Amidinine, Imuhar, Adinat, Her Tenere & Aman – Nomad (Bombino)
Bombino’s Nomad is the album of the season for me. I haven’t heard of this Tuareg (an encampment in the African country of Niger) guitarist Bombino so far and I found later that he has a few albums to his credit already. Amidinine, to me, is THE song to get started with Bombino’s music – immensely addictive sound! Other songs like Imuhar and Adinat too carry a similar sound and are equally good!
Badtameez dil & Balam pichkari – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (Hindi – Pritam)
When the trailer was launched first, there were 2 main opinions – that the film seemed like yet-another Dharma-led Is-this-love candyfloss film… and that Badtameez dil sounds fantastic. From that point onwards, it was perhaps taken for granted that this is going to be a va-va-voom soundtrack and that there is no doubt about it. I wanted to like this soundtrack too, as a result.
But, strangely, when I heard the soundtrack for the first time, I was disappointed. Barring Badtameez dil and Balam pichkari, the rest were good but with a massive dose of deja vu. In an eerie way, the majority of the soundtrack seemed to be aping the deja vu the trailer exhibited. So, even though Mohit sounds charming in Ilahi, and the song sounding like a Rahman track too, it seems strangely unmoving to me. Ditto with Kabira that perhaps uses every known Dharma/Pritam trick in the book to convince me to listen to it again, but fails.
I don’t particularly care if this soundtrack becomes a national sensation (it’s good actually – more musical successes, the better), but to me, this was a largely disappointing soundtrack. And that coming from a composer who seems to be in a good track record (Cocktail and Barfi, in particular) recently is a bit disconcerting.
Ganapathi bappa & Top lesi poddi – Idharammayilatho (Telugu – Devi Sri Prasad)
Idharammayilatho is the usual, no-changes-yet Devi Sri Prasad. He even ropes in the now-forgotten Apache Indian (while ignoring his recent favorite Baba Sehgal) to spruce up things, but what works is not those gimmicks. Suraj Jagan’s Ganapathi bappa is one of the songs that work, while Devi’s kuthu style bears fruit in Top lesi poddi. Nothing new, but passably good.
Take It Easy, Sorry Please Thank You & Nalla nalla – Nam Duniya Nam Style (Kannada – Shaan Rahman)
Shaan Rahman transition to Kannada (coming on the heels of the stupendous Thattathin Marayathu) is a good effort. Particularly of note is a song like Sorry Please Thank You that has the Kannada film music genes far more than Malayalam… that’s a great trait to have in a composer. It’s just sad that good music goes completely unnoticed in Kannada cinema and only those soundtracks that have a star in the film making any cut. But, even the presence of Shiv Rajkumar did not help a solid soundtrack like that of Andar Baahar (singer Vijay Prakash’s composing debut). Hoping at least this film makes a mark for its music.
Sorry Please Thank You – Listen via SmashHits.
Get Up (What You Need), Railroad Track, Yeah Yeah, What I Want, Fire & Working For The Company – Here’s Willy Moon (Willy Moon)
I really like the sound Willy Moon has conjured up for his debut album. Get Up is perhaps the best example – it’s a fantastic mix of 50s rock and roll with a modern pop sensibility. The chorus in songs like Railroad Track go a step further and prove that the singer does have a vibrant imagination!
Aananda yaazhai & First last – Thanga Meengal (Tamil – Yuvan Shankar Raja)
Like YJHD, this is another soundtrack that was automatically expected to be really, really good – based on the composer-director’s last film (Katradhu Thamizh) and based on the producer’s musical sense (Gautam Menon). That meant lapping up anything that comes out of the soundtrack, at least according to fans. There are 2 songs that are very good, I agree, but in a 4 song soundtrack, that’s a 50-50 run rate. That’s not bad at all, but overall, seems like a step down from Katradhu Thamizh that was fabulous as a score.
Gana gana & Mara o mara – Thadaka (Telugu – Thaman S)
It’s fascinating actually. A script is being done by 2 directors – the film usually seems ditto, in both languages. The scenes usually are largely the same (despite the of-used lie, ‘We’ve tweaked the script to local tastes’), but here we have 2 music directors trying their versions of the same situations. Yuvan’s score in Vettai was tepid, at best. Thaman’s interpretation seems a tad better in comparison. Wonder what kind of brief he received from the Telugu version’s director!
