Sunday, December 31, 2017

Music Review (Updated) - 2017

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 (Kannada): Tagaru

Music Review (Kannada): Tagaru
Music Composer : Charan Raj

Tagaru banthu Tagaru's tune is monotonous but the music loop and Antony Daasan's vocal lifts the song from the pedestrian one. Charan Raj kept the upbeat mood of the song consistently despite the tune sounds like the direct import from Telugu mass films. Ananya Bhat shines in the folksy hold on song and the Charan Raj's rustic tune and the violin solos in the interludes make this one listenable song. Composer strikes again in another Ananya Bhat song Mental ho jawa and the synth-laden soundtrack has the groovy and instantly catchy tune.Raksha Achar and Meghna Bhat ably support with their vocals.

Verdict: After middling Dalapathi, Charan Raj back to his impressive form for another commercial high budget film Tagaru.

My Rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Hold on, Mental Ho Jawa 

P.S you can listen to the songs in Saavn

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Music Roundup - 2017

Music Roundup - 2017

It's December and it's time to do the music roundup of this year's best songs/ the songs which stayed on my playlist for a long time. I'm happy that I was able to continue this roundup list for the 4th year but slightly disappointed that unable to post reviews as frequently as before due to my other commitments. Hopefully, I should be able to do full-fledged reviews from next year and personally,  wish to say that those are merely my thoughts on the particular album.


    In Tamil, compared to last year, 2017 is low key with respect to music, but Bhindumalini and Vedanth Bharadwaj's brilliant unconventional music in Aruvi deserve the top album of the year. Sam C S utilized his high profile budget movie Vikram Vedha and delivered the top-notch quality album. Sean Roldan impresses with the highly melodious offering in Power Paandi but the composer's work in VIP2, Kadha Nayagan, and Nerrupu da doesn't work except for the one or two songs in the album.

  Composer of the year is undeniably Ghibran and very happy that the composer's talent is recognized with the commercial hit Aramm and Theeran Adhigaram Ondru. He delivered brilliant albums during year start with Adhe Kangal and continues his prolific scores in Maayavan, Magalir Mattum, Aramm and Theeran Adhigaram Ondru.

 A R Rahman comes back with vengeance in Kaatru Veliyidai while Mersal fails to impress me musically and Robot 2.0 stands in the middle. Harris Jayaraj and Yuvan Shankar Raja continue to be pigeonholed with their limited well-established soundscape. Imman who was the composer of the year in 2016 fails to continue his magical run this year mainly because of the hackneyed trademark melodies. Though his brilliance in some of the tracks is evident. he fails to deliver a complete knock out album this year. Anirudh did a fine job in both Velaikkaran and Vivegam even though both the album has familiar sound cues. Santhosh Narayanan remains low key this year with the average albums Bairava and Server Sundaram but he hits the right note the melodious Meyaadha Maan along with Pradeep Kumar.

Composer of the year: Ghibran

Top 3 Tamil Albums of 2017:

1) Aruvi - Bhindumalini and Vedanth Bharadwaj
2) Power Paandi - Sean Roldan
3) Kaatru Veliyidai -  AR Rahman

Top Tamil songs of 2017:

1) Sarattu Vandiyile - Kaatru Veliyidai - AR Rahman
2) Asaindhaadum Mayil - Aruvi - Bhinumalini and Vedanth Bharadwaj
3) Paarthen - Power Paandi - Sean Roldan
4) Oru Veetil - Theeran Adhigaram Ondru - Ghibran
5) Vaan - Kaatru Veliyidai - AR Rahman
6) Thandiraa - Adhe Kangal - Ghibran
7) Enna Naan Seiven - Meyaadha Maan - Pradeep Kumar
8) Yaanji Yaanji - Vikram Vedha - Sam CS
9) Merku Karayil - Aruvi - Bhindumalini and Vedanth Bharadwaj
10) Ammu Kuttiye - Geminiganeshanum Suruli Rajanum - Imman
11) Aalangiliye - Neruppu da - Sean Roldan
12) Kadhalaada - Vivegam - Anirudh
13) Adi Vaadi Thimiraa - Magalir Mattum - Ghibran
14) Megamo Aval - Meyaadha Maan - Santosh Narayanan
15) Melam Kottudaa - Aramm - Ghibran

Other Songs worth mentioning:

16) Yavvana - Sathya - Simon K King
17) Engapora Dora - Dora - Mervin Solomon
18) Paathum Paakkama - Kurangu Bommai - Ajaneesh Loknath
19) Kavidhaigala - Maragadha Naanayam - Dhibu Ninan Thomas
20) Nee Illai Yendral - 8 Thottakkal - KS Sundaramurthy
21) Iraivanai Thandha - VIP2 - Sean Roldan
22) Oxygen - Kavan - HipHop Tamizha
23) Tasakku Tasakku - Vikram Vedha - Sam CS
24) Rail Aaraaroo - Nenjil Thunivirundhal - Imman
25) Iravil Varukira - En Aaloda Seruppa Kaanom - Ishaan Dev
26) Iraiva - Velaikkaran - Anirudh
27) Unavey Marundhu -Server Sundaram - Santosh Narayanan
28) Kannukulla - Kaalakkoothu - Justin Prabhakaran
29) Vaaraai Vaaraai - Bogan - Imman
30) Naan Ini Kaatril - Yaakkai - Yuvan Shankar Raja

You can listen to the songs as a single playlist in Saavn.


