Sunday December 16, 2012

Milliblog Annual Music round-up 2012

Posted by Karthik

Mandatory note, as usual: these lists are in order of preference, not random order meant diplomatically to please assorted composers. Compared to last year, I tracked Malayalam and Kannada much lesser in 2012, mainly due to inconsistent availability of music and overall lethargy in case of Kannada.

Also, I don’t agree with waiting for the film’s release to add soundtracks into an year-end list – while there is enough justification to do so, from a sheer historical perspective (every mainstream award does so, with the reason that soundtracks are integral part of films – but we do know how that ‘integral’ thing works, right?), I have always refused to toe that line and 2012 is no different. To me, that is disrespecting the composer and giving a lot more importance to the other aspects of film-making, while judging music. My stars are the composers, not singers or lyricists, but music composers. Milliblog is only about them – every other person in the cinema music pecking order comes next to a composer, here.

With that in mind, these lists are based on long-lists of music soundtracks that released in 2012 (till the day this list was published, that is), regardless of when the films will see the light of the day.  So, let me dive right into my personal observations and top 10-30 lists of 2012 across Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada!

Hindi

I hate these gimmicky double awards; it usually seems like a ploy to please two important people at the same time. But I have no choice but to award Milliblog’s Hindi Composer of the Year title to two composers – Amit Trivedi and Pritam. Amit had a fairly strong year, topped by Ishaqzaade and residual goodness in English Vinglish, Aiyyaa, the unreleased Trishna, to a lesser extent in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana, besides others not worth mentioning. In comparison, Pritam had two stand-out albums in Barfi and Cocktail, if we ignore Agent Vinod, to make a list. In my mind, Ishaqzaade, Barfi and Cocktail are the top 3 soundtracks of 2012 with a sheer range of songs that are consistently and thoroughly enjoyable.

But yes, the number 2 song in the top 10 list is something that Rochak Kohli and Ayushmann Khurana swoop right in with their breezy Paani da rang, much like the movie itself that swooped in out of nowhere after John Abraham picked it up. Sneha Khanwalkar’s Gangs of Wasseypur soundtracks were fantastic, no doubt, but in the overall scheme of things, they seemed less interesting.

Tutiya Dil that released right at the end of 2011 and something that I had leave out of the 2011 lists rightfully finds a place this year – Gulraj Singh is a talent to watch out for even if he has just one soundtrack and 2 devotional albums to his credit yet. Ram Sampath (Talaash), A R Rahman (Jab Tak Hai Jaan) and Shankar Ehsaan Loy (Chittagong) round off the top 10 list.

Composer(s) of the year: Amit Trivedi and Pritam

Top 3 Hindi OSTs of 2012
01. Ishaqzaade (Amit Trivedi)
02. Barfi (Pritam)
03. Cocktail (Pritam)

Top 10 Hindi songs of 2012
01. Pareshaan – Ishaqzaade (Amit Trivedi)
02. Paani da rang – Vicky Donor (Rochak Kohli and Ayushmann Khurana)
03. Aashiyan – Barfi (Pritam)
04. Yaariyaan – Cocktail (Pritam)
05. Bolo na – Chittagong (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
06. Chhi chha ledar – Gangs of Wasseypur 2 (Sneha Khanwalkar)
07. Chokra jawan – Ishaqzaade (Amit Trivedi)
08. Jee le zara – Talaash (Ram Sampath)
09. Gustakh dil – English Vinglish (Amit Trivedi)
10. Le chalo – Tutiya Dil (Gulraj Singh)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Top 10 Hindi songs of 2012:

The 10 that did not make it!
11. Challa – Jab Tak Hai Jaan (A R Rahman)
12. Kyon – Barfi (Pritam)
13. Aafaton ke parindey – Ishaqzaade (Amit Trivedi)
14. Lagan lagi re – Trishna (Amit Trivedi)
15. Tumhi ho bandhu – Cocktail (Pritam)
16. Motorwada – Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (Amit Trivedi)
17. Jiya lage na – Talaash (Ram Sampath)
18. Badla nazara – English Vinglish (Amit Trivedi)
19. Radha – Student Of The Year (Vishal-Shekhar)
20. Satrangiya dil – Tutiya Dil (Gulraj Singh)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Hindi Top 11-20, 2012:

And the 10 that are relegated to the 20s but are still worth a mention!
21. Ishaqzaade – Ishaqzaade (Amit Trivedi)
22. Saans – Jab Tak Hai Jaan (A R Rahman)
23. Mahek bhi – Aiyyaa (Amit Trivedi)
24. Piya tu – Kahaani (Vishal-Shekhar)
25. Khudaaya – Shanghai (Vishal-Shekhar)
26. Pungi – Agent Vinod (Pritam)
27. Dhak dhuk – English Vinglish (Amit Trivedi)
28. Hunter – Gangs of Wasseypur 1 (Sneha Khanwalkar)
29. Luttna – Cocktail (Pritam)
30. Maula – Jism 2 (Arko Pravo Mukherjee)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Hindi Top 21-30, 2012:

Tamil

It was a fantastic year for Tamil film music with veteran Ilayaraja coming back to the thick of mainstream action in complete style, thanks to Gautam Menon’s push, almost like he wanted a Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya-level film, but with Ilayaraja in tow, instead of Rahman (my personal opinion of VTV’s music is a different story that has already been well documented, debated and adequately ridiculed on the back of its popular success). Neethaane En Ponvasantham is the undisputed soundtrack of the year, in my opinion, while Rahman’s Kadal and Yuvan Shankar Raja’s Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal round off the top 3 soundtrack’s list.

2012’s story is D.Imman’s, however. Having been relegated after a star debut with Vijay’s Tamizhan years ago, the man came back with a vengeance and demonstrated a rare consistency that I honestly did not expect from him. There is definitely a minor quibble about a kind of template seeping in his music, but I’m not that worried about it yet given his strong tunes. He had excellent tunes in soundtracks like Manam Kothi Paravai, Saattai and Kumki, with Amara and Therodum Veethiyile too offering relatively good music. Here’s hoping he scales better heights in 2013.

