A minor update in the monthly ‘top recent listens’ list. I usually take this lists as an opportunity to not just list my favorites from the previous months, but also refer to those that I missed reviewing for assorted reasons (no time, no inspiration/mood, or limited interesting songs in an album to demand a fill review). While this will continue, I’d not be writing anything more about those tracks/soundtracks already reviewed and sticking to only the ones I haven’t reviewed, for a point of view.

And yes, a language-based segregation, for easier picking and sampling.

And… a less pompous, earlier name – just ‘Milliblog’s Top recent listens’.

Oh, by the way, I just didn’t have time to compile the December 2014 list, so this one’s a combined list for December 2014 and January 2015!

Hindi

Papa – Ugly (Hindi – G V Prakash Kumar)

Katra katra & Chand aasmano se – Alone (Hindi – Ankit Tiwari & Jeet Ganguli)

Title song & Tu har lamha – Khamoshiyan (Hindi – Jeet Ganguli & Bobby Imran)

Fashion khatam & Babaji ka thullu – Dolly Ki Doli (Hindi – Sajid-Wajid)

Main tujhse pyar – Baby (Hindi – M.M.Kreem)

Sooraj dooba hain, Chittiyaan kalaiyaan & Tu hai – Roy (Hindi – Amaal Malik, Meet Bros Anjjan & Ankit Tiwari)

Ishq-e-phillum, Sha sha mi mi & Piddly – Shamitabh (Hindi – Ilayaraja)

Title song, Daak ticket, Turram Khan, Dil-e-nadaan & Dil todne ki masheen – Hawaizaada (Hindi – Rochak Kohli, Ayushmann Khurrana & Vishal Bhardwaj)

Jee karda & Jeena jeena – Badlapur (Hindi – Sachin Jigar)

Tamil

Pachai vanna & Move your body – Vai Raja Vai (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Paarthu kondae – Sandamarutham (Tamil – James Vasanthan)

Kadhal kan kattudhe & Kattikida – Kakki Sattai (Tamil – Anirudh)

Kondaatamae, Endha vazhi & Kurunthogai – Idam Porul Yaeval (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Nee sunno – Nanbenda (Tamil – Harris Jayaraj)

Yaar enna sonnalum, Vaa vaa vennila & Madras to Madurai – Aambala (Tamil – Hip Hop Tamizha)

Mazhai vara, Unakenna venum, Adhaaru adhaaru & Maya bazaar – Yennai Arindhaal (Tamil – Harris Jayaraj)

Kathal nallavana & Hello hello – Valiyavan (Tamil – D.Imman)

Saayore saayore – Moone Moonu Varthai (Tamil – Karthikeya Murthy)

Telugu

Cheliya cheliya & Bye bye bye – Beeruva (Telugu – Thaman S)

Varinche prema, Marhaba, Gathama & Yenno yenno – Malli Malli Idi Raji Roju (Telugu – Gopi Sundar)

Edo mayalle inade – Bandipotu (Telugu – Kalyan Koduri)
That lesser-celebrated composer brother of Keeravani strikes again, as he usually does occasionally. The 4-song album is not up to his usual standards, but the man impresses at least in this one song!

Choolenge aasama & One more time – Temper (Telugu – Anup Rubens)

Malayalam

Title song, Manjupeyume & Manpaatha – Mili (Malayalam – Gopi Sundar & Shaan Rahman)

Ee kadalinu, Kavil & Mekkarayil – Mariam Mukku (Malayalam, Vidyasagar)

Alinja nagaraveedhiyil – Nagara Varidhi Naduvil Njan (Malayalam – Govind Menon)
A two-song album where only song makes a mark, despite it being by Govind Menon. This one works, thanks to the racy sound.

Kannada

Simply met her – Vaastu Prakara (Kannada – V.Harikrishna)
Almost an Arjun Janya turn by Harikrishna; he sings the colloquial ditty himself with a lot of confidence and non-chalance.

Jaadu maadidanthe – Siddhartha (Kannada – V.Harikrishna)
The only song that I liked, in this mega hyped album (and film). For some reason, Armaan Malik’s name is consistently spelt as ‘Arma Malik’, but he doesn’t seem to have taken this to his heart and actually sung really well!