    The Hindi music scenario of 2017 is middling and really disappointed that Amit Trivedi, who is my favorite composer in Bollywood, delivered average albums like Quadi Band and Secret Superstar but although gave much better short soundtrack for Rukh. Another dissenting trend is that staggered release of songs in Bollywood and it's pity that still Jagga Jaasoos's official complete soundtrack is yet to release. Another composer who was missing is SEL after their brilliant Mirzya in 2016. Pritam definitely deserves composer of the year title and the man delivered two outstanding soundtracks Jab Harry Met Sejal and Jagga Jaasoos. Vishal Bhardwaj's Rangoon easily takes the top spot in the albums released this year.

    Rahman delivered unconventional tracks for Mom and relatively engaging soundtrack for Ok Jaanu. Ram Sampath delivers pretty engaging Raees while the multi-composer soundtrack is pretty normal in Hindi music, two composers who stood out in the pack are undeniably Tanishk Bagchi and Rochak Kohli. The former delivered brilliant soundtrack in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Tumhari Sulu while the later delivered some of the memorable tracks in Qarib Qarib single and Lucknow central. Apart from Meri Pyaari Bindu and Simran, Sachin Jigar's work is pretty much average.

Composer of the year: Pritam

Top 3 Hindi Albums of 2017

1) Rangoon - Vishal Bhardwaj
2) Jagga Jaasoos - Pritam
3) Jab Harry Met Sejal - Pritam

Top Hindi Songs of 2017

1) Barfani - Babumoshai Bandookbaaz - Gaurav Dagaonkar
2) Yeh Ishq Hai - Rangoon - Vishal Bhardwaj
3) Ullu Ka Patha - Jagga Jaasoos - Pritam
4) Parinda - Jab Harry Met Sejal - Pritam
5) Kanha - Shubh Mangal Savdhan - Tanishk-Vayu
6) Tippa - Rangoon - Vishal Bhardwaj
7) Be Nazaara - Mom - AR Rahman
8) Safar - Jab Harry Met Sejal - Pritam
9) Rafu - Tumhari Sulu - Santanu Ghatak
10) Jhumritalaiyya - Jagga Jaasoos - Pritam
11) Saajon Aayo Re - Ok Jaanu - AR Rahman
12) Phir Nayi - Qaidi Band - Amit Trivedi
13) Iss Tarah - Meri Pyaari Bandu - Sachin - Jigar
14) Hai Baaki - Rukh - Amit Trivedi
15) Chal Kahin Door - Mom - AR Rahman

Other songs worth mentioning

16) Single Rehne De - Simran - Sachin Jigar
17) Khidki - Rukh - Amit Trivedi
18) Dum Dum - Phillauri - Shashwat Sachdev
19) Manva likes to fly - Tumhari Sulu - Tanishk Bagchi
20) Ek Dooni Do - Rangoon - Vishal Bhardwaj
21) Chulbuli - Babumoshai Bandookbaaz - Gaurav Dagaonkar
22) Le Li Jaan - Lipstick under my Burkha - Zebunnisa Bangash
23) Khatam Kahani - Qarib Qarib Single - Vishal Mishra
24) Sapne Re - Secret Superstar - Amit Trivedi
25) Udi Udi Jaaye - Raees - Jam8
26) Tamma Tamma again - Badrinath Ki Dulhania - Tanishq Bagchi
27) Badnaam Jiya De Gaari - Anaarkali of Aarah - Rohit Sharma
28) Sweety Tera drama - Bareilly Ki Barfi - Tanishq Bagchi
29) Tan Tan - Chef - Raghu Dixit
30) Hoor - Hindi Medium - Sachin Jigar

You can listen to the songs as a single playlist in Saavn.


     This year Telugu music scenario is revamped by a bunch of young music directors who delivered knockout albums. Radhan came up with a stunner soundtrack Arjun Reddy and the songs were on my playlist for a long period of time. The tracks are segued into the movie beautifully. Shravan music is always an exciting one and in 2017 also he gave two stellar soundtracks (Chandamama Raave and Malli Raava). Hope the composer gets deserved recognition in 2018. Another promising young composer Vivek Sagar of pelli Choopulu fame, delivers brilliant Yudham Sharanam but the movie fails to work in the box office. Shakthikanth Karthik gets his break with the ear-friendly Fidaa while Vishal Chandrasekhar hits the right note in Kathalo Rajakumari along with veteran Ilayaraja.

   Thaman continues to scrape his barrel bottom while Devisriprasad continues to perform well within his limited stock tunes.Hopefully, we will be able to listen to more songs from Sunny MR and Gopi Sundar next year while another Malayalam composer, Shaan Rahman debuts this year in Telugu with the decent album Prematho Mee Karthik and the above average Rachayitha

Composer of the year: Radhan

Top Telugu Albums of 2017

1) Arjun Reddy - Radhan
2) Yudham Sharanam - Vivek Sagar
3) Malli Raava - Shravan

Top Telugu songs of 2017

1) Madhuram - Arjun Reddy - Radhan
2) Enno Enno Bhavaley - Yudham Sharanam - Vivek Sagar
3) Hey Pillagada - Fidaa - Shakthikanth Karthik
4) Gudilo Badilo Madilo - Duvvada Jagannadham - Devisri Prasad
5) Chinuku - Malli Raava - Shravan
6) Allari Pilla Gaada - Ungarala Rambabu - Ghibran
7) Praayam Inthe Raa - Chandamama Raave - Shravan
8) Nilavade - Shatamanam Bhavati - Mickey J Meyer.
9) Vachinde - Fidaa - Shakthikanth Karthik
10) Unnatundi Gundey - Ninnu Kori - Gopi Sundar
11) Ala Meda Mida - Next Nuvve - Sai Karthik
12) Manase Thalupe - Kathalo Rajakumari - Vishal Chandrasekhar
13) Dhooram - Arjun Reddy - Radhan
14) Adedo Maayelley - Yudham Sharanam - Vivek Sagar
15) Malli Raava - Malli Raava - Shravan