From individual songs point of view, Neethaane En Ponvasantham’s Yennodu vaa vaa and Kadal’s outstanding Adiye are right on top for me. I’m also glad to add that there is no repeat by any composer in the top 10 (barring Yuvan Shankar Raja). Santhosh Narayanan is the other composer to look out for, with a fairly consistent and unique sound – hope he gets interesting projects to showcase his range in 2013.

Composer of the year: Ilayaraja

Top 3 Tamil OSTs of 2012
01. Neethaane En Ponvasantham (Ilayaraja)
02. Kadal (A R Rahman)
03. Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal (Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Top 10 Tamil songs of 2012
01. Yennodu vaa vaa – Neethaane En Ponvasantham (Ilayaraja)
02. Adiye – Kadal (A R Rahman)
03. Yenna solla – Manam Kothi Paravai (D.Imman)
04. Aaha kaadhal – Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
05. Kaatriley nadanthene – Aadhi Baghavan (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
06. Ethir neechal – Ethir Neechal (Anirudh)
07. Yaen indha dhideer – Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakathilaey (Achu)
08. Indha vaan veli – Aarohanam (K)
09. Rathiri – Pizza (Santhosh Narayan)
10. Unnai kaanadhu – Vishwaroopam (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Top 10 Tamil songs of 2012:

The 10 that did not make it!
11. Mudhal murai – Neethaane En Ponvasantham (Ilayaraja)
12. Adi raangi – Saattai (D.Imman)
13. Po po po – Manam Kothi Paravai (D.Imman)
14. Thavi thavi – Dhoni (Ilayaraja)
15. Oru kural – Vazhakku Enn 18/9 (Guitar R Prasanna)
16. Idhayam – Billa 2 (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
17. Aasai or pulveli – Atta Kathi (Santhosh Narayanan)
18. Onnum puriyala – Kumki (D.Imman)
19. Elay keechan – Kadal (A R Rahman)
20. Pudhu paarvai – Yaaruda Mahesh (Gopi Sundar)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Tamil Top 11-20, 2012:

And the 10 that are relegated to the 20s but are still worth a mention!
21. Kangal neeye – Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal (GV Prakash Kumar)
22. Vanakkam vaazha vaikkum Chennai – Marina (Girishh G)
23. Mokka manusha – Kalakalappu (Vijay Ebenezer)
24. Saayndhu saayndhu – Neethaane En Ponvasantham (Ilayaraja)
25. Avatha paiya – Paradesi (GV Prakash Kumar)
26. Nenjukkule – Kadal (A R Rahman)
27. Thuppakki engal – Vishwaroopam (Shankar Ehsaan Loy)
28. Yaarodum idhuvarai – Sollaakadhai (Ramesh Vinayagam)
29. Vaayamoodi – Mugamoodi (K)
30. Kalla paarvai – Mirattal (Pravin Mani)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Tamil Top 11-20, 2012:

(Except No.28 – Yaarodum from Sollakadhai)

Telugu

I live in Bangalore, not in Hyderabad. I’m definitely aware that this list won’t make much sense for a native Telugu who is exposed to a lot more Telugu film music and may be swayed by trends that are dictated more by local media and star power in Andhra Pradesh. You know what? Star power can take a hike. My stars are the composers, as I mentioned earlier. From a personal and purely musical point of view, I did have a tough time selecting the Composer of the Year for Telugu. In fact, I went with ‘None’ for a long time, but Eega’s work perhaps (at least in hindsight) deserves praise and I’m picking Keeranavi for the tag.

Despite assorted allegations of inspirations, I still rate Karthik Raja’s Tuneega Tuneega very highly. And Keeravani ‘s other, almost forgotten Dhammu ranks high in my list – it had the Vidyasagar-Dharani style masala music that I found irresistibly catchy! There is a Paani da rang-style swoop in on the top 10 songs list, by Radhan (with Yemito) and singer Karthik, who fit right inside between Eega at number 1 and Tuneega at no.4 – thoroughly deserved! Thaman was the big disappointment in 2012, at least for me personally, and so was Mickey J Meyer. I hope both spring back with full force in 2013. I have very less hope from Devi Sri Prasad going by his last few soundtracks.

Composer of the year: MM Keeravani

Top 3 Telugu OSTs of 2012
01. Eega (MM Keeravani)
02. Tuneega Tuneega (Karthik Raja)
03. Dhammu (MM Keeravani)

Top 10 Telugu songs of 2012
01. Konchemu ardhamaina – Eega (MM Keeravani)
02. Yemito – Andala Rakshasi (Radhan)
03. Seethakoka – Okkadine (Karthik)
04. Dhoodi pinja lanti pilla – Tuneega Tuneega (Karthik Raja)
05. Vasthu baagunde – Dhammu (MM Keeravani)
06. Kalalake kanulochina – Bus Stop (JB)
07. Sir osthara – Businessman (Thaman S)
08. Nuvvu naku kavali – Poola Rangadu (Anup Rubens)
09. Amma ni kothaga – Life Is Beautiful (Mickey J Meyer)
10. Arare pasi manasa – Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum (Mani Sharma)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Top 10 Telugu songs of 2012:

(Short versions for #3 and #8)

The 5 that did not make it!
11. Chinnadhana – Ishq (Anup Rubens)
12. Rathiri – Gundello Godari (Ilayaraja)
13. Dola dola dola – Okkadine (Karthik)
14. Dhigu dhigu – Tuneega Tuneega (Karthik Raja)
15. O Madhurimave – Ko Antey Koti (Shakthikanth Karthik)

Malayalam

That double award gimmick again, after Hindi! But, I can’t help it – both Sharreth and Shaan deserve the top spot and it is very difficult to drop one of them. Sharreth had two knock-out soundtracks – Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty and Ivan Megharoopan, while Shaan had just one, the enormously enjoyable Thattathin Marayathu. These two are the top soundtracks in Malayalam, for 2012, in my mind. Like Telugu, I’m sure the local trends may be very different and may include many Mohanlal, Mammooty and other star films with music by folks like Ratheesh Vega and Ousepachan ruling the charts. But, I was bored enough to not venture reviewing them when I heard them – just my opinion, since I can trust only my ear and brain!