Rakhtha pumpu maado – Prema Pallaki (Kannada – Vineeth Raj)
Simple, catchy and very Malayalam-feel, for some reason! Yograj Bhat’s lyrics and Damodar’s vocals make a difference!

Title song & Raja rani – Raate (Kannada – V.Harikrishna)
The title song is simple and easily foot-tapping, while Raja rani is a lovely throwback to the Raja-style music that Harikrishna has used in the past too!
Title song, from Raag.fm.

Indipop

The entire album – The Music Room (Indipop – Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh)
Listen to the album on Saavn.

Choolenge aasma‘s lilt is bang on target – groovy and Adnan in his usual impeccable form. The title song is good fun too, loading on the rhythm to impressive effect, while Devudaa, despite labored singing by Anup and Puri Jagannath (!), at least has a few absorbing hooks. One more time‘s faux-classical touch is consistently engaging, given the fabulous tune overlaid on it, with Ranjith and Lipsika doing a great job with the vocals. Geetha Madhuri saves the mostly templatized Ittage recchipodham with her enthusiasm, while the pulsating theme is functional. Aptly mass’y and enjoyable commercial soundtrack from Anup Rubens.

Keywords: Temper, Anup Rubens

Pa paba pa has a lot of alluring sounds, including kuthu and rock, but it seldom flows smoothly. Ketta news too, barring a one-hook catchiness, is largely fragmented. But Porruppu to parruppu gets the attitude and tune right, blending in the corniness too seamlessly! Vaazhum naal sails through in SPB’s engaging voice, but the soundtrack’s highlight is Saayore saayore, where the debutant composer breezes in with a gorgeously inventive tune! The three instrumental pieces sound good too, particularly Irish coffee duel! Chequered debut from Karthikeya Murthy, but there is a spark somewhere here – just that it isn’t that obvious.

Keywords: Karthikeya Murthy, Moone Moonu Varthai

Jee karda is an absolute kicker! The normal version, in itself, is a stupendous listen for the incredibly engaging tune and Divya Kumar’s spirited vocals. The guitars and shehnai speak to each other with panache in the song, while the rock version adds harmonium to the mix beautifully, besides significantly amplifying the guitar sound. Atif Aslam’s Jeena jeena a sweet and immersive melody befitting his vocal range, but the song’s remix is an abomination. Judaai closes the soundtrack on a poignant note, with wailing sarangi joining Rekha Bhardwaj’s base vocals and Arijit Singh. Short, but riveting soundtrack from Sachin Jigar!

Keywords: Sachin Jigar, Badlapur

Rochak Kohli’s title song has a breezy enough tune and he sings it with the necessary panache too! Rochak gets, aptly, Mohit Chauhan and Javed Bashir, for Daak ticket, yet another engaging folk’ish story-telling melody. He ends his contribution with the funky Turram Khan, superbly led by Papon, till Ayushmann Khurrana and Monali Thakur interject later in the song with a lively melodic distraction. Mangesh Dhakde delivers the Goanese sound in a lively dose in Maazaa My Lord, while Udd jayega and its main variant, Teri dua are templatized enough to reduce impact. The song’s other, short variant, Yaadien gatthri fares better, thanks to Harshdeep Kaur’s vocals. Ayushmann offers a wonderfully immersive musical layer to Ghalib’s Dil-e-nadaan, singing it impressively too with requisite ghazal’ish flavor. The song’s reprise, in a more mod package is a great listen too, featuring Ayushmann and Shweta Subram. Vishal Bhardwaj rounds off the soundtrack like only he can, with a lively lavani fusion in Dil todne ki masheen that Rekha Bhardwaj delivers in her usual inimitable style! With four composers and ten songs, Hawaizaada wears its ambition in its sleeve and thanks to Rochak Kohli, Ayushmann Khurrana and Vishal Bharadwaj, delivers on that ambition too!

Keywords: Hawaizaada, Rochak Kohli, Mangesh Dhakde, Ayushmann Khurrana, Vishal Bhardwaj, 200, #200

Despite Raja’s effort in the backgrounds, Hudugaatave and Gelavu onde are undone by jaded tunes; there’s only so much the orchestration can salvage. Idu yaava lokavo pulls together better as a pleasant melody, but is out of place from its 90s timeline. Aakaasha meluntu is embarassingly dated on every count. Kailash Kher brings the soundtrack’s best, Chandranenu chenda‘s soulful tune to life; it is aptly and wonderfully arranged too! At his peak, Ilayaraja’s music was never dependent on the directors, but recently, only musically evolved directors bring out his best. In Mythri, both the director and the composer haven’t helped.