Other songs worth mentioning:

16) Hamsa Naava - Baahubali 2 - MM Keeravani
17) Telusa Neeku Bahusa - Keshava - Sunny MR
18) Arere Yekkada - Nenu local - DeviSri Prasad
19) Manavi Alakincharadate - Mental Madhilo - Prashanth R Vihari
20) Egire - Venkatapuram - Achu Rajamani
21) Ekimeeda - Gautamiputra Satakarni - Chirantan Bhatt
22) Yelo Yedarilo Vaana - Katamarayudu - Anup Rubens
23) Thakita - Rarandoi Vedukka Chuddam - DeviSri Prasad
24) Premale - PSV Garuda Vega - Bheems Cecireleo
25) Chinnari - Raja the great - Sai Karthik
26) What Amma - Unnadhi Okate Zindagi - Devi Sri Prasad
27) Shatamanam Bhavati - Shatamanam Bhavati - Mickey J Meyer
28) Merise - Aanando Brahma - K
29) O Kshanam - Oxygen - Yuvan Shankar Raja
30) Sitara - Winner - Thaman

You can listen to the songs as a single playlist in Saavn.


     It's unfortunate that I was unable to listen to many soundtracks in Malayalam and there are more chances that I might have missed some of the best songs released in 2017. So this list cannot be considered as the comprehensive list for Malayalam. It's just list of songs which I thoroughly enjoyed listening in Malayalam and this is one industry where the composers give much importance to the unadulterated earthy songs brimmed with native sounds. This is reflected in the lyrics and kind of melodies churned out by this industry. Bijibal is one of the composers who delivers timeless old-world melodies to such a perfection and in 2017 also once can see the composer is in fine form from Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol to Matchbox. Another composer who delivers consistently is Shaan Rahman who scores Godha, Velipadinte Pusthakam, and many more fine soundtracks. Prashant Pillai continues to enchant the listeners with his exquisite sounds in Angamaly Diaries, Solo, and Sakhavu.

Composer of the year: Bijibal and Shaan Rahman

Top 3 Malayalam Albums of 2017

1) Solo - Mutiple Composers
2) Angamaly Diaries - Prashant Pillai
3) Udaharanam Sujatha - Gopi Sundar

Top Malayalam songs of 2017

1) Sita Kalynam - Solo - Sooraj S Kurup
2) Do Naina - Angamaly Diaries - Prashant Pillai
3) Kilivathilin Chare Nee - Pullikkaran Staraa -  M Jayachandran
4) Edhedho Swapnamo - Avarude Ravukal - Sankar Sharma
5) Entammede Jimmiki Kammal - Velipadinte Pusthakam - Shaan Rahman
6) Kasavu Njoriyumoru - Udaharanam Sujatha - Gopi Sundar
7) Ayalathe - Angamaly Diaries - Prashant Pillai
8) Roshomon - Solo - Prashant Pillai
9) Ozhukiyozhuki - Oru Cinemakaaran - Bijibal
10) Unarukayaano - Udaharanam Sujatha - Gopi Sundar
11) Kannile Poika - Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum - Bijibal
12) Melakey - Crossroad - Anithashaiq
13) Aal Ayaal - Solo - Masala Coffee
14) Lailakame - Ezra - Rahul Raj
15) Njanee Oonjalil - Rakshadhikari Baiju - Bijibal
16) Aaro Nenjil - Godha - Shaan Rahman
17) Athimara Kombile - Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol - Bijibal
18) Neeyum Njaanum - Aana Alaralodalaral - Shaan Rahman
19) Enthavo - Njandukalude Naatil Oridavela - Justin Varghese
20) Mohabathin - Take off - Gopi Sundar

You can listen to the songs as a single playlist in Saavn.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Music Review (Telugu): Jai Simha

Music Review (Telugu): Jai Simha
Music Composer: Chirantan Bhatt

Ammakutti Ammakutti is tried and tested Telugu mass number where Geetha Madhuri's modulations in the Charanam portions being the only saving grace and the lyrics are ostensibly deplorable one from Bhaskarabhatla. Jaspreet Jasz infuses much energy to the languishing song with his energetic vocals. Chirantan Bhatt comes back to his form in Anaganaga Anaganaga where Vijay Yesudas sounds like his father and the composer's brilliant pleasant arrangements make this storytelling verses of Srimani works like a charm. Sanjoy Das's flute and Arun Kamath's guitar deserves special mention.

Jai Simha theme is a random outburst of Noel Sean and Vivek Hariharan where the tune and the rap portions hardly work despite lead singers tried to infuse liveliness to the song. The arrangements are predictably too loud and hardly has any catchy stuff from the composer. Priyam Jagame Anandhamayam's techno-laden duet is a tedious listen except for the lead vocals by Revanth and Ramya Behera. The backgrounds and arrangements are typical electronic sound without much to offer and the interludes fall flat along with the tune. Shreya Goshal and Chirantan Bhatt delivered few brilliant songs in their previous work and in this album also they delivered relatively pleasant jingle'ish score in the form of Yevevo Cheppanipisthundhi. Though the track falls below the combo's earlier works, this is the only song works in this weaker album from Chirantan Bhatt.

My rating: 6/10

Verdict: Chirantan Bhatt's first commercial album in Telugu is also the weakest one from the composer without much of his usual novelty or catchiness required for this kind of albums.