An interesting point to note is Gopi Sundar’s marginal exodus to Tamil – he had fairly strong offerings in Tamil, in Nandanam and Yaaruda Mahesh and I’m guessing he will find stronger footing in Tamil Nadu in 2013 if he stays on course. He did have good music in Ee Aduthakaalathu and Usthad Hotel, of course. Rahul Raj’s Bachelor Party and Prashant Pillai’s Nee Ko Njaa Cha are the other two soundtracks of note in the top 10 songs list.

Composer of the year: Sharreth Vasudevan and Shaan Rahman

Top 3 Malayalam OSTs of 2012
01. Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty (Sharreth Vasudevan)
02. Thattathin Marayathu (Shaan Rahman)
03. Nee Ko Njaa Cha (Prashant Pillai)

Top 10 Malayalam songs of 2012
01. Poovaaname – Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty (Sharreth)
02. Anuragham – Thattathin Marayathu (Shaan Rahman)
03. Nee nilavupol – Nee Ko Njaa Cha (Prashant Pillai)
04. Paathirayo pakalaai – Bachelor Party (Rahul Raj)
05. Appangalembadum – Usthad Hotel (Gopi Sundar)
06. Enthe hridayathaalam – Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty (Sharreth)
07. O ponthoovalai – Ee Aduthakaalathu (Gopi Sundar)
08. Vishukkili – Ivan Megharoopan (Sharreth)
09. Raaja gopuram – Puthiya Theerangal (Ilayaraja)
10. Shyaamambaram – Thattathin Marayathu (Shaan Rahman)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Top 10 Malayalam songs of 2012:

The 5 that did not make it!
11. Ponnodu poovai – Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty (Sharreth)
12. Tanapichu beer – Nee Ko Njaa Cha (Prashant Pillai)
13. Chandanathennalaa – Vaidooryam (Vidyasagar)
14. Kappa kappa – Bachelor Party (Rahul Raj)
15. Namosthuthe – Thattathin Marayathu (Shaan Rahman)

Kannada

As I had mentioned earlier, I heard much less of Kannada music in 2012. There were tons of soundtracks that I opted out of reviewing and these include big budget films starring stars like Shivarajkumar, Puneet and Darshan. V.Harikrishna is almost like the Pritam of Karnataka – he’s composing in every other film and the result is that they all sound the same. My bet for quality Kannada film music is on Arjun Janya. Arjun was all over my top 10 list in 2011 and the scene is no different in 2012. I just hope that good directors like Suri and Yograj Bhat would try Arjun instead of Harikrishna in the years to come. Veteran Gurukiran seals his place with the highly enjoyable Govindaya Namaha, while I do wish more people gave Anoop Seelin a chance.

Composer of the year: Arjun Janya

Top 3 Kannada OSTs of 2012
01. Romeo (Arjun Janya)
02. Govindaya Namaha (Gurukiran)
03. Varada Nayaka (Arjun Janya)

Top 10 Kannada songs of 2012
01. Aalochane – Romeo (Arjun Janya)
02. Pyaarge aagbittaite – Govindaya Namaha (Gurukiran)
03. Yeno kane – Varada Nayaka (Arjun Janya)
04. Achachu beldachu – Sidlingu (Anoop Seelin)
05. Olavina kiranake – Rajinikantha (Arjun Janya)
06. Maribeku – Alemaari (Arjun Janya)
07. Smilevasi – Romeo (Arjun Janya)
08. Maaya maaya – Only Vishnuvardhana (V Harikrishna)
09. Yaarilla yaarilla – Adduri (V Harikrishna)
10. Mane tanka baare – Rambo (Arjun Janya)

YouTube Playlist of Milliblog Top 10 Kannada songs of 2012:

(Except song #9)

Indipop

It was truly a wonderful year for Indipop, in my opinion. In recent years, I don’t recall having so many Indipop albums to list in my year-end lists – last year, I had 5; this year, I have 10… all deserving the place! Papon’s long-awaited pop debut is the Indipop album of 2012, in my opinion. It was a result of a man trying to go mainstream for many years and when finally he got a chance, he gave it his all… to make it truly memorable. Piya Basanti’s sequel, Mandolin Rajesh’s follow-up to his 2007 Into The Light, Following My Heart, Agam’s debut and Rabbi’s III were the top 5, for me. The other 5 are might good too and the fact that I did not restrict my 2012 list to 5 is reason enough to proclaim their quality.

Top 10 Indipop albums of 2012
01. Papon: The Story So Far – Papon
02. Piya Basanti Again – Sandesh Shandilya
03. Following My Heart – Mandolin U Rajesh
04. The Inner Self Awakens – Agam
05. III – Rabbi
06. Vaazkai DJ – Benny Dayal
07. Durbine Chokh Rakhbo Na – Anupam Roy
08. Call Me Rashid – Rashid Ali
09. La Pongal – La Pongal
10. The Silent Sea – Advaita

English

This list is completely pointless if you are a Western music buff straddling multiple genres. These reflect just my personal taste and I’m no more ashamed to stand by this list as I once used to, when people around me were debating rock, country and metal. This is what I like – try it; if you like it, good enough. Don’t like it? Find another blog to get Western music recos!

