Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Music Review (Tamil): Veera Sivaji

Music Review (Tamil): Veera Sivaji
Music Composer: Imman

Thaarumaaru ThakkaliSoru's tune sounds functional and barely interesting with Sathyaprakash's Kazoo solos and fabulous bassline by Keba Jeremiah being the only solace in an otherwise tepid track. Rokesh's lyrics rides once again on gimmicky word play with minimum shelf time. The other version by Deepak also fails to elevate the level of the song barring Deepak's slightly better singing. In Adada, Imman brings back his stock tune which the composer abundantly used in his previous soundtracks and adorned it with pleasant orchestration dominated by Seenu's wonderful spirited usage of santoor, Banjo and other plucked instruments. Karthik Iyer rules the interludes with his violin solo while Sriram Parthasarathy and Shreya Goshal sounds delightful as always.

Soppana Sundari is easily the highlight of the album with adequately engaging faux-qawwali orchestration by Chennai Rhythm section and Kishore's Sitar solos along with Manonmani's Sarangi rules the interludes. Vaikom Vijayalakshmi sails through the tune effortlessly with her idiosyncratic vocals.Thavazhndhidum Thangapoove's semi-classical tune is gorgeous especially in Bombay Jayashree's vocals and although rhythm section hinders the flow of the song, vocals, classical solo violins by Raghav and Nathan's woodwinds in the interludes along with Aravi's vocals make this one worthy listen in the album. One Man show theme music is barely functional one which fails to create any impact and sounds jarring at some places. Overall weak theme track which fails to engage the listeners even though the theme track lasts for two minutes.

Verdict: Veera Sivaji, functional soundtrack from Imman salvaged by impressive arrangements and superlative singing in two songs.

My rating: 7/10

Pick of the Album: Soppana Sundari, Thavazhndhidum Thangapoove, Adada 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Music Review (Telugu): Jyo Achyutananda

Music Review (Telugu): Jyo Achyutananda
Music Composer: Kalyan Ramana

Oka Lalena is a wonderful classical composition possibly of Kalyani / Yaman Raaga and it's delight always to listen Shankar Mahadevan's vocals for the classical song and the singer aces with his improvisations as commendable always. Kalyan Koduri's serene arrangements with tabla, slide guitar blend splendidly with the fabulous vocals of Shankar Mahadevan. The female version takes on the modern classical arrangements dominated by Piano and Violins and the tune soul is retained by Harini Rao, however the male version fares tad better for Shankar Mahadevan's brilliant classical sargams. The title song is a breezy melody and the tune has the feel of the director's previous movie Oohalu Gusagusalaade. Sree Kalyana Ramana and Smita aces in rendering the hummable tune while composer spruces up the tune with lovely slide guitar in the second interlude. Karthik and Ramya Behera owns another foot tapping melody Aakupachhani Chandamaamaala and the song is enjoyable till it last without any hurdles. Kalyani Ram's arrangement has his idiosyncratic stamp in the mass song of the album Suvarna Suvarna and the tune meanders from the foot tapping kuthu to folk melody while the composer spruces up with sprightly arrangements throughout the song.

Verdict: Kalyan Ramana strikes once again in Srinivas Avasarala's Jyo Achyutananda after Oohalu GusaGusalaade.

My rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Oka Lalena (both versions), Jyo Achuthanandha, Suvarna Suvarna

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn.

Music Review (Hindi): Banjo

Music Review (Hindi): Banjo
Music Composer: Vishal- Shekhar

Bappa rides mainly on the Vishal Dadlani's sprightly rendition and the tune is the regular Ganapathi Bappa song which has nothing special to offer. The undeniable highlight is the foot-tapping usage of bulbultarang (Indian Banjo) in the interludes in an otherwise typical song. Udan Choo starts off with a brilliant waltzy prelude and the tune meanders into an enjoyable territory, however, the heard before feel associated with the percussion usage bogs down the curiosity a bit. Gergana Raykova's solo violin stands out in an enticing arrangements throughout the song. Vishal Dadlani, Nakash Aziz and Shalmali Kholgade aces in the rock tune Rada where the highlight is Rashid Bashir Khan's usage of banjo for the rock flavoured tune and once again tune falter towards the end without making much impact. Vishal Dadlani's warmed up vocals in the album and mediocre tune of Pee Paa Ke fails to evoke any interest in the song. Reham O Kharam is soulful and Ajay Gogavale's effortless rendition accompanied by minimal orchestration dominated by flute and string section make this one listenable till it lasts. The song reaches crescendo towards the end with awesome solo banjo section. Apart from the solo banjo brief in the interludes and Nakash Aziz's vocal, Om Ganapataye Namaha Deva has very minimal to offer for the listeners.

