Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Sathriyan

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

Yuvan Shankar Raja starts off the album with the passable folk tune Sooda oru Sooriyan, however, the arrangements feature an alluring combination of folk percussions and mandolin strums in the interludes. The harmonies by Senthildass, Sam and Bellyraj gave perfunctory support to the stupendous rendition of Deepak crooning the conversational lyrics of Vivek. The ghatam touches in the prelude evocates the memories of Ilayaraja's yesteryear songs.Paarai Melae's string-laden orchestration is impressive for the melodious number and Yuvan added the gratifying Tabla base while more awesomeness awaits in the second interlude in the form of Devi's Veena. The only grouse being the Yuvan Shankar Raja's singing and it may not work for all and the song ends abruptly.

In Maina Rendu, Yuvan Shankar Raja's arrangements, as well as tune, complements the affecting lyrics of Vairamuthu. Vijay Yesudas shines with the emotional rendition while composer's busy rhythms in the background along with the gloomy flute pieces in the interludes make this one worthy listen in the album.Sathriyan in action theme is a pedestrian one which fails to elevate the mood of the listener within two minutes and the synthesised sound in the first half is the enjoyable bit from the composer.

Verdict: Yuvan Shankar Raja opens his 2017 account with the short impactful album where the composer's striking arrangement outdo the tunes.

My Rating: 7/10

Pick of the album: Maina Rendu, Paarai Mele

Monday, January 30, 2017

Music Review (Hindi): Raees

Music Review (Hindi): Raees
Music Composer: Ram Sampath and Jam8

Laila Main Laila, remix of the Kalyanji Anandji's famous song in Qurbani and the song works mainly for an inherently enjoyable tune layered by wonderful Ed Gibson Trumpets along with  Pawni Pandey's engaging vocals. Jam8's Zaalimaa has the familiar Pritam's vibe attached to it and it's no surprise that Jam 8's Pritam association pays off well at least with respect to this song. The faux qawwali is adequately engaging and the main credit goes to the effectual rendition by Arijit Singh and Harshdeep Kaur. Ram Sampath saves the languishing soundtrack with the splendid fusion Udi Udi  Jaaye and the melange of sounds, especially Tapas Roy's, mandolin are pleasant to hear while superlative vocals by Sukhwinder Singh and Bhoomi Trivedi easily lift the song to the better level. The Gujarati touch in the second interlude is a nice touch from the composer. Dhingana's punch Marathi folk touch is rather run of the mill one and has very less to offer musically while Mika Singh tried hard to make the song interesting but turns out to be a futile attempt. Ram Sampath shines in another enticing fusion attempt of mixing the electronic base sound and exotic tribal sounds. The transition between electronic base and African percussion sounds work seamlessly with ample support from the composer itself behind the mic and chorus by Tarannum Malik. Saanson Ke has also morphed version of Pritam's template by Jam8 and KK's singing lifts the song to a certain extent but the end result is not so positive. Ram Sampath delivered another heady Gujarati folk song Ghammar and the sprightly tune along with the splendid rendition by Roshan Rathod makes it the worthy listen.

Verdict: Ram Sampath shines with the engaging fusion sounds while Jam8's safe Pritam sound didn't help the soundtrack much.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Pick of the Album: Udi Udi Jaaye, Enu Naam Che Raees, Ghammar

Friday, January 20, 2017

Music Review(Hindi): Rangoon

Music Review(Hindi): Rangoon
Music Composer: Vishal Bhardwaj

Bloody hell is a delightful riot from Vishal and Sunidhi Chauhan's swag in vocals gives life to the song while Vishal uses pauses impressively and the vocals fill the void perfectly. The backgrounds arrangements sway in the perfect Jazz world created by Vishal and the sounds from blaring trumpets to rising string section has its charm on its own. Yeh Ishq Hai's tune and arrangements are Vishal Baradwaj's territory and the composer hardly misses the strike and this one is no different. Stupendous composition complimented well by Arijit Singh while interludes are brilliant one from the composer dominated by flute and the lovely santoor strains. Sigh!! Soulful composition from the splendid composer. Rekha Baradwaj upped the beauty of the song in the female version of Yeh Ishq hai with her classical improvisations while composer complimented the style with harmonium and Tabla in the arrangements.

Mere Miya Gaye England is another amusing composition from Vishal and Rekha aces with her idiosyncratic vocals. Vishal Baradwaj's arrangement proficiency is apparent in Tap Tap where the composer brilliantly mixes chugging train and the sweeping violin sections. Sukhwinder Singh, Rekha Baradwaj and Sunidhi produce a crackling song with their alluring vocals. Ek dooni Do's buoyant Salsa beats and the frolic arrangements make an enticing combo while Rekha Baradwaj vocal is a delight to listen as always. Vishal brilliantly utilises European flavoured arrangements dominated by Spanish guitar riffs, accordion and ugh violin solos. Blisss!!  Vishal handover another immersive trademark tune of the composer to Arijit and the man does wonder with the vocal modulations while Vishal impresses in the interludes with the gloomy use of clarinet in the first interlude being the towering highlight. 