Pick of the Album: Yevevo Cheppanipisthundhi,  Anaganaga Anaganaga

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn

Music Review (Tamil): Gulebagavali

Music Review (Tamil): Gulebagavali
Music Composer: Vivek- Merwin

Guleba rides mainly on the buoyant carefree festive arrangements dominated by Maxwell's catchy Trumpet hook and Anirudh's colloquial singing. However, Ku Karthick's lyrics are irksome at some places but the song sails through mainly because of it's fluffy tone and simple heard before nature of the tune. Seramal Ponal reminds of the Leon James kind of music and the pleasant breezy melody works quite effectually because of the lead singers Mervin Solomon and Sameera Bharadwaj who crooned many beautiful melodies in Telugu. Mervin Solomon kept the arrangements tidy dominated by brilliant strings sections by Chennai Strings and Keys by the composer duo itself.

Heartukulla is another dance number and we can't expect much more in terms of music. The tune and arrangements are predictably mediocre one where the only saving grace is in the energetic vocals of Nakash Aziz and adequately supported by Sanjana Diwakar. Seramaal Ponal comes in another version You are the Only one where Inno Genga delivers with finesse, However, predictable techno sounds are interspersed which makes this one falls tad lower than the original version. The synth programming and the classical continuum keyboard usage in the interludes are easy highlights of this reprise version.

My Rating: 6/10

Verdict: Gulebagavali is the short soundtrack where the melodies work to some extent and this is the weakest album from the composer duo.

Pick of the Album: Seramal Ponaal

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Music Review (Telugu): Agnyathavaasi

Music Review (Telugu): Agnyathavaasi
Music Composer: Anirudh Ravichander

Dhaga Dhaga Maney's progressive rock fusion works seamlessly despite the distracting Anirudh's vocals in the much better backgrounds while Vishal Dadlani infuses liveliness with his energetic vocals. The chorus portions segue befittingly to the main tune while the brilliant Guy Bernfeld's bass line along with the stupendous guitar work by Prasanna and Rex Vijayan makes this song easily works. Baitikochi Chusthe's casual tune is complemented well by Srimani's colloquial lyrics and Anirudh guitar-laden arrangements are adorned by Kamlakhar's gripping flute solos in the interludes. Keba Jeremiah's guitar work is an undeniable USP of this enjoyable song from Anirudh.

Anirudh delivers the highly serene Carnatic fusion of the traditional Mohana Raga based Kirthi, Swagatham Krishna originally composed by Oothukkadu Venkatasubbaiyer. To the surprise, Anirudh kept the backgrounds arrangements minimal and brings the brilliant Niranjana's vocal to the front. The lead singer delivers the song in pitch-perfect manner. The best song of the soundtrack is undeniably Gaali Vaaluga where Ananthakrishnan's musical advisor role is apparent. Anirudh's brilliant rendition and the Keba Jeremiah's fabulous guitar work comes together beautifully while the composer throws in some beautiful Konnakol scatting bits in the background consistently. The icing on the cake is beautiful dilruba solos by Saroja and the peppy outlook of the 4-minute song. AB Yevaro Nee baby is the soundtrack's weakest link mainly because of the meandering and inconsistent tune. However, Nakash Aziz and Arjun Chandy make up for its flaws along with the main contribution from Keba Jeremiah's fabulous guitar work, especially in the interludes.

Verdict: Anirudh Ravichander makes his compelling and competent debut in Tollywood with the refreshing and peppy tracks for Pawan Kalyan.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Pick of the Album: Gaali Vaaluga, Baitikochi Chusthe, Dhaga Dhaga Maney

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

Monday, December 11, 2017

Music Review (Telugu): Hello

Music Review (Telugu): Hello
Music Composer: Anup Rubens

Hello highly benefits from Armaan Malik's sincere rendition and though the harmonies are quite an outdated and popular one, the track works to a certain extent mainly because of the lead vocals. The rap portions are strictly Harris Jayaraj material and the clutter-free arrangements make this title track listenable till it lasts. Anaganaga Oka Uru's lovely tune is complemented by affecting solo violin and Sri Dhruthi's naive vocals and the track reminds of the composer's Manam track. The track's female version crooned by Shreya Goshal easily trumps the original version. Shreya's effective saccharine filled vocals make this one instant likable track. The violin plays a huge part in this version also.

Thalachi Thalachi's guitar-laden melody highly rides on the effective vocals of Haricharan and Anup Rubens did a splendid work in the interludes especially classical-tinged guitar solos in the first interlude. Haricharan makes sure that the track works with his impeccable vocals. Yevevo suffers from the Akhil Akkineni's limited singing range but the earnest rendition along with the ample support from Jonita Gandhi makes this easy on ear melody works. Anup Rubens kept the arrangements minimal with mainly driven by guitar strums.  Merise Merise works magically for its low key wedding arrangements at least during initial half of the song and quite liked the female humming portions. However soon the track falls into the uninspiring Charanam portions and the languishing tune is kept alive by Haricharan.

Verdict: Anup Rubens - Vikram K Kumar's Hello falls short of the expectations and the tracks are far behind from the Manam and Ishq.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Pick of the Album: Anaganaga Oka Uru (Female Version), Yevevo, Thalachi Thalachi. 

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

Music Review (Telugu): Middle Class Abbayi

Music Review (Telugu): Middle Class Abbayi
Music Composer: Devisri Prasad

The title track is the rehashed version of DSP's stock tune and instead of singing by himself, DSP relegated it to quite an effectual singer Nakash Aziz. However, the singer is repeatedly relegated to the similar type of songs by Devisri Prasad. Chandrabose's lyrics are strictly pedestrian and serves the purpose adequately. Kothaga Kothaga is relatively better melody although strictly lies within the comfort zone of the composer. Sagar and Priya Himesh makes this one saleable although the tune invokes deja-vu feel. DSP kept the arrangements simple and prodded by quite an effective violin solos by Balaji.

