Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Best OST's So Far - 2016 (Updated)

The most gratifying and pleasing OST's so far this year:
The rest classified as Above Average (AA) / Average (A) / Mediocre (M):

Music Review: Hyper (Telugu)

Composer(s): M. Ghibran
Listen to the songs online here: Saavn

I am having a tough time believing Ghibran has indeed scored the music for Hyper. Not only is it bland and irredeemable, it sounds like something straight out of Devi Sri Prasad's stable. The big question is whether that's good or not. And the answer is no!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Music Review: Mirzya (Hindi)

Composer(s): Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Listen to the songs online here: Saavn

One striking aspect of director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's films has been their fantastic music. Think Aks. Or Rang De Basanti or Delhi-6. Or Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Given Mehra's ear for music, it is not in the least surprising to see Mirzya, set to tune by Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa, follow suit. Take the case of the title song for example. Not only does it feature an amazing list of singers like Daler Mehndi, Sain Zahoor, Akhtar Chinnal and Nooran Sisters, the arresting folk composition in itself is in full free-flowing mode, the heavy percussion lending it an air of grandeur.

Teen Gawah Hain Ishq Ke, in comparison, carries a more contemporary vibe, riding on a simple guitar-laden arrangement and Siddharth Mahadevan's flawless rendition. In Chakora and Hota Hai, groovy folk and electronic elements coalesce in the most captivating manner to back Mame Khan, Shuchismita Das and Nooran Sisters' sprightly vocal efforts. Shankar Mahadevan expectedly showcases his vocal prowess in the captivating sarangi-laden folky melody Aave Re Hitchki and the jazz-folk melange Doli Re Doli (what brilliance!), while Nooran Sisters, aided by a spectacular chorus, rule Ek Nadi Thi, a guitary composition that sounds like an amalgamation of A. R. Rahman's Radha Kaise Na Jale (Lagaan) and Adiye (Kadal).

Kaushiki Chakraborty joins an already impressive bevy of vocalists with the breath-taking but short classical piece Kaaga, delivering her portions with aplomb even as the composers envelop her vocals with a profusion of strings and an alluring orchestration that screams majestic in big bold letters. Mirzya Theme - Broken Arrows, an enticing mix of sarangi and flute, brings the curtains down on a sombre note. After the grand, sprawling effort that was Katyar Kaljat Ghusali, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy stun yet again with a mesmerising Mirzya.

Heavy Rotation: Ajay-Atul, Anirudh Ravichander, Hitesh Sonik, Sachin Warrier & Shantanu Moitra

A select few highlights from Indian film music in the past week...

Vaat Disu De, Bring it On, Gondhal (Ajay-Atul, Jaundya Na Balasaheb) - Composer duo Ajay and Atul Gogavale unleash a lovely folksy melody in Vaat Disu De, employing an ocean of strings to back it up, while Gondhal is Marathi folk at its best. Bring it On is where things get hyper-energetic, with the brass-band intro paving the way for a super-manic percussive soundscape.

Tamilselvi (Anirudh Ravichander, Remo) - I have never been this hooked to an Anirudh song since Ethir Neechal. Senjitaley may be the post popular, but it is also the kind of song we have by now come to expect from Anirudh. Where he scores big time is with Tamilselvi, a frenzied EDM number that oozes swag every second of its almost four-minute runtime, thanks to a fantastic-sounding Nakash Aziz. It's a pity the lyrics are so bland!

Mai Ri Mai (Hitesh Sonik, Parched) - There is a very rustic flavour pervading all through Parched, but Mai Ri Mai, sung by Neeti Mohan and Harshdeep Kaur, takes the cake for being the stunning melody it is.

Dooreyo, Nilaavil Ellame, Payye Veesum Kaattil (Sachin Warrier, Aanandam) - A very fine debut from singer-turned-composer Sachin Warrier. If the banjo adds a breezy touch to the perky Dooreyo, Nilaavil Ellame and Payye Veesum Kaattil are utterly symphonic pieces, so splendorous and serene.

Kaari Kaari (Shantanu Moitra, Pink) - Composer Shantanu Moitra concocts a soulful melody set against a waltzy rhythm, complemented beautifully by an assorted mix of guitars, violins and veena, not to mention Pakistani singer Qurat Ul Ain Balouch.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Music Review: Premam (Telugu)

Composer(s): Gopi Sunder, Rajesh Murugesan
Listen to the songs online here: Saavn

​Gopi Sunder's Bang Bang and Ennosarlu are EDM-infused melodies, moderately engaging while they last, but Evade Evadu is a middling kuthu, forgettable to say the least. Rajesh Murugesan's Agarottulla, a lively folk number, gets solid vocal purchase from Naresh Iyer, as is the case with Karthik, who lends his flawless voice to the lilting Ninna Leni and Prema Pusane. The soundtrack's best, like it was with the Malayalam original, is Evare (Malare), a gorgeous stringy melody sung to perfection by Vijay Yesudas. Rajesh Murugesan lifts Premam!