Verdict: Vishal - Shekhar's album fails to utilize the potential of the musical movie to the satisfaction and composer duo sparkles occasionally with the arrangements (Banjo) in an otherwise largely average soundtrack.

My rating: 7.25/10

Pick of the Album: Udan Choo, Reham O Kharam, Bappa

P.S You can listen to the songs in Eros Now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Miscellaneous listens

Maati is the sublime listen in the vocals of Rahul Mukherjee and the singer excels with his nuanced singing. Particularly loved the manner charanam portions are structured while serene background orchestration especially string instrument usage gives the song soothing effect. Pooja Shankar pitches in the second half with her rustic vocals and Oh Haiya chorus reverberates in the listener's mind once the song comes to an end.

Gaanja  is incredibly foot tapping and folk fusion once again works beautifully throughout the song. Pooja Shankar and Randeep Bhaskar's splendid singing accompanied by percussion and enchanting Tapas Roy's stroke instruments work to the song's favor.

Thillana is a musical masterpiece from Sanjay Divecha's band where the classical fusion has been done in a splendid manner. Apart from the brilliant improvisations with electrical guitar played with the classical twist by Sanjay Divecha himself, the song features another talented Tapas Roy's brilliant incorporation of saaz and Bouzouki. On the vocal front, Chandan Bala holds her classical prowess exceptionally well and Raman Mahadevan ably supports her in this spellbinding 7 minutes fusion track.

Vivek Sagar's Pelli Choopulu is also whiff of fresh music akin to the movie and the composer has done fabulous work in Ee babu Gariki with the arrangements featuring enjoyable violin solos, jazzy keys while Sooraj Santosh aces the lilting hummable tune exceptionally well.

Kannada music industry churning out brilliant albums this year with most of the young talents gives incredibly fine albums. Dheerendra Doss from Live banned band debuts as a music composer in Puta Tirugesi Nodi. Mugilu Matte Matte is the song of the album with the highly catchy tune sung perfectly by Joel Dubba while composer throws out few upbeat string sections and made this song an enticing listen in the album.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Music Review (Updated) - 2016

To make music reviews more noticeable and easy to navigate each review, thought will classify each review as follows based on the rating in my blog
BA - less than 7 (Below Average Album)
A - less than 8 (Average Album)
AA - less than 9 (Above Average Album)
E - 9 and above (Excellent Album)

Music Review (Telugu): Janatha Garage

Music Review (Telugu): Janatha Garage
Music Composer: Devi Sri Prasad

Pranaamam rides mainly on the effortless rendition by the Shankar Mahadevan while Ranina Reddy bolsters with the brief Carnatic layer to the song intermittently. Though the tune strictly confines to the DSP domain without adding much novelty factor, composer added few enticing touche in the interludes like fabulous Kishore's Sitar and Kiran Kumar's flute.DSP relegates the stock tunes which he used to sing himself in his earlier days to Raghu Dixit, his recent frequent collaboration in almost all Telugu albums. However once again Rock on Bro's tune is pretty much warmed up stuff and the song is salvaged due to engaging Raghu Dixit vocals and foot-tapping orchestration with Keba's guitar sounds predominant.

Apple beauty is another hackneyed tune from DSP while the lead singers Yazin Nizar and Neha Basin tries hard to sound cool and trendy. Ramajogayya Sastry incorporated motley of random cool phrases to match with the upbeat tune. DSP's orchestration also has nothing special to offer apart from his stale foot tapping rhythms. Jayaho Janatha is probably the best song in an otherwise underwhelming album while vocal powerhouses Vijay Prakash and Sukhwinder singh elevate the mood of the song with their stupendous rendition. DSP's arrangements are also quite enticing with the fabulous usage of Babu's trumpet and string instrument with a tinge of Middle Eastern touch in the interludes. Nee Selavadigi is an emotional number from the composer which rides on the pitch perfect rendition of Swetha Mohan while DSP engages the listener with Balaji's quite wailing violin solos and string sections. The song's only grouse is the less than two minutes duration. DSP ends the album with undeniable and unwarranted Andhra kuthu Pakka Localu which has every element one can associate with the songs of this genre. Every Music director and director in Tollywood continues to churn out the similar pattern songs tirelessly and Geetha Madhuri is as energetic as always in delivering the songs of this genre with perfection.