Family Party is a foot tapping song with the outburst of energetic vocals from Jaspreet Jasz and though the tune is strictly mediocre and outdated one, the peppy outlook of the song make this one an enjoyable fare from the composer. Yemaindho Teliyadhu Naaku's simple melody remains greatly listenable for the ever-reliable vocals of Karthik and Deepika V. DSP's neat arrangements topped by brilliant veena solos by Devi in the interludes and upbeat mandolin by the composer itself. The simple rhythm and the composer's trademark melody makes this one works to a certain extent. Yevandoi Naani Gaaru's meandering tune is made tolerable by the vocals of Divya Kumar and Shravana Bharghavi despite the diction is mangled by Divya Kumar. Apart from the catchy title hook and the punching percussions, the song has very little to offer.

Verdict: DSP throws another predictable album and the tracks are the highly rehashed version of the composer's stock tunes.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Pick  of the Album: Yemaindho Teliyadhu Naaku, Kothaga Kothaga

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


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Sakka Podu Podu Raja

Music Review (Tamil): Sakka Podu Podu Raja
Music Composer: STR

Kalakku Machaan's grandly mounted string-laden orchestration aside, Anirudh Ravichander and Simbu's vocals are a heavy sore point on the track. Rokesh's pedestrian lyrics doesn't help the song either. The only solace being the adequately enjoyable Karthik's violin and Thirumoorthy's Nadhaswaram.Yuvan Shankar Raja's heavily digitized vocals in Kaadhal Devadhai props the song to some extent but the tune is strictly mediocre one. STR employed brilliantly the classical Kishore's sitar and Srinivas's Mirudangam. The song totally turns into upbeat techno instrumental towards the end and though it sounds random incongruous transition, the track is enjoyable till it lasts.

STR delivered another lively track Unakkaga and the track works wonderfully for its largely buoyant soundscape. Leon James's processed vocals irk at some instances while Andrea Jeremiah's amusing portions makes this song listenable. The interludes are also enjoyable especially brilliant Baritone Sax by Martin and clever Sundar, Kaviraj's Thavil inclusion. Siri Siru's semi-classical tune is gorgeous and the beauty of the tune is enhanced by the Karthick Iyer's solo violin and the grand strings-laden orchestration by Chennai Strings. Vasudev Krishna's improvisation works like charm while Keerthana Vaidyanathan amply supports him with her effectual rendition. Though, the string section and the violin sounds to be more magnificent than required, lilting tune makes up for that minor grouse. STR closed the soundscape with the heavily processed family song featuring vocals of STR, Rajendar and Usha Rajendar. The track is absolutely a mediocre one with hardly any enticing elements to listen and the synth beats are too bland to hold the attention.

Verdict: STR makes surprisingly decent debut in Sakka Podu Podu Raja and the album works partially.

My Rating: 7/10

Pick of the Album: Unakkaga, Siru Siru, Kaadhal Devadhai

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


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Balloon

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

Rizwan's throaty vocals sounds contradict with the buoyant waltzy arrangements in the background. Though the vocals and tune are distracting one, Arunraja Kamaraj's vocals sound tandem with the consistently engaging sounds in the rhythm. Loved the brief plucked string musical cues in the interludes. Mazhai Megam benefits largely from the Yuvan's dependable melody and Priya Jerson's effectual vocals. However, Yuvan's singing mauls the melody to a large extent and Thankfully Yuvan as a composer performed much better than as a singer which makes this one marginally interesting song in the album.

Yuvan delivers stellar melody track in Uyirile Uyirile where the Raja'esque tune accompanied by neat arrangements makes this track easily best one in the album. Yuvan throws in surprises especially classical-tinged first interlude and Yuvan must revisit this kind of tracks frequently. Vijay Yesudas and Priyanka totally owns this song and especially the former's soulful singing make this one an engaging. Shut up Pannunga has very less to offer musically and the track rides mainly on the familiar title hook along with Anirudh Ravichander's name in the credit list. The arrangements are mainly dominated by the sneaky techno sounds which have very less shelf time. Balloon's Mystery ticks off every sound one can associate with the horror genre and the theme track ends in a high with the strings reaching crescendo towards the end. Revenge of the Joker is adequate background material and may blend well with the visuals rather than as a standalone track.

Verdict: Balloon is a consistently light and engaging album from Yuvan Shankar Raja after a recent misses.

My Rating: 7/10

Pick of the album: Uyirile Uyirile, Vaanam Dhaane

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

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Velaikkaran

Music Review (Tamil): Velaikkaran
Music Composer: Anirudh Ravichander

Karuthavanlaam Galeejaam is a manic raw kuthu from Anirudh and the composer easily carries the swag with his carefree vocals. The lyrics can be easily mistaken by Rokesh if not for Viveka's names in the credit list. Though the tune is strictly mediocre, the raw energy in Anirudh's processed vocals makes this one easily sails through until the end.Vaa Velaikkara starts off in a dreamy fashion with Shakthishree's affecting vocals and the sound in the background is build up in a resounding manner. Anirudh ensured that synth loop is catchy enough while Bjorn Surrao's rap energy sets the tone of the song. Though the song is short, it keeps the listeners hooked till the end.