Top 5 English albums of 2012
01. North – Matchbox Twenty
02. The Origin Of Love – Mika
03. Born To Die – Lana Del Ray
04. Overexposed – Maroon 5
05. Some Nights – Fun

  • http://twitter.com/ace_cool_an Anil Nair

    Don’t you think you need a category for Unplugged or TV Shows kind of performances as well now ….Coke Studio, MTV Unplugged, Sound Tripping, Dewars India …and those are the one’s I know. Some crackling performances in there …Sneha Khanwalkar itself deserves a mention for Sound tripping as well as the Monster that was “Gangs of Wasseypur” – just sayin …..

    • milliblog

      Agree, but no time :) I tracked just CS and a bit of Sound Trippin’. Unfair to add them alone and ignore Dewarists and Unplugged.

  • ramesh

    Kadal Should be third and it is given 2nd only for the name A. R. Rahman, Kadal is not a best album.. MPMK really a heart touching album… All Songs… Only Aaha kadhal is not accepted… MPMK should be the second…

    • milliblog

      Sigh – this is entering personal opinion zone. You just have to make your own list and add it in the comments, so others see different perspectives to my list.

  • joseph

    hi karthik, i dont think your reviews really matter much, in india 100 people will say 100 different things, you are just one of them. You cannot decide anyones fate or judge anyones talent. you should be happy in what you do and leave others to their job. even great people under perform because there is no one greater than god. Yes you can always write your reviews and express your thoughts but i would like you to understand life. I congratulate every composer and god has blessed them with talent which doesnt needs judgement. Do not judge because god will not judge you.

    • just me

      are you a music director and did your music got NW1W review?? #justasking

      • joseph

        i am a fan of many music directors, and i dont know whats nw1w review

    • milliblog

      Wondering which album’s or song’s omission provoked this :) When did I ever say my reviews matter to anyone? It does, only to me – I’m just one person expressing my thoughts.

      As for understanding life, that’s none of your business, strictly – I’d do that when I can/need to, or may be I have already and I have no interest in sharing that with you since this blog is not about life lessons.

      • joseph

        writing so many reviews about so many composers work, and you say you are not a fan of english soundtracks? i think going by your interest in writing indepth reviews you should like english sound tracks. Those are music pieces afterall.
        please do review some of the hollywood composers/artists work. we would love to read what you think about them. Ofcourse the music they do has a different structure and a different pattern. something that would interest you. something new for you to bite into.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jagannath.janakiraman Jagannath Janakiraman

    Really thorough list! I thought Ram Sampath’s Talaash deserved a top 3 for the range of tracks in it.

    • milliblog

      Possibly. Thing is, perspectives may change when you deal with a long-list of 20-30 soundtracks and you start comparing one to another to ensure that you cover the 3 for top.

  • siva01sankaran@gmail.com

    Sorry 2 say this,
    But in my opinion, Neethane En Ponvasantham is the most overrated album on milliblog!!
    And likewise, VTV is the most underrated!!

    • milliblog

      Oh don’t be sorry at all. You are perfectly entitled to air that view, not just in this blog, but anywhere else too.

    • Vicky

      Very true.. Just because it sounds like in the 80s doesn’t mean the soundtrack is brilliant.. except for few interesting pieces…

      Kadal actually deserves to be on the top.. But in that case, the blog might seem biased towards AR..

  • Amicuzzz

    Karthik, thanks for compiling the list…n’ makin the mandatory note ;)

    A few points where I beg to differ..plz lemme know how u find these observations..

    HINDI
    1) Double agreed that Amit Trivedi is having a superb run on the turf..Considering the range of tracks, Aiyya could have been in the top 3, Barfi placed down…
    2) Jiya re jiya and Isqh shava from JTHJ deserved to be in the top 20..
    Same is the case abt Ishq wala love fm SOFY..

    (Himesh fanboys may find it tough to digest considering his absence inspite of scoring for back to back 100 Cr clubbers)

    TAMIL
    1) NTEPV could be Number 1 due to the nostalgia factor..Musically, I would place the other 2 ahead, Kadal being the topper coz of the range n’ ‘world music’ experience unusual in Tamil
    2) HJ had ‘Kadhal oru Butterfly’ from OKOK which could be among the 20…
    3) Was surprised not to see Poda Podi and Aaravan in the top 20…and to see Kalakalappu in the list

    TELUGU
    MJM’s Routine Love Story was my ‘Album of the year’ despite the ‘recycler’ setback, closely followed by LIB..Eega was good, not gr8..

    MALAYALAM
    Plz can you confirm if you listened to Vidyasagar’s Diamond Necklace (am sure u did!) , Theevram n’ Ousepacchan’s ‘Ayaalum Njanum Thammil’?
    I feel these had good songs which should’ve been on the list considering this is a yearender special list..but agreeing to your point abt not having followed closely enuf..

    KANNADA
    1) ARR’s ‘Aalapane Mellane’ from Godfather was good n’ worthy of being on the longlist..

    INDIPOP:
    The latest from Colonial Cousins- Once More, should’ve been in the bottom of the top ten..maybe at the final spot..Could’t listen to some others which you have included so trusting your judgement ;)

    ENGLISH

    Reserving my comments..Can u make it clear if the OST’s (Dark Knight rises, Django Unchained etc) were also considered or just music albums/singles ?

    • milliblog

      Hindi – Yes, Amit wasn’t as good consistently as he was in other years. But Ishaqzaade was the punchy winner for me in 2012. I did have 2 more songs from JTHJ in the mega long-list of songs, but had to work them down in favor of some other songs when trying to reduce it to 30.

      Tamil – NEPV is a personal favorite, nostalgia or not. It had Raja doing what he used to in 80s and 90s, but with modern sensibilities in the right dose. Kadal is superb, no doubt, but it’d come down one step to NEPV IMO. Understand the point on OKOK, but as I said earlier, I have only 30 to list and some things would get out of it.

