Bey yaar sapna nava has a decent pop sound that doesn’t add anything beyond managing to sound generically good. But Sachin sings the song’s other, more pensive version, Bey yaar tara vina and this one has a lot more heart! Kirti Sagathia handles Rakkhad in his quintessential style, with generous Gujarati touch too, while the composing duo make it adequately mod and catchy! Peecha raja too is handled expertly by Divya Kumar, while the composers build the folk tune mighty well in the pulsating percussion and curious African phrases! Sachin-Jigar’s Gujarati debut is a short, but more than competent affair.

Keywords: Sachin-Jigar, Bey Yaar

Fanny re is so un-Goan, employs very Punjabi lyrics and is sung by a Rajasthani singer, Mukhtiyar Ali! The song has a wacky, distinctly-European sound, and carries an undeniable charm! The song’s other version, Mahi ve, is ditto, with just Fanny replaced with Mahi! Mathias Duplessy croons Ding dong himself and the French-Portuguese mix is simple and endearing. The soundtrack’s highlight is the tantalizingly catchy bossa nova by Sachin-Jigar, Shake your bootiya, that is guaranteed to kick-start an impromptu jig, with Divya Kumar is superb form! Sachin-Jigar go one up on Mathias Duplessy in what’s a short, immensely whimsical soundtrack!

Keywords: Mathias Duplessy, Sachin-Jigar, Finding Fanny, Finding Fanny Fernandes

Adichu polikkam has a forceful sound befitting an intro song and Karthik does a great job rendering it with verve. Don’t mess with me is lively, abstract hip-hop; Blaaze is apt for the zany mix. Blaaze’s other song, United States of Adipolica is significantly more streamlined hip-hop and uses predictable tropes of the genre to good effect. Bombay Jayshree gets a beautifully immersive melody in Enthu cheiyyan, and her impeccable vocals elevate the song! Po mone Dinesha is pulsating dance floor scorcher, and Jyotsna rocks the rendition! After 2013′s Kalyana Samayal Saadham, Arrora resurfaces in Malayalam with his form intact!

Keywords: Arrora, Navin Iyer, Peruchazhi

Vaanga makka serves as a spirited introduction to the film’s theater troupe backdrop and is fabulously sung by Haricharan and Dr.Narayanan. Aye Mr.Minor‘s retro orchestration is as significant as its beautifully flowing Maand tune (evoking Sangamam’s Sowkiyama!), particularly the backgrounds Rahman adopts for the 4-phrase title hook after the first one. Shasha Tirupati (despite ‘Iravulakalai’, instead of ‘IravukaLai’) and Haricharan’s vocals are pitch perfect. Pa.Vijay’s lyrics, written from the perspective of a person’s heart, and Shweta Mohan jostle for top honors in Yaarumilla, though the vestiges of Paarthaale Paravasam peeping into the sound is a tad disappointing. Sandi kuthirai sees Rahman doffing his hat to Viswanathan-Ramamurthy in wonderful style, while Haricharan delivers it with panache! Mukesh’s spirited rendition elevates Sollividu, complete with a touching, Charukesi-based Karna motcham ending, while Vani Jayaram, expectedly, breathes life into the short Thiruppugazh. The 10+ minute Alli Arjuna sees Vaali take generous liberties (‘Arjunan mugathula joLLU’, ‘Bhaamavukku thaanda maama’!) even as Rahman’s musical story-telling is consistently enjoyable. It ends with an incongruous Nenju porukkudhillaye, offering the first – and only – hint about the film’s link to India’s independence struggle as well! Kaaviyathalaivan is less adventurous retro than Iruvar, but is still vibrant and enjoyable.

Keywords: Kaaviya Thalaivan, Kaaviyathalaivan, A R Rahman, 200, #200

The title song is heavily digitized that literally masks Manasi and Monissha’s voices – the tune too is functional at best, despite the pulsating orchestration. The whole thing repeats itself in another track called Meaghamann Theme! Yaaro yaaro has a catchy sound and even has nifty touches in what ideally is an interesting enough variant of the Middle Eastern style item number template – cleverly handled by Thaman. Yaen ingu vandhaan is the soundtrack’s easy highlight. Exotic vaudevillian sound handled fabulously by Thaman and superbly sung by Pooja! Surprisingly short soundtrack by Thaman, with Yaen ingu being the undeniable winner.

Keywords: Thaman, Meaghamann

Adnan Sami seems to be under some kind of pain in Devuda – his singing is unusually strained and the utterly conventional tune doesn’t help either. Badmashu pilla‘s consistently rolling, rollicking rhythm helps is sail through, though it is the usual Thaman bag of musical tricks. Notanki suits Ravi Teja’s outlook perfectly, though he is generously helped by Thaman’s digital vocal rounding-off. Karthik’s Champesindhe is a slow-burner, the melody builds up well and is a good listen! Nuvvu nenu has a fantastic hook and a great rhythm – winning combo! Typical Thaman masala soundtrack – how long will this last?

Keywords: Thaman, Power, Ravi Teja

Veteran Chitra seems like the perfect choice for the beautifully native and tuneful Dhanumasa palazhi, with Job rightly sticking to the tried and tested sound, and doing it incredibly well. The composer really lets go in the joyous Sarasa sarasaro, and he has superb support from Kavalam Sreekumar, who even occasionally sounds like Mano! Kavalam Narayana Panicker’s food-loaded lyrics add tremendous value too! Maayamo is the soundtrack’s best, with Job mixing lively drum n bass breakbeats with a wonderfully engaging tune, with addictively long phrases. He sings it brilliantly too! Punchy and long over-due film composing debut by Job Kurien!