Verdict: Devi Sri Prasad's Janatha Garage is far from his best work and the album is filled with hackneyed tunes which bog down the listener's interest.

My rating: 6.5/10

Pick of the album: Jayaho Janatha, Nee Selavadigi, Pranaamam

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Music Review (Kannada): Mungaru Male 2

Music Review (Kannada): Mungaru Male 2
Music Composer: Arjun Janya

Gamanisu is an incredibly pleasant melody topped with ear-worming guitar strums and Sonu Nigam's impeccable rendition while Arjun Janya adorned the melody with brief Mano thang's sarangi intermittently and string sections. Arjun Janya followed the same template as in prequel soundtrack, Shreya Goshal crooning the Gamanisu's female version Kanasalu and the song is enchanting as original. Thanks to the tune and Shreya's mesmerising vocals. 

Arjun Janya roped in another Bollywood singer Armaan Malik to croon the immersive melody Sariyaagi where once again dreamy arrangements featuring guitars, Chennai Orchestra's string sections, whistles makes this one engaging till it lasts. Armaan Malik featured in another gorgeous number Neenu Irade dominated with synthesized pop beats and melody flows seamlessly without hurdle. Anuradha Bhat and chorus vocals ably support the easily accessible melody and loved the way nadhaswaram bits and slide guitar is used in the interludes. Onte song's tune is a pedestrian one catering to the mass audiences of the soundtrack, however Arjun done a well job with respect to orchestration in throwing out some fabulous usage of guitars and violin. My daddy is another mediocre tune and Benny Dayal's vocals and kamalakar's flute make it listenable to certain extent. Trap song and Mashup fails to make an impact after the string of lovely melodies.

Verdict: Arjun Janya delivered highly rich melodies for Mungaru Male's sequel and made the soundtrack memorable as Mano Murthy's Mungaru Male.

My Rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Gamanisu, Kanasalu, Sariyaagi, Neenu Irade

P.S You can listen to the soundtrack in Saavn.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Music Review (Tamil): Dharmadurai

Music Review (Tamil): Dharmadurai
Music Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Endha Pakkam's run of the mill tune and typical pleasant arrangements has nothing extraordinary to offer except for the impeccable rendition by Chinmayi and ably supported by Rahul Nambiar in the second half. Yuvan Shankar Raja's arrangement dominated by guitar is predictably pedestrian one and Vairamuthu's lyrics sounds apt for this passable track.Aandi Patti's meandering tune also falters after initial few minutes and the track has hackneyed rhythm structure dominated by tabla. The song has very few enticing elements and even the vocals of Senthildass and Surmukhi fails to elevate the song from the mediocre level.

Poi Vaada rides mainly on the earnest rendition by Srimathu mitha and  Yuvan's minimal orchestration accentuate both the lead singer vocals and Vairamuthu's beautiful lyrics brimming with optimism. The track's only grouse being that the duration is less than two minutes and ends abruptly before making strong impact on the listeners.Makka Kalanguthappa is a boisterous riot filled with raw native thappattam sounds especially loved the manner harmonium is infused amidst the raucous kuthu and sung with rustic energy by Mathichiyam Bala. The song surely hits the bull eye for the particular section of the audiences and with apt visuals bound to become chartbuster. In Naan Kaatrile, Yuvan digressed from the rural soundscape of the album to trance like progression dominated by rock sounds filled with screech guitar and live drums. However the tune falls into the conventional one, breezy peppy number and crooned effectually by ever reliable Karthik.

Verdict: Yuvan Shankar Raja's dharmadhurai is the lacklustre soundtrack from the combo who gave brilliant idam Porul Yaeval and the album is packed with casual conventional sounding tunes.

