rhythm. Though the track has nothing extraordinary to offer, pretty listenable EDM synth elements make it engaging till it lasts. 

Dirty Picture sounds interesting mainly due to the unique flavor brought to the song by Usha Uthup and the meandering tune gets interesting in the second half. However, as a whole, the song turns out to be pretty decent one which comes off lively due to lead singer vocals and Thaman's retro jazz touch in the arrangements.Neekosam is another techno-laden track with mildly enticing tune and nifty touches in the interludes especially the second one featuring lovely string section while Revanth's vocals fit the bill perfectly expressing Ramajogayya's Sastry lyrics effectively. Thaman extends the predominant techno soundscape of the album to the final song Vellipoke also and though the prelude starts in a haunting manner, the song turns out to be another regular techno affair from the composer. Thaman's processed vocals irk a lot amidst all the restrained techno sounds for the decent tune.

Verdict: Thaman's Thikka is loaded with techno-laden tracks which are enjoyable, however, the album gives very less in variety and sounds monotonous.

My rating: 7/10

Pick of the Album: Neekosam, Hot shot hero, Thikka

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Music Review (Telugu): Srirastu Subhamastu

Music Review (Telugu): Srirastu Subhamastu
Music Composer: Thaman

It's quite refreshing to listen to the Thaman song devoid of predominant vocal processing and thumping percussions, The title song of Srirastu Subhamastu is a pleasant one, and although starts with jaded chorus, Thaman throws some excellent veena and violin solos in the interludes with excellent vocal support from Krishna Chaitanya. Thaman comes back to his territory in Anu Anu where the deja-vu feel in the tune is accentuated by Thaman's processed vocals. However, the song is adequately engaging, if one forgets Thaman's past repertoire. Desi girl, staple Telugu kuthu, which Thaman excels in making these songs adequately foo tapping. Revanth lends fantastic support with his energetic vocals in an otherwise typical percussion dominated Thaman track.

Verdict: Exceptional title song in an album filled with warmed-over Thaman sounds.

My Rating: 7/10

Pick of the Album: Srirastu Subhamastu 

P.S: you can listen to the songs in Saavn.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Music Review (Malayalam) : Kismath

Music Review (Malayalam) : Kismath
Music Composer: Sumesh Parameswar, Sushin Shyam, Shamej Sreedhar

Kisa Paathiyil's starts with the perfect blend of haunting santoor like keyboard sounds along with flute amidst the rainy atmosphere and what follow is the gorgeously sung melody by Sachin Balu. The song transcends into quawwali mode with the brilliant interspersing of tabla and loved the way the composer ends the song with reverberating sounds. Sumesh Parameshwar delivers Gopi Sundar like melody in Nilamanaltharikalil where rhythmic tabla sounds get fantastic support from the flute throughout the song while Harishankar KS who sang wonderful melodies for Vidyasagar aces this one also. Shreya Raghav also ably support him although with some constraints in her vocals. 

Loneliness rides on the Shreya Raghav's humming with Cochin strings chirping in with brilliant string portions giving the two minute instrumental rousing end. Chilathunam's templatized quawwali tune is elevated mainly by the pitch perfect rendition by the lead singer Madhushree with additional vocals by Anoop G Krishnan, Gakul Joseph, Neil Mathews and composer Shamej Shreedhar itself. Composer Sumesh Parameshwar recreates the traditional maapilla Paattu song Aane Madanapoo brilliantly especially loved the guitar solos by the composer itself in the second interlude. Kabeer Nallalam's rustic vocals in contrast with the arrangements gives splendid touch to the overall song. Sumersh Parameshwar is top notch in the minimally arranged resonant Vinnu Churanna while Neesa M P's impeccable rendition of the pleasant tune reminds me of the similar soundscape song in Amen (Solamanum Soshanayum). Composer throws some brilliant surprises especially Veena and as usual gorgeous guitar and bass work by Sumesh itself. Sumesh ends the soundtrack with Kismath theme, middle eastern touch to the instrumental and pleasant humming makes its for enjoyable listen. 

Verdict: Indie musicians Sumesh Parameshwar, Sushin Shyam and Shamej Sreedhar delivered the eclectic soundtrack for the movie Kismath.