Keywords: Job Kurien, Rasam

Ziddi dil works perfectly as a motivational track, thanks to Vishal Dadlani’s impactful singing and Shashi’s racy music. Mohit does the honors in Teri baari, the sound remaining energetic and lofty. Shashi’s other songs are significantly softer – Adhure is Sunidhi’s show, within the sweeping melody, Saudebaazi is Pritam melody material and Priyanka rules the lori, Chaoro with unprocessed, confident vocals! Shivam Pathak’s Salaam India has a forceful hook and even hints at Charukesi mid-way, while Arijit breezes through his other song, the hauntingly tuneful Sukoon mila. It’s heartwarming to see two Indian Idol finalists make an accomplished composing debut!

Keywords: Mary Kom, Shashi Suman, Shivam Pathak

Ghatam and strings… and then a single violin peeks in to give the ghatam some South Indian company in Hassan Learns French Cooking. It all ends in a mellow flute note, distinctly Indira-style and the tune playing something akin to ‘kodutha sandhangalil… en manadhai… nee ariya’ from MS Viswanathan’s ‘Sippi Irukkuthu’ song from Varumayin Niram Sirappu! The Village of Saint Antonin occasionally refers to delectable Charukesi before traversing a decidedly more Western tone. New Beginnings and Mr.Kadam play different melodies one after the another and seem disjoint. Vintage Recipe‘s short, engaging sitar-led melody morphs into a pleasant strings piece!

The Clash sounds like Rahman took the clash a bit too literally as a predictable Indo-European musical clash, where Indo is sitar. Destiny, Fire, War is a great companion piece to Rangeela’s Hai Rama and a seamless amalgamation of styles that works well, before it veers into a 3rd act that, again, seems too melodramatic and pandering to conventional desi-style sound. The Gift‘s central melody is beautiful, and You Complete Me‘s poignant and endearing melody brings to mind the flavor of Kandukonden Kandukonden’s title song. The End Credits Suite recalls Indira’s Thoda Thoda almost instantly and is perhaps the soundtrack’s best.

India Calling and Reunion breeze through with limited appeal, while A La Hassan de Paris is the soundtrack’s most progressive, and very groovy, very Fanah! My Mind is a Stranger Without You (Toi C’est Soleil) is a gentle melody handled fantastically as a duet featuring Argentinean-Armenian singer Solange Merdinian and Rahman! The song echoes in Alone In Paris too, as a track that could have jumped out of Rahman’s score for Deepa Mehta’s Water! Afreen is rousing, no doubt, but the tune sounds at best like a rehash of Rang De Basanti’s title song. It is hard to shrug off the disappointment in an imaginative composer like Rahman harping on the terribly dated sitar-led Indian’ness. But, when he lets go of that, the soundtrack does get interesting.

PS #1: No, this is not a 300-worder (it has more than 300 words by the way!). This is, in my view, a 100 worder. I did want to capture my thoughts on all the tracks (as many that enthused me).

PS #2: I haven’t seen the film. I don’t intend to rush to see it either. So, I have no idea how the soundtrack is ‘used in context of the film.

Keywords: The Hundred-Foot Journey, A R Rahman, Not a 300, 100.

Anushka Manchanda rocks her two songs, The Little Things You Do and Chase Every Dream. The former’s lazy guitar’y goodness is coupled with delightful harmonica that gets more prominent than in the jingle. The latter is merely an extended motivational, middling rock track. Of the two songs by Shalmali Kholgade, the Just A Little Crush, thankfully gets the branded line, ‘You’re making my skin glow’ removed and goes for generic lyrics to suit the catchy, 60s girl-group pop. Her other song, You Got Me features breezy sax by Rhys Sebastian D’Souza, with Shalmali sounding even better. Monica Dogra’s, If You Feel, elevates the zingy jingle’s pulsating sound to a new level. Open Book retains the jingle’s bohemian feel, accentuated beautifully by Mauli Dave’s girlish vocals. Mikey handles the waltzy, sax’y (Rhys again!) World Is Our playground and the surf-guitar fused retro rock, I Don’t Know Where I’m Going to offer instant gratification. If I Go Mad is decidely more rock ballad’ish with some groovy guitar and Oh I Feel Wonderful is the most mellow of the lot taking the jingle to an endearing new spin with Mikey’s lazy drawl. Post Bartender’s diminishing returns, Mikey McCleary strikes back in fantastic style.

Keywords: Mikey McCleary, TV Dinners, #200, 200

PS 1: With this album, Mikey brings to life a 2011 idea of mine! Imagine how awesome it’d be if A R Rahman brings an album like this, extending his jingles (that he has already done, as film songs, like the Tantex ad that turned into Thee Thee in Thiruda Thiruda), or even Anand (of Agosh fame) recreating his Limca jingle in full!

PS 2: Considering how intricately the original jingles are tied to this album, here’s something helpful. Compare the songs of this album on Gaana, with the following YouTube videos of the source jingles!

The Little Things You Do – Vodafone Delights Classroom

The World Is Our Playground – Vodafone Mobile Number Portability

Chase Every Dream – Levis Curve ID

I Don’t Know Where I’m Going – Titan Ladies Watches (Katrina Kaif)

Just A Little Crush – Lakme Fruit Blast Facewash

Oh I Feel Wonderful – Vodafone Delights

Open Book – Vodafone Network

If I Go Mad – Titan HTSE

You Got Me – Titan Tagged

If You Feel – Audi A6

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August 2014
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