Keywords: Mythri, Ilayaraja

It doesn’t matter that Anand Milind had freemixed Ilayaraja’s 1980 Tamil number from the Rajinikanth starrer Johnny, in Angrakshak’s Dil mere udaas hai! The veteran remixes it himself in Sannata, retaining the essence of the tune and getting Shruti to breeze through it, and also add her name along with Sunidhi and Shreya (courtesy Swanand Kirkire). Suraj Jagan is fantastic in Ishq e phillum, but what stands out magnificiently is Ilayaraja’s mesmerizing music, particularly that bass and interludes! Swanand Kirkires lyrics too stand out with its lively colloquialism. Suraj’s other track, Thappad, is a vibrant and eclectic melange that traverses through some brilliant phases, all layered with a racy music and catchy vocal effects. Suraj’s last, Lifebuoy is even more whimsical – a techno redoing of some of the known ad jingles/phrases and in the most unusual way! Caralisa Monteiro is magnificient in Sha sha mi mi! The kind of music Ilayaraja assembles in the background is mind-bogglingly captivating and flows oh-so-beautifully, with interludes that are trademark Raja! Piddly closes the soundtrack in style, with Amitabh singing Swanand Kirkire’s verses with a unique insouciance that adds to the song’s tone immensely! Trust Balki to take Ilayaraja national again, and how!

Keywords: Shamitabh, Ilayaraja, Balki, 200, #200

Amaal Malik’s Sooraj dooba hain is a mighty enthusiastic techno dance number with lively vocals of Aditi and Arijit. Meet Bros Anjjan’s Chittiyaan kalaiyaan, the desi dance number is easy on the ears with Kanika’s extra oomphy vocals. Ankit Tiwari’s Tu hai, Boond boond and Yaara re are in typical Ankit-style – soaring, immersive melodies that are wonderfully orchestrated! The man sings amazingly in the first two while letting KK breeze through the third’s pathos, aptly. Tu hai’s female version is Ankit paying obeisance to the film’s producer by letting Tulsi Kumar maul a lovely tune. Highly listenable, multi-composer soundtrack!

Keywords: Amaal Malik, Ankit Tiwari, Meet Bros Anjjan, Roy

Note: Sorry for the Ankit vs. Arijit confusion. The latter seems to be ALL OVER the place. While I was listening to Roy’s songs, there was another tab with new of Arijit’s Tamil debut, another one of his Bengali songs and so on. Result: gave poor Ankit the raw deal. Apologies again.

Aahaa kaadhal is that trademark Imman sound – extra catchy rhythm, a tinge of Latino and a hummable tune. Papon’s Hello hello, is a foot-tapping drunk birthday wish that also features a dog’s panting! Great listen too, with Papon’s Hindi’ish diction adding to the song’s drunken’ness! Sunidhi’s vocals add to the languorous tune of Yelomia making it a compelling listen, while Singdha Chandra and Elfe rock the flashy, Raja’ish tune of Kathal nallavana in style! MLR Karthikeyan breezes through the punchy, rock’ish O Baby, while the largely instrumental Eyes On You has engaging sound too! Easily appealing soundtrack from Imman.

Keywords: D.Imman, Valiyavan

Beparwah is a fantastic departure from the usual Meet Bros Anjjan brand of music. Apeksha Dandekar’s diva-like vocals soar beautifully with the captivating tune, with the orchestration playing along approrpriately! The song’s other version (MBA swag!) is, unfortunately, pathetic. The soundtrack however belongs to M.M.Kreem and lyricist Manoj Muntashir, however, for Main tujhse pyaar! The male version, by Papon, is more flamboyant, with Kreem’s trademark violins, compared to Ramya Behra’s other, female version that is minimal and utterly endearing! Manoj’s lyrics too, in both versions, is mighty impactful, and also a bit Gulzar’ish in the female version! Short, immersive soundtrack!

Keywords: Baby, Meet Bros Anjjan, M.M.Kreem

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