Idhyane's lush strings and keys laden background elevates the pleasant melody while Neethi Mohan's saccharine soaked vocals make this one works despite the tune is strictly an adequate one. Anirudh's overused vocals don't help the melody and the consistent engaging background along with Neethi's vocals help to some extent. Anirudh returns to his heavy metal sound of Vivegam in Iraiva and the transition from manic energy in Anirudh's vocals to pleasant classy melody is done in a neat fashion. The flute cues welcoming the pleasant portions after an outburst from Anirudh are a nice touch from the composer. Jonita Gandhi steals the show in a highly affecting track in the album. Anirudh ends the track with the gush of hard rock guitar strums. Ezhu Velaikkara's exotic sound and the optimistic vibes around the Viveka's lyrics is strictly background'ish one from the composer. The punchy percussion rhythm and the arousing chorus may work well with the visuals but not as a standalone song. Siddharth Mahadevan does an adequate job with respect to the vocals and the song sounds a tad too long with its monotonous soundscape.

Verdict: Anirudh plays safe and confines strictly to his usual sounds in Velaikkaran with two standout tracks.

My Rating: 7/10

Pick of the Album:  Iraiva, Vaa Velaikkara, Karuthavanlaam Galeejam

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

Monday, November 27, 2017

Music Review (Telugu): Prematho Mee Karthik

Music Review (Telugu): Prematho Mee Karthik
Music Composer: Shaan Rahman

Okka Chinukulo has Shaan Rahman's melody written all over it and Anne Amies's resonant punchy vocals are ably supported by reliable Sachin Warrier. Shaan kept the arrangement breezy enough to accentuate the feel-goodness of the melody. The mild tabla base in the charanam portions creates wonderful aural effect for the song. Pacha Pacha Kalale is another delectable melody which works more because of the pleasant arrangements and Pranavi Acharya's effective vocals. Shaan once again throws mesmerizing flute sections in the first interlude. Shaan Rahman's Malayalam accent is evident in Visirina Banthalle and the upbeat tune is enjoyable till it last especially for its splendid harmonium usage. Though the tune is relatively an average one, the arrangements and rhythm do the tricks in favour of the song. Shaan Rahman ends the soundtrack with brilliant celebratory song Vanavaasam and the semi-classical tune is brilliantly rendered by Hemachandra and Malavika. The beauty of the song lies in the Charanam and Hemachandra makes it more enjoyable with his improvisations.

Verdict: Shaan Rahman makes his memorable Tollywood debut in a relatively unknown film Prematho Mee Karthik.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Pick of the Album: Okka Chinukulo, Vanavasam

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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Richie

Music Review (Tamil): Richie
Music Composer: Ajaneesh Loknath

Sollathaan Nenaikirane's tune has 90's vibe associated with it and the chorus segues into the tune beautifully. Ajaneesh Loknath adorns the beautiful folk track with the spellbinding flute and keyboard while string sections by Chennai Strings give middle Eastern tweak to the arrangements. Though the Kannada equivalent had superlative vocals of Vijay Prakash, Ajaneesh manages with the neat rendition of the Tamil version. In Thaayai Thedi, Ajaneesh brings in Vijay Yesudas for the vocal portions while retaining Shankar Mahadevan for the back and forth classical sargams towards the end. Vani Harikrishna's vocal portions are diminished and Ajaneesh tweaked the interludes by removing the Tabla base. The song is adequately enjoyable with subtle changes mainly because of soulful tune and superlative vocals. Ajaneesh gives the theme music Rich Tarantino styled haunting flavor and the intriguing sounds throughout the three minutes instrumental makes this one immensely enjoyable fare from the composer. The cornucopia of sounds created in the theme music is enough to bolster Nivin Pauly's screen presence. Ajaneesh pushes the boundary further in another instrumental Final Showdown and the Puli Aattam mix with the chenda mela and the resounding strings makes this one a terrific listen. The mild Latin/Middle Eastern flavor along with the traditional beats is the highlight of this 4-minute instrumental track.

Verdict: Richie is a fitting follow up album after Kurangu Bommai for the successful Sandalwood composer Ajaneesh Loknath.

My Rating: 8/10

Pick of the Album: Thaayai Thedi, Final Showdown, Sollathaan Nenaikirene

P.S: I wish Ajaneesh could have composed fresh tunes for the Tamil version and also I miss terribly Kaakig Banna and Male Marathu's Tamil version

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Semma Botha Aagathey

Music Review (Tamil): Semma Botha Aagathey
Music Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Semma Botha Aagathey's trippy upbeat techno-laden short track is mangled by Yuvan Shankar Raja's strictly limited vocal range. Yuvan's buoyant rhythm and title hook make this one an enjoying fare from the composer. Rokesh and Badri Venkatesh's lyrics aptly blends with the tone of the song. Itemkaaran is another mediocre work from composer and this techno-laden kuthu falters from the start and curiously titled song aside, the track has little to offer. Ranjith and Anita's lively singing keeps the song extant and the interludes also sound outdated.

Idhayathai Oru Nodi is a bankable melody from the composer and the only sore point being the composer's vocals and the deja-vu factor associated with the tune. However, the track is enjoyable till it lasts and the composer's minimal background rhythms and arrangements make this one easily the best song in the soundtrack. Gaali Pannura's highlight is undeniably sensual vocals of Ramya Nambeesan and though the tune meanders along, the infectious title hook along with the vocals makes this one engaging short song in the soundtrack.Yuvan scores easily in the Survival theme and the composer packaged the haunting score with some lovely plucked instruments.

Verdict: Semma Botha Aagathey is a short conventional mixed bag from Yuvan Shankar Raja.