      Malayalam – Heard both Theevram and ANT, but didn’t find anything striking. May be I need to listen more carefully. Did hear Diamond Necklace :)

      Kannada – Didn’t like Aalapane mellane that much, to be honest :)

      Indipop – Had to get Once More out of the list since more deserving albums were there jostling for the top 10 slot.

      English – Not a fan of soundtracks. That’s the domain of Suresh of Ursmusically/Backgroundscore website. I’m at sea there.

      • jeanjohny

        Even I din’t like Alapane Mellane initially, but with the younger gen listening to it daily in y car made me sit up and take notice. It’s good Karthik, maybe gud enuff to get inside ur top 10 list.

    • jeanjohny

      Yup, Alapane Mellane is good enuff to be inside the top 10! But ANT isn’t that gud to catch the attention of a non-malayalee, same is the case of Diamond necklace. I haven’t heard Theevram yet.

      And even I feel Kadal is definitely a notch above NEP and I wished to see Kumki/Marina/MAnamkothi parvai/Pizza to be in the 3rd spot instead of MPMK, just give the composers a push. I guess Yuvan don’t require one!:)

      Yes, Challa & Jiya Re are better compositions than Chokra Jawan! Surprised to see it inside the 10, even Amit Trivedi would be surprised! But Ishq Shava isn’t that great.

  • http://twitter.com/averajo Joe

    My list can’t as exhaustive as this, since my listening is too limited, even within the languages. So will try to rate my top 5 in Tamil & Hindi – from albums that I have given time to.

    Top 5 albums (Tamil)
    1. Kumki
    2. Moondru Per Moondru Kadhal
    3. Pizza
    4. Neethaan En Ponvasantham
    5. Maalai Pozhuthin Mayakathilae

    Top 5 songs (Tamil)
    1. Adiye (Kadal)
    2. Aaha Kaadhal (MPMK)
    3. Velicha Poo (Ethir Neechal)
    4. Aasai Or Pulveli (Attakathi)
    5. Vaanam Mella (NeP)

    Composer of the year: D. Imman
    Composer to look out for, next year: Santosh, Achu
    Pissed off with: Harris Jeyaraj

    Kadal, Vishwaroopam & Ethir Neechal as whole albums will feature in my next year list., since it’s been not even a week. The 2 songs from these albums that make the list are exceptionally good.

    Disclaimer: My listening is very limited & too mainstream as far as Hindi is concerned.

    My Top 5 albums (Hindi)
    1. Barfi
    2. Talaash
    3. Cocktail
    4. JTHJ
    5. Gangs of Wasseypur 2

    My Top 5 Songs (Hindi)
    1. Phir Le Aaya Dil (Barfi)
    2. Heer (JTHJ)
    3. Pareshaan (Ishaqzaade)
    4. Yaariyaan (Cocktail)
    5. Jee Le Zaraa (Talaash) / Saawali Se Raat (Barfi)

    Composer of the year: Pritam. He’s redeemed himself in my books with Barfi. Extra points for the fact that I’m yet to come across an accusation of plagiarism this year, atleast with Barfi. Maybe the movie took away the limelight :P

    To look out for, next year : None in particular. Ram Sampath goes up the pecking order. Amit Trivedi though falls down in my opinion, maybe coz my expectations were too high of him. Though he has impressed in 1/2 songs in every album, no album as a whole stood out for me. Sneha is unique, but too quirky for my taste, lacks on repetitive value.

    Disappointed with: Vishal-Sekhar.

    • milliblog

      I love your comment. It gives me alternatives to look up to! Love the fact that you have Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakkathiley high up there. I’d have loved to put it there too, but when I have 40-50 albums in the long list, I need to evaluate one against another and the result can only be top 3 – tough call.

      Fully agree with the point on Pritam. He fully deserves the top honor in 2012 and I had to give up my one composer tag to include both him and Amit. As for Amit, I may not be happy with all his soundtracks in 2012 as I was in earlier years, but personally was mega happy with Ishaqzaade. That’s the kind of Amit I want more :)

      • http://twitter.com/averajo Joe

        Absolutely get you there. I had just 20-25 albums max to choose from, even lesser in Hindi and I know this ranking process is a pain. Can appreciate the time and effort you’d have put to come up with such an exhaustive list. Have always wondered how the hell you have so much time to listen to so many soundtracks from these many languages. Where do you work? Tell me if there are openings there :D

        I pick and choose albums to hear, most times going by your reviews here. Not sure if I have thanked you enough already for saving me time :) Songs were relatively easy, as I could go by my iTunes play count.

        Pareshaan would easily find a place in my top 5 Amit songs till date, but the rest of the album wasn’t much to my liking. Luv Shuv is my pick of his ‘albums’ this year, even though it wasn’t path breaking stuff.

        Right from Aamir, I have always had huge expectations from Amit Trivedi, but not sure where I stand now. He’s not fallen as mighty as Mithoon, but after Udaan, haven’t liked any of his albums ‘in whole’. He’s become more like Harris/SEL to me, 1 or 2 fantastic songs in every album, but the rest gives me a highly templatised ‘heard before’ feeling. Not sure if it’s down to the kind of projects he’s choosing, or he prefers to play it safe within the genres he’s most comfortable with, or he’s only asked for such stuff.

        Would love to see him experiment more with other genres, moving away from his Indie/Punju Grunge rock sounds. Maybe we are differing in opinion here, coz you want more of that :)

        I know he did that all wonderfully well in one bloody album – Dev D. The question is can he do it again, on that scale? Is Dev D his Thiruda Thiruda? Is Anurag Kashyap his Maniratnam? Looking forward to Bombay Velvet to get an answer to that ;)

    • Karunakaran

      pissed off with…hahaha…GVP too was disappointing.

  • bring best

    I am a regular follower of your blog and a great fan.
    As a seasoned reviewer i must say your telugu round up falls flat from past 2 years..

