Tuesday October 4, 2011
Top recent listens (September 2011)
Dheaon dheaon, Baatein shuru – Mujhse Fraaandhsip Karoge (Hindi – Raghu Dixit)
As I had noted in my review, Raghu Dixit’s Bollywood debut doesn’t seem to do justice to the kind of music he has produced in Kannada. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good – it is! Dheaon dheaon is super catchy with it’s audacious South Indian rhythm, while Baatein shuru’s guitar is what Raghu has been feeding us down South!
Phir se ud chala, Jo bhi main, Sadda haq, Kateya karoon, Kun faya kun, Aur ho, Naadaan parindey & Hava hava – Rockstar (Hindi – A R Rahman)
The 300 word review says it all. So, here are some really crisp additions on what I seem to really like. That ‘titteerey’ hum half-way into Phir se ud chala; the crowd singing along sedately in Jo bhi main; the differently tuned antaras in Sadda haq that almost make it seem like 3 full songs with 3 unique tunes!; Harshdeep Kaur’s mesmerizing vocals in Kateya karoon – the best I’ve heard in a long time and for reminding me of the magnificent guitar work in Kandukonden Kandukonden’s title song. Even the song’s Punjabi lyrics are incredibly beautiful – sadly, it has not been credited as a traditional folk song in the CD or in Rahman’s website; the entire song, Kun faya kun, particularly the way Mohit enters it with a guitar prelude; the close touch with Dil se’s title song in Aur ho and that really powerful ‘Meri bebasi’ phrase – of all the tracks, I feel this one stretches Mohit’s voice the best in this soundtrack; Rahman’s singing in Nadaan parindey that I grew to like after an initial dismissal; the captivating gypsy style music in Hava hava so fabulously sung by Mohit and its brilliant chorus!
Pirai thedum – Mayakkam Enna (Tamil – GV Prakash Kumar)
Saindhavi’s ethereal vocals literally make the song in entirety – lovely track!
Nenante, Niharika & Yelango – Oosaravelli (Telugu – Devi Sri Prasad)
If Nenante and Niharika are predictably pleasant and melodious, Yelango is where Devi kicks up a storm. He reinvents a musical genre forgotten by present day composers – jungle song! Chinmayi, in particular, rocks the song!
Yavaniggothu, Title song, Kathlalli karadige & Paravasanadenu – Paramathma (Kannada – V Harikrishna)
One of the best soundtracks in Kannada in recent times and one that makes me feel for not knowing Kannada to understand what Yograj Bhatt has written for lyrics. It’s amazing how consistently Yograj manages to extract music from his composers – this time it’s from Hari.
Chammak challo, Criminal, Bhare naina & Raftaarein – Ra.One (Hindi – Vishal Shekhar)
Bhare naina’s star is its singer Nandini Srikar and the composing duo who chose such a fascinating tune, while Raftaarein is a superb ode to Pancham. As for Chammak challo, it’s a clever gimmicky (Akon, Tamil etc.!) package that simply works. I dismissed Criminal initially, but that ‘Ishq asar karen’ phrase got my attention and refused to leave my head!
Main ek bhanwra – Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster (Hindi – Amit Sial)
Amit Sial’s Main ek bhanwra reminds me of the tunes made in the 80s by people like Jaidev and Kuldip Singh (Saath Saath) – clever, if this is a conscious attempt.
Khoya khoya chand, Chake chalte & Yeh raat yeh chandni – Indipop (The Bartender – Classic Bollywood: Shaken Not Stirred – Mike McCleary)
I fell in love – as did many others – with Khoya khoya chand when I saw it in action in the film Shaitan. I was wodnering why in the name of the sweet heaven it was not included in the film’s audio CD! But it perhaps finds itself in a better place in this CD. Mike’s work is highly imaginative and his choice of singer, even more so!
Umrao jaan, Yun toh & Madhushala – Damadamm! (Hindi – Himesh Reshammiya)
Surprisingly enjoyable soundtrack from Himesh after a spate of substandard stuff since God know when! The tunes haven’t evolved much, but they are simple and thoroughly enjoyable overall. I particularly loved Umrao jaan and Madhushala, while Yun toh is a very Himesh-styled variant of a Pritam-style breezy number! Good job, Himesh!
Enna aachu – Vedi (Tamil – Vijay Antony)
A gorgeous track in an otherwise lackluster soundtrack that is so uncharacteristic of Vijay Antony.
Ganaraj adhiraj, Tu hi hai & Bolo na bolo – Ganaraj Adhiraj (Gulraj Singh)
I was literally forced into listening to this album…by Raman Mahadevan. I was massively skeptical give the name and the fact that it is a ‘devotional’ album. But only when I heard it I realized how amazing the album actually was! You don’t need to be a Ganeshji devotee or a devotional person to enjoy this album – listen to it just for the music. Debutant Gulraj Singh is a wonderful talent to look forward to.
Khuda, Shinjuku & Samba for two – A Foreign Affair (Spyro Gyra)
A Foreign Affair is American jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra’s latest album and it is, as their legacy, brilliant. Khuda, of course is co-produced by Sandeep Chowta and the song is sung by Fame Gurukul contestant Arijit Singh. If you go by this Times of India story, it looks like Arijit is also the composer of the original tune of Khuda, while it was changed to suit Spyro Gyra’s style eventually. See Arijit Singh’s version in the coments section below – Sandeep Chowta is the composer of this track. Shinjuku’s beautiful Japanese feel and Samba for two’s Brazilain feel are fabulously presented and crafted.
In my dreams, Slave to the music, Forever – The Awakening (James Morrison)
In my dreams reminds me strongly of Billy Joel’s ‘River of Dreams’ from his 1993 album of the same name…even James’ singing seems similar to me; perhaps why I love James Morrison’s latest album! It’s very smooth, easy on the ears album with brilliant vocals and tunes by James and producers Bernard Butler and Mark Taylor.
We owned the night, Just a kiss, Dancin’ away with my heart, When you were mine – Own the night (Lady Antebellum)
This is a significantly less country and more country-pop’ish album by the band that gave us the superlative earlier album, Need You Now. The lyrics are more mushy too, but some tunes do work and at least help us look forward to the band innovating better with their next.
Ormakal – Dr.Love (Malayalam – Vinu Thomas)
This is one of those recent Malayalam albums that had fairly interesting music and some songs do stand out. Ormakal, by Karthik, is the pick of the lot with a lilting soft tune!