Karaliloru – Kuteem Kolum (Malayalam – Shaan Rahman)
A 2 song soundtrack by Shaan, in Malayalam. This 2-3 song soundtrack has almost become a norm in only Kerala, where soundtracks are released as a film’s 2-3 tracks + assorted tracks from 3-4 other films. Nevertheless, Karaliloru is a lovely listen – breezy, highly engaging melody orchestrated with gentle care (with keyboard bridges that reminds me of Rahman’s style)… and sung well by Shweta Mohan and Shaan himself.
Slowly slowly, Babaji ki booti, Khoon choos le & Khushamdeed – Go Goa Gone (Hindi – Sachin Jigar)
Go Goa Gone is one of the most fun albums in recent times – it is irreverent in appeal and attitude, hilarious in its lyrics (particularly Babaji ki booti) and musically rich too. It’s a pity is only 4 songs long (if you exclude the thematic I keel dead peepal). Sachin Jigar have been gaining a foothold in Bollywood gradually but surely, and this soundtrack almost seals their place. Now, if only they get to work on so-called A-grade, top star projects and prove their worth there too…
Dil kaagzi – Gippi (Hindi – Vishal-Shekhar)
In a soundtrack that at best sounds like remnants of earlier Vishal Shekhar scores, Neeti Mohan’s Dil kaagzi offers a great break. Wonderfully pleasant song.
Longing, Karsh Palace, Mountain Bird & The Bellyflute Plays On – Flutetronics (Pop – Naveen Kumar)
Naveen follows up his earlier albums Fluid and Cafe Fluid with a fitting 3rd album in Flutetronics. Even his collaborations are top notch this time, starting with Karsh Kale! The sound is more international unlike the 2 earlier albums and that only adds to the new album’s value. The Bellyflute Plays On is my personal favorite!
Murabba (both versions) – Bombay Talkies (Hindi – Amit Trivedi)
Bombay Talkies is perhaps the most un-Amit Trivedi like soundtrack in recent times from the man. If we have gone past the horrendously tacky title song, Murabba offers some solace – both versions. The variance in the 2 versions is a highlight too. Amit’s work with Kavita Seth is usually dependable and this extends to Murabba to.
Vaada vaada, Iru idhayam & Oru thuli – Puthiya Thiruppangal (Tamil – Vidyasagar)
Vidyasagar is out of mainstream circulation, unfortunately. But the man shows that he hasn’t lost his groove with a lesser heard, virtually unknown soundtrack like this one. Even in a templatized kuthu song like Vaada vaada, he adds a second line like ‘Valanju nelinja street’ that literally makes the song! Iru idhayam and Oru thuli are trademark melodies from the man – eminently listenable!
Kaadhal indha kaadhal & Elavu Ainthu Ainthu Ainthu (Tamil – Simon)
I’d not rate Simon’s debut as extraordinary, but director Sasi always seems to have the knack of introducing decent, above average composers – Sollamale (Bobby) and Poo (SS Kumaran). Elavu, in particular, looks like something that defines Simon more than the other songs in the album – worth looking forward to.
Okkatai okkatai, Manasa manasa & Chethinundi mannu thesi – Gouravam (Telugu – Thaman S)
The film seems to have sunk without a trace, but there’s no denying that the short soundtrack by Thaman was great. I kept going back to Okkatai and Chethinundi a lot. However, I do wonder why Radhamohan did not go back to Vidyasagar again, given his fantastic working relationship with him in the past.
Nille nille kaveri – Bul Bul (Kannada – V Harikrishna)
The only song that stands out in V.Harikrishna’s (masala-master of Kannada) latest (if I ignore the other terrible album – Bachchan). Hemanth’s version is a shade better than the far more polished Tippu’s version.
Ninthalle ninthukolle – Case No 18/9 (Kannada – Arjun Janya)
This film’s Tamil original had one song – yes, one! The remake has 5 songs, plus a theme! Let me not crib about that mention that Arjun Janya gets at least one song right – Ninthalle ninthukolle – Vijay Prakash’s singing is fantastic with the tune being really pleasant too.
Manasuna nuvvele – Sukumarudu (Telugu – Anoop Rubens)
Despite the standard Telugu template rhythm, this Anjana Soumya sung song stands out for the nativity and lilt. The rest of the soundtrack is oddly un-Anoop Rubens like, however.
Dunia E, Janjo La Maya, Tumba La Nyama, Diba La Bobe & Socopao – Bonafied (Richard Bona)
Bonafied is my first album from this Cameroon-based jazz guitarist. I love the serene sound seeped in African sounds and nuances, but expertly blended with silky smooth jazz. Dunia E is my pick of the album for Richard’s fantastic, mellow vocals and that haunting African chorus. Listen to one minute samples of this album here.