My rating: 6.5/10

Pick of the Album: Endha Pakkam, Poi Vaada, Makka Kalanguthappa

P.S You can listen to the songs in Youtube.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Music Review(Tamil): Irumugan

Music Review(Tamil): Irumugan
Music Composer: Harris Jayaraj

Kannai Vittu is a pleasant charming listen and Harris effectually mixes the soothing tune amidst the splendid combo of EDM and piano. Tipu owns the song with his effortless vocals while Harris churns out arresting interludes featuring the lovely mix of classical humming and string sections in the first and second interlude respectively. Harris ends the song in style making effectual use of Srimathumitha's vocals.Halena also has the international feel with its techno sounds and filled with typical Harris Jayaraj'ish jibberish words. However, the track works big time thanks to the consistent trippy mix in the arrangements and also fabulous vocal support from Christopher Stanley, Abhay Jodhpurkar and especially Ujjayinee Roy.

Oh Maya treads on the similar trendy cool techno hip hop sound and despite the tune bears some of the composer stamps, the pleasant number is adequately enjoyable till it lasts. Harris infused brilliant interludes with saxophone and Carnatic- styled guitar in the interludes. N C Karunya and Ramya NSK's vocals sound apt for this enjoyable number.Harris Jayaraj tried mix of grungy rock sounds and rap verses in Irumugan Settai. However the track falters as it progresses despite the high-octane rap verses by Emcee and stylized vocals of Maalavika Manoj. The song may work along with the visuals but not as a standalone track.Harris Jayaraj ends the highly stylish album with the edgy face off theme and the highly enticing theme features the brilliant mix of haunting guitar, string sections and to the top of that appealing vocals. Overall fitting end to the soundtrack.

Verdict: Harris Jayaraj brings his mojo back with the highly stylized album with the less deja-vu feel and the album surely stays in the top of the charts with couple of songs.

My rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Kannai Vittu, Halena, Oh Maya

P.S. You can listen to the songs in Saavn.

Music Review (Tamil): Kidaari

Music Review (Tamil): Kidaari
Music Composer: Darbuka Siva

Vandiyille Nellu Varum's best part is consistent foot tapping Keba Jeremiah's guitar sections and Naveen Napier's fabulous bass line. Anthony Dassan shines with his vocals true to his signature, however, Sanjana Kalmanje's outsmart with her brief easily appealing vocals. Darbuka Siva spruces the second half with quite decent Selvaraj's Nadhaswaram. The album shifts into the broody mood with Vettaruva Veecharuva and the composer brilliantly set the ambience with haunting string sections and Navin Chandar's flute and woodwind orchestration accentuate the tone of the song in a splendid manner. Velmurugan fits the bill perfectly crooning the Ekadesi's gloomy lyrics.Thalakaalu Puriyala is the brilliant fusion work which starts off with the soulful rendition by Anitha and the song turns out into quite an upbeat rock and roll fashion filled with rustic Mohan rajan lyrics. Darbuka Siva segued wonderfully Bala's Nadhaswaram and Pichaikani's thavil amidst the enjoyable Babu's brass work. Velmurugan lends the fantastic support to Anitha's energetic vocals.

Nenjukulle Ninnu kittu is a short pleasant listen lifted by the lilting orchestration dominated by Navin Chander's flute and rhythmic darbuka by the composer itself. Sanjana Kalmanje handled the tune well with her pleasant vocals. Darbuka Siva recreates the familiar Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi's Pagaivanukku Arulvaai with Haricharan's effortless vocals. In contrast to the lyrics which speaks about love, the composer's rich arrangements features haunting string arrangements by B Prasanna and wonderful classical sarod solos by Debasmita Bhattacharya. Overall, debut composer delivers a stunning song, the song is worth a listen for its captivating orchestration itself. Kaathu Veesuthu Kaathu is an effective short piece with symphonic string sections and Bala's Nadhaswaram giving the slight nod to Thalakaalu Puriyala.Darbuka Siva ended the brilliant soundtrack with another haunting instrumental piece Velivarum ulagam where gloomy soundscape created by thrilling string sections gives the goosebumps for the listeners.

Verdict: Kidaari is a competent noteworthy debut from Darbuka Siva where composer's stellar fusion in the arrangements for the rustic lyrics stands apart.

My rating: 8.5/10

Pick of the Album: Pagaivanukku Arulvaai, Thalakaalu Puriyala, Vettaruva Veechar

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn.