Music Briefs: Chennai Palani Mars, Gramavasees, Jiivi, Kalki, Maarconi Mathaai, Oh! Baby, Pon Manickavel, Sinnga & Sivappu Manjal Pachai

New music from Mickey J. Meyer, Shravan Bharadwaj, Siddhu Kumar, Niranjan Babu, M. Jayachandran and more...

Oh! Baby - A sub-par outing from Mickey J. Meyer, but when things get going well, the results are admittedly great. Take for instance Aakasam Lona and Naalo Maimarapu, where the feathery melodies are matched by a beautiful fusion of strings and subtle percussion. Too bad, the overwhelming familiarity drowns everything else.

Kalki - Shravan Bharadwaj, after churning out memorable melodies in Manchukurisevelalo and Vinara Sodara Veera Kumara, returns with an astounding classical fusion Evaro Evaro, roping in a fantastic Hemachandra and Shweta Mohan to do the vocal honours.

Pon Manickavel - Just when I thought Imman was getting his groove back comes a dampener that's both stale and ennui-inducing. Skip!

Jiivi - Sundaramurthy KS' latest musical effort is more grungy and high on techno, but he does spin a delectable stringy confection in Anjariye, which gains tremendously from Naresh Iyer's singing.

Sivappu Manjal Pachai - Newcomer Siddhu Kumar, who collaborated with Shashaa Tirupati on her debut self-released track String of Air earlier this April, ropes the singer for two songs — a breezy folk piece called Mayilaanjiye and the expansive acoustic melody Idhu Dhaan — both of which capture her beautiful voice even as the compositions exude that early Rahman vibe. Aazhi Soozhndha is pleasant, again in a Rahman-like way, but Srikanth Hariharan does well delivering it. The soundtrack's easy highlight, however, is the ethereal Usure, with Sudharshan Ashok's impeccable singing layering the gossamer melody.

Chennai Palani Mars - Niranjan Babu's debut score is definitely off-kilter, but not all of it sticks. While the interesting orchestral choices don't lead to anything substantial for the most part, he has an easy winner in Vaanam Sumandha Megam, a subtly groovy melody sung by Sujay Iswarian Isaac DP that's deeply reminiscent of Harris Jayaraj's early repertoire.

Gramavasees - I love Najim Arshad's voice, and he makes Oru Pakal's Ennavale-like splendid melody, composed by Prince Rex and Sooraj S. Nair, an enchanting listen. Can we more of him, please?

Maarconi Mathaai - What a pleasant surprise listening to Unni Menon in M. Jayachandran's Thotte. The tune is a lot similar to Athimarakombile, but it's a keeper just for Menon, who aces the simple melody in his unique style that makes me wish he would sing more. From that stunning opener, it's sadly all downhill from there.

Sinnga - Dharma Vish's Shaane Top Agavle is equal parts bouncy and melodious, complemented superbly by Vijay Prakash on the vocals. Anuradha Bhat lends her characteristic velvetiness to the dulcet melody Putta Putta Aase that's matched by an undeniably pretty soundscape bedecked by a captivating mix strings and tabla.