Vishal creates the brilliant atmospheric theatre sound for praising the movie's leading female character Julia and quite enthusiastic to see how this song picturised. Sukhwinder Singh brings out diverse emotions with his vocal modulations dominated by high scale sounds. Listening to Rekha Baradwaj's vocals brings an immense pleasure and plucks the musical strings in the listener's heart while Vishal continues to handover frolic song to her and the lady ace the retro tune in Chori Chori. The accordion-laden track loaded with amusing background songs makes this one interesting listen. Be still's jazz backgrounds and Dominique Cerejo's dreamy vocals gels well. Vishal's fancy for Jazz continues in Shimmy Shake with the tinge of Rock and roll touch to the song.and the showstopper is undeniably powerful vocals of Vivenne Pocha. Vishal ends the outstanding soundtrack with the pensive Rangoon Theme and the soundscape easily takes the listener to the Rangoon.

Verdict: Musical Masterpiece by Vishal Baradwaj as expected and the man's musical sounds continues to mesmerize the listeners.

My Rating: 9/10

Pick of the Album: Yeh Ishq Hai (Arijit Version). Ek Dooni Do, Tap Tap, Bloody Hell, Shimmy Shake

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Adhe Kangal

Music Review (Tamil): Adhe Kangal
Music Composer: Ghibran

Idho Thaanaagave's pulsating rock sound mixed with the haunting eccentric sitar solos by Kishore Kumar make an enticing combination. Yazin Nizar who crooned the similar soundscape song for Ghibran in Amara Kaaviyam does wonder with this song also, although edgy at times and ably supported by Clinton Cerejo. The layering of guitar riffs and Sitar is exquisitely done in the first interlude.Ponapokil has a charming retro tune backed by Sofia chamber orchestra in the background and Ghibran mixed melange of sounds in the interludes with Thirumoorthy's Nadaswaram being a delightful highlight. Namratha and Anudeep breezes through the alluring tune effortlessly.

Thandira is an absolute winner in the soundtrack by Ghibran and the composer adorned the instantly catchy tune with an ear pleasing arrangements topped by catchy guitar strums. Leonard's whistle turns out to be a pleasant charm factor in the song. Totally immersive track crooned effortlessly by Rajan Chelliah.I Have nothing lacks an instantly addictive tune as other songs, however, Ghibran nifty programming and foot tapping rhythms in the background ably supported by Addie Nicole's husky vocals and Jah Mil's gibberish rap verses makes for an interesting listen. Ghibran rounds off the soundtrack with the tweaked version of Thandira and the theme starts off with the pleasant Leonard's whistle but reaches crescendo by adding the thriller element with the strings and other assorted sounds.

Verdict: Ghibran continues to churn out unpredictable sounds in Tamil film industry and Adhe Kangal turns out to be another keeper from the composer.

My Rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Thandira, Idho Thaanagave, Ponapokkil

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Music Review (Telugu): Nenu Local

Music Review (Telugu): Nenu Local
Music Composer: DeviSri Prasad

Next Enti is the stock tune of DSP, however the songs comes off as palatable if one brushes aside the deja vu feel in the tune as well arrangements. Easily saleable tune and Sagar's vocals make this one easily sails through while Ranina Reddy's vocal seems to be an edgy one and DSP's brief melodica bit in the second interlude being the sole pleasant highlight in the arrangements front. DSP gave brilliant track after a long time with Arere Yekkada and the arrangements are soothing and pleasant with the tinge of classical beats in the interlude. The track gains a lot from Manoj's solo violin and Electric violin and Manisha Earabarthini's alluding vocals makes this one enjoyable listen. Naresh Iyer adequately supports the proceedings.

Disturb Chestha's mysterious rhythm layer amidst the blaring Babu's trumpets and guitars makes an interesting combo while Prudhvi Chandra aces the foot tapping tune energetically. Though, the initial prelude has the shades of DSP's staple music, the engaging charanam tune and arrangements make up for the heard before feel of the tune.Champesaave Nannu starts off brilliantly with Balaji's alluring violin solo, but spiralled towards the typical EDM-dominated party song, however, an Europeaneasque frolic in the second interlude is a winsome one. Overall engaging song which benefits a lot from Balaji and pretty neat vocals by Kapil and Sameera Baradwaj. Side Please is a mandatory high octane mass song and the song turns out to be dud except for the Javed Ali's vocals and foot-tapping percussions. Babu's trumpet helps the song to a certain extent but the mediocre and monotonous tune.  

