Sunday October 4, 2015
Originally published in The Hindu.
Mukkathe penne – Ennu Ninte Moideen (Malayalam – Gopi Sundar)
It’s baffling that the makers of Ennu Ninte Moideen did not include this single by Gopi Sundar (who scored the film’s background music) in the main soundtrack that has songs by M.Jayachandran and Ramesh Narayan! To be fair, it does sound like something that’s meant for a background, with a short lyrical base sung amazingly by Mohammad Maqbool Mansoor (responsible for the lyrics too). The tune has a deep, prayer-like sound that is instantly captivating.
Panjumittai – Eetti (Tamil – G V Prakash Kumar)
G V Prakash Kumar makes fantastic use of ghatam in Panjumittai, a gorgeous tune, sung brilliantly by Hariharasudhan. The uncredited chorus too makes an impact, almost like having a conversation with the lead voice (belonging to the hero), in the grand tradition of Varusham 16’s Hey Ayyasaami. The second interlude, in particular, taking the style of Rakkamma’s Kunitha puruvamum, follows up with a lovely thavil and nadaswaram phrase.
Nijamenani nammani – Kanche (Telugu – Chirantan Bhatt)
After a series of spooky and not-so-spooky Hindi films, Chirantan Bhatt makes his Telugu debut with Krish’s World War 2 drama. He in fact does better than his Hindi output here! The soundtrack’s best, Nijamenani nammani sounds like a Charukesi mix (Chirantan brings the Charukesi flavor beautifully in the first interlude.) and Shreya Ghoshal seems to be thoroughly relishing the haunting melody. Nandini Srikar’s additional vocals, particularly in the opening alaap, is unmistakable, though she’s not credited adequately (only in the YouTube jukebox).
Endho kaanadha – Mast Mohabbat (Kannada – Mano Murthy)
After the superhit Kannada soundtrack of Mungaru Male, Mano Murthy’s career has been on a steady decline, leaving newer composers like Arjun Janya and Harikrishna to take over. Mano makes a decent enough pitch again in Mast Mohabbat, with his regular fixture Sonu Nigam singing the soundtrack’s best, Endho kaanadha. It’s a simple and familiar tune that at times sounds like it’s from the Laxmikant Pyarerlal School of 80s Dholak music.
Raita phailgaya – Shaandaar (Hindi – Amit Trivedi)
Songs about drinking have become really common-place in Bollywood with ‘spirited’ musicians like Yo Yo Honey Singh. So it takes a composer of Amit Trivedi’s caliber to reinvent the sub-genre, along with lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya. Amitabh comes up with lines that even invoke Yo Yo Honey Singh (“Gulzar ke geeton mein jab Yo Yo Honey Singh ghus gaya… toh raitaa phail gaya”) and Divya Kumar brings super energy to Amit’s spunky tune that has all the elements to become a standard fixture in Punjabi weddings for the next 12 months.