    • milliblog

      Fully understand that. To help others reading this list and for my learning too, could I request your top 3/5/10 kinda list? Would love to know what people liked in AP, as music.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sachin.nagdev.3 Sachin Nagdev

    Would you like to take back the 200 that you gave to JTHJ album? #just asking

    you recently apologized for not giving a 200 to a particular album, would you similarly apologize for giving a 200 to a not so deserving album or just because it is Rahman, you won’t do it?

    • milliblog

      If I felt the 200 was not worth it and based on the fact that I hadn’t listened to it as much as I should have for a 200, I surely will. But that didn’t happen – JTHJ was on my playlist regularly during my drives and otherwise too :) The point is, there’s no external pressure for thee lists or 100/200 – it’s all about what I, as an individual enjoy and don’t :)

  • http://twitter.com/sanjayshankar Sanjay Shankar

    Thanks for compiling this list. I see no point in criticizing them. It’s your opinion and if we didn’t care enough about that, we wouldn’t be visiting the page in the first place. They do serve one good purpose for me and that is to discover tracks that I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. I was surprised to see ‘Jiya Re’ not even make the top 30. For me, it was the pick of the album over ‘Saans’. I knew Cocktail was good, but I never expected to see it that high up. I guess I have to revisit it.

  • Venkat Krishna

    looks like you missed out YB’s Drama in Kannada list due to Harikrishna factor.

    • milliblog

      Did hear Drama. Did not stay with me like other YB soundtracks. Need to give it another try, I think.

      • vinay

        ya….yb films has different music in each and every film………harikrishna really giving a great music….i think its difficult to give 3hits in every album and he’s doing that for more than 10 films per year and alla r fabulous……where’s prem adda,drama,snehitaru,jaanu,anna bond,chingari as u can see each of them have different style of music.i dont agrre with gurukiran.i dont want to see his name for just one song pyarge aagbittaite…

  • http://www.facebook.com/srinisharma Shrinivas Sharma

    Surprised to see Drama songs missing in Kannada chart..no doubt, Arjun has been very consistent but Harikrishna’s Drama numbers are just unbeatable. Particularly “chendutiya pakkadali” sung by Sonu.

  • http://twitter.com/rex_jason jason rex

    For me in Malayalam its Usthad Hotel n Thattathin Marayathu!! Watch for for Gopi Sunder!!! He is our man of the future along with Deepak Dev, Rahul Raj, Rex Vijayan, Rateesh Vega and Shareth. Plz listen to Vathilil Ah Vathilil from Usthad Hotel, for me its the song of 2012!!! Have u listened to it?? Deeak Dev just recently had ‘I love Me’ which was good too. Rahul Raj had an awesome comeback with Amal Neerad’s Bachelor Party!!

    Hindi for me its Pritam’s Year. Barfi tops the list. Favorite song is Phir Le Aaye Dil!! Very sad to tell that JTHJ was mediocre according to the maestro’s standard.

    Tamil i personally dint like NEPV too much. For me its Kadal!! My favourite song in Tamil this year is ‘Moongil Thottan’ from Kadal!!

  • Gokul Nath S

    Karthik, here is my list of top Bollywood songs 2012. Its somewhat long and have tables and stuff so can’t post here. I’m giving the link. Please look into it :)

    Also I’m giving the link to my Bollywood Muisc Analysis 2012. Please see.

    http://indicritic.blogspot.in/2012/12/top-bollywood-songs-2012.html

    http://indicritic.blogspot.in/2012/12/bollywood-music-analysis-2012.html

  • Suneil AR

    Hindi
    Album – barfi
    Song – phir le Aaya dil – male version

    Tamil
    Album – Kadal
    Song – adiye

    Kannada
    Album – drama
    Song – bombe from drama

    Telugu
    Album – eega
    Song – lava lava from eega

  • http://www.facebook.com/narayan.sudheer Sudheer Narayan

    Thanks for the list. Made a good playlist for me.

  • Vishnu

    First things first.. I’m a regular follower & fan of this blog as well.. And like others, I benefit hugely from the ‘ground work’ you do in terms of finding and reviewing new albums..BIG thanks for that..

    English
    Thanks for including the english albums in this list.. Fun & MIKA were good discoveries for me.. I liked these songs as well (in no particular order):
    – Somebody that I used to know (Gotye)
    – Myth (Beach House)
    – Castle of Glass (Living Things)
    – Oblivion (Visions)
    – Midnight City (M83)

    Tamil & Hindi
    You made me revisit some of the songs and introduced new ones in that top 30 list.. Ofcourse, there were songs that didn’t work for me at all or not in right order of priority, but that’s besides the point..

    These are some other songs in my itunes 2012 playlist, but NOT in your 30..

    – Makkayala (Naan)
    – Hare Rama (Poda Podi)
    – Aiyayo (Kumki)
    – Senthamil Penne (Hip Hop Tamilzhan)
    – Oh Baby Girl (Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakkathiley) – The video is catchy too
    – En frienda Pola (Nanban)
    – Para Para (Neer Paravai)
    – Kaatril Eeram (Veppam) – discovered this song & video, lately..

    – Kiklikalerdi (LuvShuvTey)
    – Ek Main Aur Ek Tu
    – Kyon (Barfi)
    – Jiya Re (JTHJ)
    – Moora (GoW-2)
    – Muskaanein (Taalash)
    – Bichdann (Son of Sardar)
    – Duaa (Shanghai)
    – Daaru Desi (Cocktail) – This was an okay song, that Shalmali elevates
    to a much higher level. Between this song & Pareshan, I think
    Shalmali is the best female debutant of the year.. With Nenjukulle &
    Makayala, Shakthisree Gopalan must be the close second..

  • Jeeka

    Been an avid follower of your blog for years, with most of my new music updates coming from here. Because most of the time the music you’d rate positively have come across as good listens for me.

