Recent Listens: A. R. Rahman, Raveendran, Vidyasagar & More

Some of my favourite songs that I've been playing on an endless loop in the last few weeks...

Entharo Mahanu (Vidyasagar, Devadoothan) - A mind-blowing western-Carnatic fusion from Vidyasagar and one of his best.

Vellinila Thullikalo, Doore Mamarakombil (Vidyasagar, Varnapakittu) - One of Vidyasagar's early compositions in Malayalam and a captivating one at that, thanks to M. G. Sreekumar and K. S. Chithra!

Kannil Kaashithumbakal (Vidyasagar, Dreamz) - P. Jayachandran and Gayatri join hands for a mesmerising semi-classical melody.

Dhwadasiyil (Vidyasagar, Madhuranombarakattu) - An astounding assortment of veena, ghatam, violin and flute, with K. J. Yesudas and Sujatha's superlative rendition working wonders for the song.

Muttathethum, Ponmulam Thandu Moolum, Aaraarum (Vidyasagar, Chandrolsavam) - The most underrated Vidyasagar soundtrack in my opinion, and these three classical melodies are simply enchanting.

Kaatril Varum (Ilaiyaraaja, Oru Naal Oru Kanavu) - If there is a way to experience bliss, this is simply it!

Aaha Kaadhal Konji Pesudhe (Yuvan Shankar Raja, Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal) - Yuvan's best thus far, if you were to ask me. And Nandini Srikar totally owns this gorgeous semi-classical melody!

Bolo Na (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Chittagong) - Composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's indubitably most stunning and divine composition, and effortlessly well-sung by Shankar Mahadevan.

Poo Pookum Oosai (A. R. Rahman, Minsara Kanavu) - A very exuberant and tuneful melody from Isai Puyal Rahman that brings so much joy just listening to it. A santhosha sangeetham indeed!

Thirakkadha/Unborn Children (A. R. Rahman, En Swasa Kaatre/ Million Dollar Arm) - Utterly mellifluous and evergreen, with pitch-perfect rendition from Unnikrishnan and Chithra.

Kannathil Muthamittal (A. R. Rahman, Kannathil Muthamittal) - One of my all-time favourites, and P. Jayachandran's rendition is out-of-the-world.

Marghazhi Poove, En Mel Vizhunda (A. R. Rahman, May Madham) - Simple yet alluring,  Marghazhi Poove is a lilting melody for keeps!

Netru Illadha Matram (A. R. Rahman, Pudhiya Mugam) - Arresting and an instant classic, Sujatha's gorgeous vocals is an icing on the cake.

Nadhiye Nadhiye, Kaatre En Vasal, Thaniye, Anbae Idhu (A. R. Rahman, Rhythm) - If there's one underrated A. R. Rahman soundtrack, it's this one. I do know that the songs are big hits, but listening to the whole album, based on the five elements water, air, earth, sky and fire, is an altogether unmatched musical experience.

Anarkali (A. R. Rahman, Kangalal Kaidhu Sei) - Perhaps a little unsung gem from Rahman, but nevertheless a fantastic melody, and that tabla, wow!

Veerapandi Kotayyile, Thee Thee, Rasathi, Putham Pudhu Bhoomi, Kannum Kannum, Chandralekha (A. R. Rahman, Thiruda Thiruda) - Imaginative and unconventional, that's what Thiruda Thiruda's music is.

Chaiyya Chaiyya, Dil Se Re, Jiya Jale (Nenjinile Nenjinile), E Ajnabi (A. R. Rahman, Dil Se../ Uyire) - Rahman's finest Hindi offering till date.

Malargaley, Kannamoochi, Yengae Enathu Kavithai, Anjali Anjali, Kannalanae, Uyire Uyire (A. R. Rahman) - Doesn't the combination of Rahman and K. S. Chithra just rock? I have nothing else to say!

Columbus Columbus (A. R. Rahman, Jeans) - When it comes to timeless dance anthems, A. R. Rahman has loads of them, Hamma HammaUrvasi UrvasiUsalampatti PenkuttiChikku Bukku RayileNo ProblemKadhalikum PenninManna Madurai, Thillana Thillana, Kadhal Niagara/Kay Sera Sera, Jumbalakka, Shakalaka Baby, Mukkabla and Enakke Enakkaa among several others. But Columbus is ridiculously foot-tapping! The frenzied percussion and mridangam make for an addictive concoction, I must say.

Pachchai Nirame (A. R. Rahman, Alaipayuthey) - Rahman's ethereal arrangements and Hariharan's fabulous vocals make for a potent musical concoction.

Nee Thaan En Desiya Geetham (A. R. Rahman, Paarthale Paravasam) - Oh God, how I love Balram's voice. Such an underrated singer. And the sufi touches are plain amazing!

Innisai (Chorus Version), Taal Se Taal (Western) (A. R. Rahman) - The uncanny structural similarity to the two songs notwithstanding, the array of diverse percussion instruments Rahman employs is simply outstanding. By the way, is that morsing in Taal... too? Love it, whatever it is!

Minnal Oru Kodi (Ranjit Barot, V.I.P) - The arrangements are right up in Ranjit's alley, given the master drummer he is, and the song is magnificently splendorous, not to mention Hariharan and Chithra's fabulous vocals.

Mayangi Poyi (M. Jayachandran, Nottam) - Blissful and sublime, K. S. Chithra's soulful rendition lends a unique charm to the semi-classical melody.

Vaarmukile, Maane, Etho Nidrathan, Gopangane, Raghuvamshapathe, Kandu Njan Mizhikalil, Harimuraleeravam, Paadi, Pramadhavanam, Devasabhathalam, Naadaroopini, Gopika Vasantham, Enthinu Veroru Sooryodayam, Sukhamo Devi, Innumente Kannuneeril, Kalabham Tharaam, Thenum Vayambum, Aromal Hamsame, Ramayanakatte, Nirangale, Aadhi Madhya, Premodaaranay, Kamaladalam, Azhake Ninmizhi, Deenadayaalo Raamaa, Varthinkalal, Mouliyil, Karmukil, Aarum, Aalilathaaliyumaay, Vaarmazhaville (Raveendran) - I know, this is quite a long exhausting list, but when they are evergreen classical masterpieces from Raveendran maashu, no words can suffice!

Nagumo, Swaminaatha (Kannur Rajan, Chithram) - While on the subject of evergreen classical tunes, Kannur Rajan's score for Chithram is no less stunning.

Thenmadurai Vaigai Nadhi (Ilaiyaraaja, Dharmathin Thalaivan) - Gosh, that violin in the first interlude is just amazing!

Malai Kovil Vaasalil, Malliga Mottu, Ennai Thottu, Maalayil (Ilaiyaraaja) - The reason why Ilaiyaraaja is referred to as Isaignani, a musical genius. What spellbinding songs!

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