Music Briefs: Hippi, India's Most Wanted, Ishq, Sindhubaadh, Sita, Suvarna Sundari, Thamaasha & Thottappan

New music from Amit Trivedi, Anup Rubens, Nivas K. Prasanna, Sai Kartheek, Yuvan Shankar Raja and more...

Sita - A mostly unremarkable outing from Anup Rubens barring Koyilamma, where the man reworks 90's Bollywood aesthetic — and his own Vasthane Vasthane — to fantastic effect, with Armaan Malik for vocal company.

Suvarna Sundari - Anuradha Bhatt vows with an arresting rendition of Mareyalagadha Mechidha, and Sai Kartheek, for his part, mesmerises with a simple ghatam-laden arrangement.

India's Most Wanted - Vande Mataram rides on a rhythmic bhajan-like hook and Papon's rousing vocals, but Akela is the kind of Amit Trivedi'esque tune that you can spot a mile away. It's pleasant though. The other standout is Matvaare, which sees Jubin Nautiyal and Sanah Moidutty lending pitch-perfect support to the lilting folky melody that evokes memories of Sooiyan. India's Most Wanted almost sounds as if Amit Trivedi got listless halfway through and gave up. The result, while balmy, is as uninteresting and tepid as you would expect.

Thamaasha - Ashajeevan's soothing vocals are an apt fit for Rex Vijayan's Kaanumbol Ninne, a gentle guitar-ukelele-driven (Palee Francis) melody. Rex, for his part, works on the guitars in Paadi Njan (Sushin Shyam plays the melodica), a sublime, rustic folky charmer with subtle Islamic flourishes sung and composed by Shahabaz Aman.

Thottappan - Leela L. Girish Kuttan is back yet again, and it's yet another breezy keeper. Meene Chembulli is a gorgeous arrangement of plucked guitar patterns complemented by Nikhil Mathew's lovely rendition. Santhosh Narayanan staple Pradeep Kumar makes his Malayalam debut alongside Sithara Krishnakumar for a captivating folk-laced melody Pranthan Kandal that's as much Keba Jeremiah's show.

Hippi - Nivas K. Prasanna's Yevathive is peppy Latinate melody, although nothing particularly inventive, as is Hey Yela sung by Sathyaprakash and Blaaze. If Viral comes off as patchy EDM, Padipoyanetho fares much better as a heady synth-coated melody, complemented well by Haricharan's vocals. But the soundtrack's undisputed highlight is Hey Yela's sad version, where he recasts his own Engae Ponaai with captivating results. Nivas's Telugu debut lacks the punch associated with his earlier outings, but just like his recent Devarattam, it cannot be completely dismissed either.

Ishq - Is there just one song? But Jakes Bejoy has a hands-down winner in Parayuvaan, roping in his Maate Vinadhuga singer Sid Sriram alongside Neha S. Nair for what's an intoxicating melody.

Sindhubaadh - Yuvan keeps it funky and groovy in Rockstar Robber, Unaalathaan is the kind of gorgeous melody that's child's play for the composer, and Haricharan delivers well the pleasant folky piece Nenja Unakaga, but the soundtrack's magnificent high point is Neeyum Naanum, its minimalist thrumming techno beats working as a neat counterpoint to Santhosh Venky's vocals. Yuvan Shankar Raja continues to be in fine form, album after album!

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