My Rating: 8.25/10

Pick of the Album: Kisa Paathiyil, Vinnu Churanna, Nilamanaltharikalil

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Music Review (Telugu): Babu Bangaram

Music Review (Telugu): Babu Bangaram
Music Composer: Ghibran

Mallela Vaanala has an ear pleasing tune and although the arrangements has nothing extraordinary to offer, Ghibran throws few enticing sounds especially brief violin solos segued into the tune dominated with techno sounds. Naresh Iyer's effortless rendition of the simple charming tune Snehithudo's average tune is propped up by Ghibran's layered orchestration especially with flute and string sections throughout the song.  The classical guitar portion in the second interlude portion is a highlight in the decntly packaged song in the album while only grouse being the meandering tune and Ranjith KG spruces up the tune to certain extent.

Dhandame Ettukuntam tune treads along the Run Raja Run's Bujjima with Gold Devaraj's rustic vocals and umped the mass factor with thumping percussions, but this one lacks catchy tune as the composer's debut soundtrack. The only highlight being the charming orchestration with Guitar played in a classical manner and Nadaswaram bits in the interludes.Raaka Raaka opens up with pleasant mandolin prelude and conventional brief chorus and Ghibran's tune once again dominated by progressive trance like sound. Though the orchestration is rich especially classical guitar interspersed with techno sounds, the average tune bogs down the song. Chinmayi and Yazin Nizar's lively rendition works to the song's favour. Dhilluna Vaade's arrangements are adequately fiery enough similar to man on fire from Jil. Ghibran interspersed beautifully classical arrangements amidst the grungy guitar and thumping percussions. The lyrics as usual pandering about the typical Police protagonist in Telugu movies and Ghibran's enticing arrangements makes up for the average tune. Ghibran ends up the soundtrack with cacophonous Babu Bangaram theme where both techno sounds and intermittent vocals comes off as screeching one without adding much value to the soundtrack.

Verdict: Ghibran's third soundtrack in Telugu is the weakest one when compared to Run Raja Run and Jil. The soundtrack lacks the memorable, catchy tune and the composer's rich orchestration salvages the otherwise average soundtrack.

My Rating: 7/10

Pick of the Album: Mallela Vaanala, Snehithudo, Dhilluna Vaade  

P.S You can listen to the soundtrack in Youtube.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Music Review (Hindi): Dishoom

Music Review (Hindi): Dishoom
Music Composer: Pritam

Sau Tarah Ke's highlight is the Ashish Pandit's catchy hook line and the techno dance elements are adequately foot tapping while Amit Mishra and Jonita Gandhi fits the bill perfectly. Pritam mixed mild Arabic choir intermittently. Sau Tarah Ke's another version is an unwarranted listen. Toh Dishoom's highlight is easily Pawan Rasaily's guitar and the tune rides on the catchy factor rather than on the novel one while the haunting arrangements in the rhythms and interlude make this enjoyable. Raftar and Shahid Mallya's exuberant vocals and Mayur Puri's lyrics stands out. Jaaneman Aah is an addictive, funny Tamil kuthu meets Afghan Jalebi's arrangements. Nakash Aziz and Aman Trikha handles both versions effectually while Antara Mitra ably supports them in both versions. Ishqa's banal tune is made listenable with the intriguing arrangements with synth track, percussions and lovely strings. Abhijeet Sawant and Antara Mitra sounds apt in this pretty much ordinary track.

Verdict: Pritam opens his 2016 account with the pretty much insipid soundtrack which rides mainly on the catchy factor rather than on the memorable tracks.

My rating:6.5/10

Pick of the Album: Jaaneman Aah, Sau Tarah Ke

P.S: You can listen to the songs in Youtube.

Music Review (Hindi): Rustom

Music Review (Hindi): Rustom
Music Composer: Arko, Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Ganguly, Raghav Sachar

Tere Sang Yaara ticks off every Hindi melody elements with listenable rhythm structure, pleasant arrangements and to the top of it, Atif Aslam's fantastic vocals to swing your mood. The song's reprise version Tere bin Yaara fares tad lower than the original version where Arko's vocals didn't work well when compared with Atif Aslam's and the arrangements dominated by piano is also pleasant as in the original. 