Verdict: Nenu Local is Devi Sri Prasad's engaging and enjoying one in recent times without much adhering to the commercial and mass requirements of typical high budget Telugu albums.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Pick of the Album: Arere Yekkada, Champesaave Nannu, Disturb chestha

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Shivalinga

Music Review (Tamil): Shivalinga
Music Composer: Thaman

Chinna Kabali's blaring percussions and the tried and tested tune screams Thaman's stock sounds from start till the end of the song. The rhythms are pretty much outdated and the only solace being the Shankar Mahadevan's energetic vocals. Both the pedestrian lyrics by Viveka and languishing tune by Thaman didn't work to the song's favour. Sirikka Vechu is the harmless listen and the simple tune breezes through without any hurdles while the song benefits largely from the Vijay Yesudas's spotless rendition. Thaman kept the background and arrangements neat and makes this one enjoyable till it lasts. Ramya Behra adequately supports the lead singer towards the end.

Rangu Rakkara is another banal track from Thaman and the composer tries to appease both Telugu and Tamil fans by roping Anirudh to croon the typical Telugu kuthu track which he utilises to its maximum tolerable level in every Telugu albums. The track has very less to offer both in terms of arrangements and tune while the singers strive their best with the energy levels.Title song has its predictable tune and the song highly benefits from the haunting Keba's guitar work and though the tune, as well as arrangements, ride on the familiar territory, the song is a decent listen. The only grouse being that Usha Uthup is relegated to few chants intermittently while other singers render their support adequately.Thaman ends the tepid soundtrack with another futile song, Saarah Saarah which starts promisingly but mired into the monotonous tune and the arrangements are bland without any high moments. Rahul Nambiar's sprightly rendition being the only solace in this hackneyed tune from Thaman.

Verdict: Thaman continues to produce his mass masala tracks in Tamil also and the pedestrian album has very little to offer musically.

My Rating: 6/10

Pick of the Album: Sirikka Vechu, Title song

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Music Review (Kannada): Urvi

Music Review (Kannada): Urvi
Music Composer: Manoj George

Manoj George churns out a winsome melody in Thili Prema with Charan Raj and Madhushree Narayanan behind the vocals and both the singers delivered pretty solid support to the tune. The violinist shows his prowess in the brilliant first interlude while Nikhil supports with the soothing flute in the second interlude accompanied by mild Tabla base. Madhushree Narayanan gets solo version of Thili Prema and the underlying melody works beautifully in this version also and the immersive tune is amply supported by Sandeep Mohan's guitar laden background. Manoj George delivered another knockout track in the album with Kanna Hanni and the melancholy is backed by Chitra's impeccable rendition while Manoj's violin solos is another undeniable star in the soundtrack. The charanam tune and the background violin is intricated beautifully and gives a musical high to the listeners. Adhara Madhura is a stupendous fusion effort from Manoj Geroge and the classical violin transitioning into quite a trippy sound is done in a stupendous manner. Teenu Treasa's punchy vocals elevate the dark grungy tune of the song and Manoj's lovely attempt at Chenda and violin fusion works seamlessly. Kelu Ranga Kelu is a fun track based on the Yakshagana and the buoyant tune is backed by lovely Harmonium throughout the track and the lively vocals make this one enjoyable listen. Urvi Theme sounds more like an extension of Adhara Madhura and the short theme track carries the grungy mood with the exquisite strings and rock flavored backdrop.

Verdict: Manoj George who was the choral arranger for Ricky Kej's Winds of Samsara delivers the highly enjoyable album in Kannada after 9 years.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Pick of the Album: Kanna Hanni, Thili Prema, Adhara Madhura

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Music Review (Telugu): Khaidi No 150

Music Review (Telugu): Khaidi No 150
Music Composer: DeviSri Prasad

Ammudu Let's do Kummudu starts with the proclamation that this is not a mass song, it is boss song but what follows is the tried and tested staid kuthu template for Chiranjeevi. Apart from the Devi Sri Prasad's energy and Ranina Reddy's playful vocals this song has very little to offer musically. Chiranjeevi's screen presence will satiate the fans appetite but not for the music lovers. Sundari's synth dominated arrangements and tune strictly confines to the Devisri Prasad's territory while the song heavily benefits from the Jaspreet Jasz vocals. Though DSP spruces up the proceedings with the brass sections in the interludes, the song struggles to come out of the rote composer's style.DSP gives the brief respite from the tedious tunes and comes up with the gorgeous pleasant melody You and Me. The song rides mainly on the delightful vocals of ever- reliable Hariharan and Shreya Goshal. The flute hook is incredibly catchy and the accompanying strings background towards the end segues into the tune well.

