Originally published in The Hindu.
Music: M. M. Keeravani
Baahubali’s soundtrack is expectedly opulent, with veteran Keeravani bringing in a cornucopia of interesting sounds to showcase the grand scale of the film. But as always, the composer’s tunes are soaked in nativity, even as he seeks out modern orchestration to keep them contemporary. The best demonstration of this may be ‘Manohari’, where Keeravani loads an instantly captivating rhythm to go with the beautiful melody sung fabulously by Mohana Bhogaraju and Revanth. There are absorbing phrases such as the one Revanth does a couple of times, a tantalisingly extended ‘Manohari’ call.
Music: Mickey J. Meyer
Mickey has had a good year in Telugu so far, and Buguri happens to be his third film in Kannada. He dips into his Telugu repertoire — literally, given the reuse of two songs from Chakkiliginthey — and delivers something totally within his comfort level. ‘Kannalle’, headlined by Karthik, is the pick of the soundtrack with its zingy rhythm and street-smart lyrics that rhyme with what-u and hot-u; Dhanush doesn’t own the u-suffix though— Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have happily indulged-u in this for ages-u.
Music: Rajesh Murugesan
Now that Premam is a certified super-hit, the one question people were asking as they came out of the theatres (or, tweeting, while in the theater) is, ‘Dei, that ‘Malare’ song was not in the soundtrack, alle?’. It wasn’t. The makers did the complete reverse of what they did with their debut – Neram — where they had a viral hit of a song (‘Pistah’) long before the film or its soundtrack hit the market. This time, they held on to the release of a song, confident that the song, and the situation it appears in, will make people crave for it. And it did! Vijay Yesudas breezes through this gorgeous tune, with a mesmerising profusion of violins.
Romeo Juliet (Tamil)
Music: D. Imman
Vishal Dadlani (of Vishal-Shekhar fame from Bollywood, and Pentagram) has already sung in Tamil — most notably, songs like ‘Oh Penne’, from Vanakkam Chennai, for Anirudh. Imman ropes him in for a similar sweeping melody in Thoovaanam and what stands out, beyond the immersive tune, is the effort from Vishal in pronunciation. Thamarai’s lyrics get such a pitch-perfect representation from Vishal that the days of ‘Udit Narayananisation’ of Tamil verses seem only like a distant, torturous memory.
Right Here, Right Now
Album: Déjà Vu
Music: Giorgio Moroder
This is Giorgio Moroder’s first solo album in 30 years and as if to drill it down deeper, he’s even got a song titled, ‘74 is the new 24’. His new albums comes at a time when a band like Daft Punk honoured him with a song called ‘Giorgio By Moroder’ (from the album Random Access Memories, 2013) and nearly every EDM producer cites him as an inspiration. True to his style, the album is a wonderful throwback to his heydays, with new tricks up the sleeve. It’s all consistently disco, synthesised vocals and funk textures. ‘Right Here, Right Now’, his collaboration with Kylie Minogue, produces the album’s best. Kylie’s vocals fit perfectly in the synth groove, amidst pulsating handclaps and punchy chorus that you do look up at the ceiling to see if there’s a glitter ball spinning somewhere.