Rustom Vahi composed by Raghav Sachar song is comparatively average one and the irony is the songs comes in 4 versions in the soundtrack. The arrangements are energetic and gives slight nod to the yesteryear composition tandem to the setting of the film. The orchestration is mainly filled with sprightly brass sections and percussions, however, the tune is pretty much familiar one reminiscent of umpteen number of compositions. The male version and Marathi version of the song offer nothing new with same arrangements and Jasraj Joshi handles the vocals. Ankit Tiwari's Tay hai is a typical pensive Ankit Tiwari melody with a lot of deja-vu feel both in tune as well as arrangements which make this one less exciting. Jab Tum Hote Ho too falls around the same category as the previous one, however the song is listenable mainly because of Shreya Goshal's effortless vocals. Jeet Ganguly produces winsome tracks in an otherwise tepid soundtrack. Dekha Hazaro Dafa's waltzy rhythm, sweeping string sections and chorus while Arijit Singh and Palak Muchhal handles the breezy melody with fantastic vocals. Dhal Jaun Mein's arrangements once again herald the heard-before feel, however Jubin Nautiyal makes up for that with his fantastic rendition ably supported by Aakanksha Sharma.

Verdict: Though Rustom album has 10 tracks with 4 composers, Jeet Ganguly's scores easily when compared with the other and the banal soundscape is the great let-down in the album.

My rating: 6.5/10

Pick of the Album: Dekha Hazaro Dafa, Dhal Jaun Mein, Jab Tum Hote Ho 

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn

Monday, July 11, 2016

Music Review (Kannada): Kotigobba 2

Music Review (Kannada): Kotigobba 2
Music Composer: Imman D

Kotigobba's title track is the mishmash of heard before rhythms with mid-eastern tinge in the interludes while Imman continues to pack the song with punchy percussion elements and Vijay Prakash effortless rendition keeps the song listenable till it lasts. Saaluthillave is the typical Ilayaraja'esque melody which Imman aces like a pro in his umpteen Tamil albums and in his Kannada debut also, Imman nails it with fantastic support from Shreya Goshal and Vijay Prakash. Imman spruces up the interludes with his brilliant string sections and jubilant Kazoos solos. Hunna Hunna is a tedious listen except for the beautiful nadhaswaram solo in the second interlude while Jithin Raj and Shashaa Tripati's vocals alone unable to salvage this mediocre tune. Parapancha Neene's start has an uncanny resemblance with Oru Kootu Kiliyaga, however Shankar Mahadevan along with Imman's ambient arrangements make this melancholy piece works to certain extent. Imman ends the soundtrack on a high with Jazzy piece Hello mister and although there is nothing extraordinary to offer both in terms of orchestration and tune, Neeti Mohan's wonderful lively rendition makes this one fantastic listen in the album.

Verdict: Imman's Kannada debut is a minimum guarantee one filled with the composer's familiar soundscape and superlative singers across the album make this one enjoyable partially.

My rating:7.5/10

Pick of the Album: Saaluthillave, Parapancha Neene, Hello Mister

P.S You can listen to the soundtrack in Saavn.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Music Review (Hindi): Mohenjo Daro

Music Review (Hindi): Mohenjo Daro
Music Composer: A R Rahman

Mohenjo Mohenjo as expected replete with expansive percussion elements and other exotic sounds, though the tune is not an exciting one, Arijit Singh and especially Bela Shende holds it together till the arousing end of the song. Sindhu Maa is the typical Rahman contemporary melody with few exotic touches in the interlude in terms of chants.Rahman's singing comes off as a Deja-vu one while 24 fame Sanah Moidutty gives the new dimension to the melody with her vocals. Sarsariya reminds Nannare from Guru especially prelude flute and Rahman's imaginative arrangements with percussion and flute in the interludes makes this one immensely enjoyable song. Shashaa Tirupati, Rahman's recent frequent collaborator aces the lovely tune like a pro with her pleasant vocals and Shashwat Singh of Tamashaa fame ably support her. Sindhu Maa's comes off as another version Tu hai and most of the arrangements kept intact without much change. Compared to the lyrical version of Tu hai, it's instrumental version The Shimmer of Sindhu comes off beautifully for its pleasant guitar work by Keba Jeremiah and flautist Kareem Kamalakar. Whispers of the mind and Whispers of the heart both treads on the similar soundscape one can expect from the movie of this period. The former one is more serene while latter one is a punchy one with ample dosage of percussions and chorus. Rahman rounds off the epic soundtrack with absolutely engaging instrumental piece Lakh Lakh Thora with Tapas Roy's mandolin(/oud?) being the highlight.