My Rating:7/10

Pick of the Album: Idhayathai Oru Nodi, Semma Botha Aagathey

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Kathirupor Pattiyal

Music Review (Tamil): Kathirupor Pattiyal
Music Composer: Sean Roldan

Pradeep shines in a breezy serene romantic track and the mood is accentuated by Sean Roldan's minimal pleasant arrangements. Though, the lyrics sound to be a misfit to the tune, Pradeep Kumar's impeccable vocals makes this one an enjoyable listen till it lasts. Call Mela Call Pottu is a fun listen and Sean Roldan's kickass Tambrahm accent meets Hara Hara Mahadevaki which makes this one whimsical song on the album. Kaathirukkum Kootathukku's tune is middling and treads on the familiar path but Sean tries to prop up the song with brilliant interludes especially violin in the second interlude. Harihara Sudhan backs up the song effectually with his vocals. Thee Thee Theeyana benefits largely from the lovely Sax laden arrangements and efforts of superlative vocals by Adithya Rao and Shakthishree Gopalan works magically. Composer's pop rhythm aids to the song's proceedings. The theme track doesn't offer much and ends the soundtrack in a flat note.

Verdict: Sean Roldan manages to deliver an enjoyable mix of songs for Kathiruppor Pattiyal after a few mishaps.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Pick of the Album: Call Mela Call Pottu, Thee Thee Theeyana, Azhagile Enai

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Music Review (Tamil) : Aruvi

Music Review (Tamil) : Aruvi
Music Composer: Bindumalini and Vedanth Bharadwaj

In Kukotti Kunnatti, composer splendidly mixes the two parts where Vedanth's blissful ukelele gives way for the serene acapella towards the second half of the track and ends the track with once again top notch combination of string instruments. The acapella reminds us of the Prashant Pillai's stunner soundtrack in Malayalam film Amen and Bindumalini and Praniti effectually crooned the humming portions. Composers delivered another stunner in Asaindhadum Mayil where the combination itself an unimaginable one, Oothakaadu Venkata Subbaiyer's Carnatic verse meets the swanky Jazz instrumental. Bindumalini's brief Simmendramadhyam based rendition of Asaindhadum is pitch perfect and paparapaba hook is an enjoyable hook to the core. The second half is completely Balu's trumpet show with enough support from Fedrick Rosario's accordion. 

Cement Kaadu's ebullient tune is complemented well by Kutti Revathi and Arun Prabhu Purushothaman's lively casual lyrics. Composers adorn the enjoyable tune with energetic arrangements by employing brilliant mix of Joraj Stanley's drums and Niranjan's violin. Bindumalini once again aces in the vocals portions. Maanatha Tholachadey part towards the end is an amusing note from the composer.Though Uchham Thodum anbin Kodi is named as Party song, the song is more like an motivational number and the feel is accentuated by Kutti Revathi's lyrics. Composer's soft rock arrangements in the background gels well with the tone of the song. The genre elements aside, Fedrick Rosario's accordion and the scatting accompanied with the accordion is the brilliant touch form the composers.The soundtrack's most minimal song is Merku Karaiyil and the composer weaves the brilliant song around the simple yet astounding Banjo played by Vedant Bharadwaj. Vedant supports Bindhumalini in the vocal section and the splendid track ends with the classical Sarangi by Mano Thangamani. Composers ends the delectable soundtrack in high note with moods of Aruvi and the instrumental is prodded by Hemanth and Chandran's sincere violin solos accompanied by highly enjoyable Bindhumalini's humming and Vedant Bharadwaj's acoustic guitar.

Verdict: Aruvi's soundtrack is the most unconventional soundtrack in recent time and the highly inventive arrangements makes this one easily best debut for the composers.

My Rating: 9/10

Pick of the Album: Just listen the whole soundtrack.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Annadurai

Music Review (Tamil): Annadurai
Music Composer: Vijay Antony

Thangama Vairama starts off in a high note but once the outdated tune kicks off in Ananthu's vocals, the song fails to entice the listener. The interludes are strictly pedestrian and generic while Ananthu and Karthik tried to infuse life with the sincere rendition. The more memorable and inventive tune could have made this song an engaging listen. Vijay Antony brings back Nenjorathil fame Supriya Joshi to croon GST with the similar soundscape especially Tabla base. Though the tune fares tad lower than Nenjorathil, Vijay Antony able to deliver an adequately listenable song especially interludes and charanam portions. Arun Bharathi throws  GST in the lyrics to gather enough attention.

Apart from the slightly mellowed background soundscape, Odathey (Pathos) and Odathey doesn't have much variations, especially in terms of Ananthu's vocals. The tune strictly confines to the tried and tested Vijay Antony's stock list and also falls in the quite generic climatic soaring tune. Annadurai theme song falls into the composer's generalised melancholy template and Ananthu pushes a languishing tune with his effectual vocals but tune fails to engage. The only solace being the beautiful Piano interlude in the middle of the song.

Verdict: Vijay Antony's Annadurai is another unremarkable soundtrack from the composer and the short soundtrack from the composer has hardly any memorable tracks.

My Rating: 6/10

Pick of the Album: GST 

P.S You can listen to the songs in Saavn

Friday, November 3, 2017

Music Review (Tamil): Theeran Adhigaram Ondru

Music Review (Tamil): Theeran Adhigaram Ondru
Music Composer: Ghibran

Ghibran opens up the album with the stellar song Oru Veetil, Ghibran's haunting tune starting from the chorus prelude till the end and Thamarai's poetical sensual lyrics makes this one easy winner. Ghibran's layered arrangements especially brilliant flute and strings-laden interludes combined with the superlative singing by lovely Shashaa Tripathi makes this one an immensely enjoyable song from Ghibran. Inno Genga provides fabulous support to Shashaa. Ghibran delivers gloomy track O Saathiye and once again arrangements are top notch especially lovely Carnatic violin solo in the second interlude. Ghibran sets the Charanam portions with the tabla base and engaging chorus while composer's immersive tune and Uma devi's affecting lyrics makes this one another easy pick of the album. Armaan Malik delivers the song effectually.