Rathallu is another futile kuthu which adds to one of the mundane song lists of Devisri Prasad where punchy rhythms and plucked strings keep the song afloat. Despite the pretty average tune and arrangements, Nakash Aziz and Jasmine Sandlas's vocals shines with their vocals.Devi Sri Prasad reserves the album's best for Shankar Mahadevan in Neeru Neeru and the singer ace the melancholy in a brilliant manner while bringing out the emotions stupendously. Composer's neat arrangements with strings complement the mood of the song perfectly with ample support from RamaJogayya Sastry's poignant lyrics about farmers plight.

Verdict: DeviSriPrasad weaves a typical commercial album without much novelty and experimentation for Chiranjeevi's comeback movie.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Pick of the Album: Neeru Neeru, You and Me, Ammudu Let's do Kummudu

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Thoughts On Ok Jaanu

Music Review (Hindi): Ok Jaanu
Music Composer: A R Rahman

Oh Kadhal Kanmani is one of the most loved AR Rahman albums in recent times and Maniratnam makes sure that he gets best from Rahman and the album's diverse range from classical Malargal Kettaen, Naane Varugiren to peppy uber cool techno wacky Kaara Aattakara. 

The Hindi version of the album retains almost all the songs except for the brilliant singalong pop sounded Aye Sinamika and it is replaced by droning Enna Sonna which sounds more like music from Bhatt movies than Rahman soundtrack. However, Rahman brilliantly employed Malargal Kettaen's equivalent in Sunn Bhavra where Shashaa Tripathi aces the lovely Hindustani classical like a pro. Jonitha Gandhi's singing prowess is ostensibly apparent in the O Kadhal Kanmani's best Naane Varugiren named as Saajon Aaye Re in Ok Jaanu and the track still sounds brilliant for its engaging tune and the Nakash Aziz brief solo in the middle. The groovy tracks Mental Manadhil and Kaara Aaatakkara sounds adequately peppy in Hindi also as Ok Jaanu and Kaara Fankaara respectively.  Parandhu Sellava's replacement is an utterly pointless Humma recreation and the song sounds bland and random when compared to both the beautiful original tune and likable Parandhu Sellava. Another song along with Saajon Aaye Re where the original beauty of the song retained is Jee Lein. The trippy rhythm sound  and the tune is transitioned to Hindi smoothly along with the lovely digression in the middle.

Verdict: Oh Kadhal Kanmani/Ok Jaanu's soul lies in the beautiful tunes extracted by Maniratnam from Rahman and the classical songs still works big time in Hindi Version also. Ok Jaanu fares tad lower mostly due to the original songs which doesn't match up to the Tamil version.

My Rating: 8/10 

Pick of the Album: Saajon Aaye Re, Sunn Bhavra, Jee Lein

Music Review (Tamil): Kaalakoothu

Music Review (Tamil): Kaalakoothu
Music Composer: Justin Prabhakaran

Engeyo Pogum's pleasant breezy tune has Justin Prabhakaran's serene touch in the simple arrangements dominated by flute and violin. The minimal arrangement is complemented by Sriram Parthasarathy, one of the under-utilized prolific singer in the industry. Snehan's philosophical lyrics about the value of friendship is noticeable because of the tidy arrangements and pitch-perfect rendition. Kanna Katti gains immensely from the another gifted singer Haricharan and he totally aces the folksy melody effortlessly with adequate support from Latha Krishna. Justin's arrangement with the drums and guitar combo in the Charanam portions along with the appealing tune makes it the worthy listen. The mild Tabla and Kanjira mix intermittently throughout the track accentuate the beauty of the tune.

Netri Kungumam starts with the splendid tranquil prelude followed by the terse violin solo while Chinmayi aces the lilting tune fluently and V V Prasanna provides adequate support. Justin Prabhakaran employed the chorus portions brilliantly and the interludes are delightful with the tinge of classical touch from the composer along with the Tabla base towards the end. Alli Kodiye's melancholy is expressed in an earnest manner by Sathya Prakash and complemented by the haunting flute and stirring string sections in the interludes. However, the languishing and the lacklustre tune makes this one weak song in the soundtrack.Kannukulla is the gorgeous folk melody gains immensely from the singers Sathya Prakash, Sharanya Srinivasan and Prashanthini. Justin Prabhakaran ensures that the background simple arrangements blend well with the pleasant tune. The excellent string sections in the background throughout the track and the playful rhythm along with the intermittent whistle makes this one enjoyable.Justin ends the melodious soundtrack with the short effectual Jeevan Indha Kaname and the tune reminds Justin's debut soundtrack. Justin played to his strength in the background with the gracious piano and string sections in this short two-minute song.

Verdict: Kaalakoothu is the melodious treat from Justin Prabhakaran and the pleasant folk-drenched tunes make this album easily appealing one.

My Rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Kanna Katti, Kannukulla, Netril Kungumam 

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