Verdict: Rahman's association with Ashutosh Gowarikar for the third time is not as exquisite as his other period films with the director. However, couple of songs stay true to the theme and equally enjoyable affair from Rahman.

My Rating: 7.75/10

Pick of the Album: Lakh Lakh Thora, Sarsariya, Tu Hai

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Music Review (Tamil): Parandhu Sella Vaa

Music Review (Tamil): Parandhu Sella Vaa
Music Composer: Joshua Sridhar

Kaatril Eri Midhakuthe is adequately foot tapping and head-banging synth sound dominated pedestrian track treads on the familiar sound while Joshua Sridhar's processed vocals didn't help either and Lady kash chips in with indiscernible rap portions. Joshua continues his passable track mode with Sillendru Thakuthe and the song comes off listenable due to the lead singer vocals. Thanks to Sathyaprakash, Ranina Reddy and Ramya NSK. Welcome boys Idhu is another banal song which builds on the familiar pop template where vocal also comes off as an edgy one without helping the song much either. The only solace being the lovely use of the banjo in the interlude.

Joshua Sridhar easily scores in the remaining three melodies. Mann Meedhu Inbam, lovely retro jazz track and even Rajesh Krishnan sounds more like SPB which accentuates the 90's feel in the song. Swetha Mohan aces in another lovely melody Nadhiyil Vizhundha Poovin and Joshua kept the rhythm hook simple while the jibberish in the interlude sounds odd in an otherwise enjoyable song in the soundtrack. Yaarumae Thaniya Illai has beautiful optimistic lyrics by Na Muthukumar while Haricharan and Joshua build the enjoyable ear-pleasing melody around that.

Verdict: Joshua Sridhar produces another enjoyable soundtrack with listenable melodies and I wish he composes frequently in Tamil.

My rating:7/10

Pick of the Album: Yaarume Thaniya Illai, Mann Meedhu Inbam, Nadhiyil Vizhundha Poovin

P.S You can listen to the songs in Youtube.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Miscellaneous Listens

Game of Thrones- S06E10 - Light of the Seven:  Season 6 of the epic fantasy series comes to an end and most of the GOT fans going gaga over the curiosity created by the latest episode. The highlight of the final episode is the background score for the trial scene apart from the awestruck twist in the season finale. The haunting score composed by German- Iranian composer Ramin Djawadi and the score starts with grand piano reaches the crescendo with frenzy goosebump-inducing string sections and lovely chorus. The background score along with the breathtaking Cersei's plot makes this one must experience piece for both GOT lovers and music lovers.

Pakkala Nilabadi : Stumbled upon this delightful Karaharapriya based Thiyagaraja Keerthanai rendered with lovely improvisations bringing out the nuances by Haricharan and Navneeth Sundar on the Keys. Ilayaraja's created some wonderful classics based on this Raaga like Poo Malarndhida in Tic Tic Tic.

Ninnai Saranadaindhen- Bharathi : While listening to Raaga based songs, comes back to another familiar moving piece based on the Pantuvarali Raaga and Ilayaraja's Ninnai Saranadaindhen sticks out in my playlist for a while especially for Bombay Jayashree's vocals. Ilayaraja's orchestration with udukkai, flute and lovely strings is also top notch and set the right mood in sync with the blissful classical tune which gives breath to the Bharathi's lyrics.

Medapoompattum Chutti - Karinkunnam 6S : Rahul Raj continues to produce ultra-short soundtrack in 2016 and in each soundtrack there is at least one enjoyable song. Medapoompattum Chutti is the one in Karinkunnam 6s and the song has an easily accessible tune with Najim Arshad aces the vocal portions. Rahul Raj kept the orchestration simple and likeable with flutes and sweeping string sections.Though the song is of less than 3 minutes duration, the listening experience lingers in our mind after the song ends also. Thanks to the ear-pleasing tune and arrangements.