Ghibran channeled his inner Ilayaraja in Laali Laali and the melodious tune is adorned with the consistent engaging arrangements while Pragathi Guruprasad's humming along with the thumping rhythm works like charm. Ghibran's simple yet hummable tune and the brilliant Charanam portion crooned perfectly by Sathyaprakash makes this song an easily accessible one.The title track is in lines with the expected soundscape, highly racy explosive track but the tune doesn't work to its favor as in other songs. The debut singers Aravind Srinivas and Sarath Santosh did a neat job with respect to vocals, However, the arrangements strictly confined to the relatively known hard rock material. Ghibran comes up with quite a surprising thing in Tamil album, a complete song featuring Hindi lyrics in Tinga Tinga. Though the accent by Padmalatha is questionable, the tune is lovely one with an enjoyable predominant folk sound throughout the track. Ghibran started to use Padmalatha's vocals differently after Magalir Mattum unlike his initial collaboration with the singer. Apart from the inconvenient vocals, the track is enjoyable till it lasts. Ghibran ends the soundtrack with another simple lovable melody Sevatha Pulla and the interludes are incredibly lively one with the sprightly sounds sprinkled throughout the song. KG Ranjith sails through the neat tune effortlessly.

Verdict: Ghibran's delivers an impressive enjoyable soundtrack for the high profile commercial entertainer and the melodies standout in the album.

My Rating:8.5/10

Pick of the album: Oru Veetil, O Saathiye, Sevathapulla.

P.S: You can listen to the songs on Gaana.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Music Review (Tamil) : 2.0

Music Review (Tamil) : 2.0
Music Composer: A R Rahman

Endhira Logathu Sundariye, as expected highly techno sounds laden track and Rahman's mixing make this one immensely enjoyable as well as the hummable track. Madhan Karky deserves special mention for his imaginative lyrics like Java Roja and invoking every robot parts in the verses. Sid Sriram nails the rendition as usual while Sashaa Tripathi mesmerizes the listener with her whispery brief sound cues.Rajaali Nee Gaali is the techno mass and majestic track for Rajini and Rahman once again ensured that the sounds are groovy enough to clasp the listener's attention. Composer's consistent engaging rhythm structure and the mastery in sound mixing is evident throughout the track. However, the lyrics sound discordant especially with all the grandeur with the sounds. Blaaze, Arjun Chandy and Sid Sriram deliver exceptionally well.

Verdict: Rahman's unique sound mixing and Madhan Karky's imaginative lyrics is sure enough to satiate composer's fans.

My Rating: 8/10

Pick of the album: Endhira Logathu, Rajaali Nee Gaali

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Music Review (Malayalam): Chakkaramaavin Kombathu

Music Review (Malayalam): Chakkaramaavin Kombathu
Music Composer: Bijibal

Bijibal delivers simple foot tapping Manjaniyum and the rhyming tune sung effectually by the kids Dev Dutt Bijibal and Sreya Jayadeep. Bijibal brilliantly employed earthy sounds throughout the track. Alanjoriyana brims with the lovely throwback melody which the composer always weaves his magic while the interludes evoke pleasant feeling especially the extensive usage of flute sections. Bijibal aces with his splendid rendition. Bijibal ends the soundtrack with another gorgeous melody backed by Subha's lovely rendition. Loved the way veena and the consistent mesmerizing rhythm employed in the arrangements.

Verdict: Ultrashort soundtrack (less than 10 mins) but immensely likeable work by Bijibal.

My Rating:7.5/10

Pick of the album: Mele Manathu, Alanjoriyana.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Music Review (Telugu): Oxygen

Music Review (Telugu): Oxygen
Music Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Adi Lekka hardly sounds like the Yuvan Shankar Raja music and the composer totally blends with the usual sound cues which are familiar in Thaman or DeviSri Prasad soundtracks. The track, unfortunately, sounds dull and Ramajogayya Sastry's lyrics about the Telugu language being the only highlight in an otherwise boring start to the album.Yuvan easily scores in the synth-dominated melody O Kshanam and Thanks to the lead singers Aishwarya and Deepak for their splendid radiation. Composer kept the rhythm structure simple and though nothing stands out especially in terms of arrangements, neat pleasant melody makes this one listenable till it lasts.

Aakaasam also suffers from the shades of heard before sounds and MLR Karthikeyan's hard-hitting vocals being the highlight of the song while Yuvan splendidly employed the plucked string instruments in the second interlude. Aishwarya provides the splendid support to Karthikeyan and one wish that the tune could have been little more engaging one. Queen of Dhaba as the title and Geetha Madhuri in the credit list easily ticks off everything in the genre of the song one can expect. Yuvan's brass usage aside, the song has little to take away. However, it's a delight to listen Geetha Madhuri's astounding energy level despite the middling tune and hackneyed lyrics by  Srimani. Watch out for danger theme track hardly evokes any interest despite Blaaze in the vocals and the theme track fails to elevate from the mediocre level.

Verdict: Yuvan's much-expected Oxygen turns out to be a downer and the tracks are unremarkable except for the single melody.

My Rating:6.5/10

Pick of the Album: O kshanam, Aakaasam