    Contrary to past years, this year’s roundup I can’t help but stick my two cents in. Heck of an year for Tamil & Malayalam music, having sown seeds for fresh & bright futures.

    Tamil:-

    Santhosh Narayanan is the find of the year. His transition form La Pongal to Atta Kathi, Pizza & Uyir Mozhi is fantastic!

    Endearing tune of Aasai Oar Pulveli(Atta Kathi), the complexities of Mogathirai(Pizza), and exquisite simplicity of Naanaga Naanindri, Vanathil & Oru murai (Uyir Mozhi) are nothing short of gems for me :)

    Kadal is AR Rahman’s yearly masterpiece that one would expect. As you mentioned, World music fused with a strong Indian base!!

    Also D. Imman with the whole of Manam Kothi paravai, and the brilliant ‘Ayyayayo Aananthamey’ from Kumki.

    Other picks:-

    Aaha kaadhal (Moondru per Moondru Kaadhal)

    Yaaro Ivalo (maalai pozhudhin mayakathiley)

    Yennodu vaa vaa & Katrai Konjum (Neethane en Ponvasantham)

    Venaam Machan (Oru Kal Oru Kannadi), only enjoyable track from a disappointing Harris Jeyaraj this year.

    Vayammooodi (Mughammoodi) & Indha Vaan veli (Aarohanam)

    Kelamale (Thadaiyara Thakka), the version sung by Thaman, crazy good backgrounds :)

    Also the wonderful album of La Pongal!!

    All in all, a year that convinces me that Tamil Language sounds irresistible in wonderful tunes.

    Hindi:-

    Your list is similar to mine, except I would place Gangs of Wasseypur 2 at the top. I absolutely loved Moora, Bahut Khoob 8bit & Kaala rey.

    Dhak Dhuk (English Vinglish), Khudaaya (Shanghai), Paani da (Vicky Donor), Jiya lage na (Talaash), Bechain Sapne (Chittagong) are other songs that have frequented my media players.

    Topping all film music in Hindi though, are Papon’s The Story So Far & Advaita’s Silent Sea. Been following them for a couple of years waiting for their best works to come through.

    Papon’s assamese debut ‘Jonaaki Rati’ was immensely enjoyable, so it was great to see him excel in his Indipop debut. Favorites are Baavle Jharne, Din Guzrein, Baarish ki Boondein & Boitha Maro re.

    Advaita’s Silent Sea is simply, incredible. Something to listen to for escaping this world and entering semi-tranquility.

    Malayalam:-

    Native language and all, I believe this year marks the identifiable change in mainstream music. Both good & bad. Pleasant complexities in arrangements have led to both good and bad songs. Mostly good though :)

    Thattathin Marayathu, including the gorgeous ‘Namosthuthe’ was knockout!

    Other cool songs were:-

    Chillane & Mele Kollum (22 Female Kottayam)

    Kuru mozhiyude (Chattakkaari), where Shreya Ghoshal is delightful.

    Nee Ko Nja Cha, with the addicitve title song and Thanupicha beer.

    Mazhakondu Maathram (Spirit), wonderful tune showcasing the evergreen playback singing of Yesudas.

    Poovaname (Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty)

    Sun Sun & Suryasalabham (Ordinary)

    Enthaanu Bhai (Da Thadiya), with dubstep baby!! :D

    and Rudhira Sooryan (Theevram), which I admittedly fell in love with after being enthralled by its visualization in the movie.

    That might’ve been more than 2 cents :D

    Thanks for making me aware of at least half of these songs, and lets look forward to more awesomeness in 2013!!

  • Deccanmusic

    awesome work. Its hard to keep with the breadth of albums that you listen to. Here’s my list for Tamil:

    http://deccanmusic.tumblr.com/post/38000743904/best-tamil-songs-and-albums-of-2012

  • http://twitter.com/saisundharp Sai Sundhar P

    Glad to see Harris Jayaraj absent from the list. :)

  • http://twitter.com/SSanjeeviK சஞ்சீவிக் குமார் S

    Comparing NEPV to other albums is a sin. NEPV is the best musically if you can understand what it is

    • Koushik Krishnan

      In my opinion I dont think NEPV is an outstanding work from Raja comparing his own previous compositions…Still its one of the best to come out this year but not outstanding. I am not saying this coz i like other composers. I am an avid fan of both Raja n Rahman…just my view

  • http://www.facebook.com/nagaraj.venkatesan.3 Nagaraj Venkatesan

    Did you forget anirudh’s 3 which in my opinion the album of the year.

  • http://twitter.com/vimalan_twit vimalan

    I fully agree that NEPV is the album of the year in Tamizh. its also good that there are many promising talents come through in the industry.

  • Karunakaran

    Ishaqzaade, NEPV, Kadal and MPMK, exactly my picks too. Thanks also for adding youtube playlists, very helpful!

    I’m also glad to add that there is no repeat by any composer in the top 10//
    but two Yuvan songs in your top 10, no? ;)

  • http://twitter.com/kinngsarkar Imon Sarkar

    Nenjukulle on 26??????
    It deserves to be there on the top 5 atleast…

  • jd

    My views regarding top 5 Hindi OST’s –
    1. Barfi! – Pritam
    2. Ishaqzaade – Amit Trivedi
    3. Gangs Of Wasseypur – Sneha Khanwalkar
    4. Talaash – Ram Sampath
    5. Aiyyaa – Amit Trivedi.

    Pritam & Amit Trivedi truly are Composers of the year but Sneha was equally good though she had just 1 mega big 27 song soundtrack. She deserves second spot.

    I truly feel Pritam’s Ferrari Ki Sawaari was much better than Cocktail.

    Disappointed with Vishal Shekhar though Shanghai & Arjun The Warrior Prince were above average work while A R Rahman could have done much better with JTHJ & EDT. SEL with Chittagong & Delhi Safari were satisfactory.

    But Sajid Wajid in spite of composing for a dozen films as usual composed mundane stuff except of that 1 song in SOS & Himesh was just about ok in Khiladi 786.

    I have not heard much of Indipop but I really liked Susmit Sen’s Depth Of The Oceans. You should try that album.

    Following your reviews regularly & it is great to read your reviews.
    Hope you continue to do this.
    This are just my views & waiting for your opinion on it.

  • sumit pandey

    For me, Barfi is the album of the year. My pick
    1) Phir le aaya Dil (beautiful lyrics, specially in context of the movie)
    2) Saawli si raat
    3) Aashiyaan

    Pritam’s music has always been highly listenable. However, unlike Barfi, most of his 200 worders don’t stick with you beyond the 2-3 months of the album release. I guess, thats what makes Barfi so special for me.
    Other favorites – luttna, tumhi ho bandhu – cocktail; raabta – agent vinod; dhak dhuk, title song,gustakh dil – English vinglish; jiya re,challa, title song – Jab tak hai jaan; sunlo zara, aaromale – EDT.

  • http://twitter.com/mp256 ManBearPig

    Taste and preference in music is individual and subjective, so wouldn’t argue against the choice in Hindi OST’s, but Ishaqzaade above GOW and Kahaani? You must be kidding!

  • sudharsan

    I dont know much about Music.. But i love to hear…
    Here’s my best Tamil albums of the year…Not order
    1.Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakkathile
    2.MPMK
    3.Kadal(lots of luv)
    4.NEP(except yuvan voice)
    5.Kumki..
    Even i liked Poda podi (nt a simbu fan,but lkd very much)

    My top 10 songs…
    1. Ennuyire from MPM (heard mor than 1000 times, never bored)
    2. Mazhai varum ariguri from Veppam
    3. Nenjukkulle from kadal
    4.Para para from Neerparavai
    5. Kaadhal oru butterfly from okok
    6. Idhayam from B-2
    7. Vaaya moodi from Mugamoodi
    8. Nee yeppa pulla from kumki
    9. Mudhalmurai from Nep
    10. Aasai ore Pulveli from Attakathi

  • http://twitter.com/murali4u murali dhar

    sorry dont agree to this…………!!!!! cocktail deserves to be first then barfi and then isshazaade or whatever………..telugu completely wrong……………

  • Ninad Parab

    Karthik bhai,
    i think these tracks should have been there in top 30 of hindi…cause i feel it’s kind of injustice to Arijit Singh….this guys has given 4 mesmerizing songs in this year….probably one of the most loved tracks of this year….Most of the times i trust your reviews but this time i feel for me top 30 is incomplete without these tracks….

    Dhak Dhuk(English Vinglish)
    Phir Le Aya Dil(Barfi)
    Dua(Shanghai)
    O Saiyyan(Agnipath)
    Raabta(Agent Vinod)

  • adithyavijay

    Thanks a lot Karthik for appreciating Maestro and his phenomenal and outstanding work in NEPV.

  • Jaydeep

    Karthik,

    Last year’s annual round up was on Dec 14th. Agneepath was reviewed on Dec 17th. Just curious, were the two best compositions of recent times, saiyaan and abhi mujhme kahin, considered for this year’s round up at all?

    • milliblog

      Yes, I did have O Saiyyaan in the top 40 long list. Had to prioritize based on my liking to reduce it to 30.

      • Jaydeep

        Fair enough. Those 2 tracks have been permanent fixtures on my top 10 playlist. Other track that deserves a mention here is Raabta. I feel it had that universally likable melody.

        And yes didn’t get a chance to mention it so far, but I am amazed that you’ve liked JTHJ so much. For me JTHJ & SOTY were biggest disappointments of the year.

  • Srinivasan

    ha ha chuck Harris Jeyaraj out of cine industry. His music is only good for him.

  • siddiq shaikh

    chithirai nila song of the year, theres something magical about it,and kadal best album of the year without doubt and i dont know a word of tamil nor i m a south indian..

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronojeet.ghosh Ronojeet Ghosh

    Long time reader, first time commenter!!! I know that you possibly find most of the music from the Bhatt’s to be highly templatized, but for what it’s worth, I thought Tujhe Sochta Hoon, Rab Ka Shukrana( Jannat 2) and Abhi Abhi( Jism 2) deserved a mention in the top 30 songs of tne year.

  • http://twitter.com/prakashsrini Prakash Srinivasan

    Karthik, thanks for an awesome list again. 2 Malayalam songs you must not miss: Mozhigalum from Padmasree Saroj Kumar and Akalayo from Grandmaster. Please listen to these 2, they qualify to be in the above list. they are also available in youtube.

  • prasad

    this rating is just to satisfy ir fans. if kadal is in 2012list
    then it should be in the top no one can offend it each and every song is an epic. if not 3 is better than
    nepv. nepv good only for those who are still nostalgic about ir and not for
    those who hated hearing the same old lalalala and vavaavava again and again of 90`s. EX.. vespa might have been ruled the roads on 80`s but even if its released again now with digital meters and disc brakes everybody surely say wack, but there is still some purchasing it like here….saying generously vava and lalalalalalla

  • gopal

    hey milliblog why u left Yuvan’s En frienda pola yaru machan song tats an awesome song right !! youth anthem from yuvan

  • Aditya

    Hey, Best album in telugu should be Yeto vellipoyindi manasu and sootiga choodeku (Ishq) should be one of the best songs. Even though this year has not been great for telugu music.

  • Dev

    why was malayalam diamond necklace music or movie not reviewed here

  • http://twitter.com/Adithyajones Adithyajones

    It is a great that you have selected Sharreth’s Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty as top Malayalam album..i feel he is vey much under appreciated MD in Malayalm.Very few know that he had his debut in early 90’s and had very good albums like kshanakkathu,Thacholi Verghese, Pavithram,Evan Megha Roopan and now brilliant Thalsamayam oru Penkutty..

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