Pardesiya from Soorma (Hindi)

As if the Soorma Anthem (title song) and Ishq Di Baajiyaan weren’t enough, Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have another cracker of a song in Soorma. Pardesiya, that opens with Ehsaan Noorani’s voice (making his singing debut, incidentally!), who then hands it over to Shehnaz Akhtar, starts off like a prayer and keeps it that way for a minute and a half, with a beautifully haunting sarangi strain the background. Shankar Mahadevan, who has mastered the art of entering songs in brilliant style (remember his entry in Raazi‘s Dilbaro?) enters amidst a lilting tabla layer! And after an interlude of sorts, the song literally turns into a prayer, before moving back to the serene Pardesiya hook. A lovely song from the trio!

The full soundtrack of Tamizh Padam 2 (Tamil)

The 2 Tamil soundtracks worth the listen this week include N.Kannan’s Tamizh Padam 2 and Anirudh’s Kolamaavu Kokila (CoCo).

We don’t get too many spoof films in India and it may be to do with our collective inability to take a joke, and our collective obsession with taking offense. So, when C.S.Amudhan released the music of the sequel to his pathbreaking spoof film Tamizh Padam (called, duh! – Tamizh Padam 2), the music demands a listen! And in true Amudhan-style, the music literally trolls you since you are left wondering if these fantastic tunes by composer N.Kannan (with a plethora of damn good singers) will unfold and the joke would be on you! Still, as a soundtrack, this is very good stuff. The pick of the album is Vaa Vaa Kaama, a sensuous melody that harks back to Ilayaraja’s similar numbers—particularly over the charanam lines, “Urugida Vidu Puthu Rasam Edu” and “Thazhuvidu Enai Thathumpidum Suvai”, and Kalavarame which, besides the catchy gimmick of the rapid-fire utterance of certain words, has a wonderfully immersive melody (a possible blend of Naatai and Maand raagas), and is sung brilliantly by Chinmayi and Pradeep!

The full soundtrack of Kolamaavu Kokila (Tamil)

Kolamaavu Kokila (CoCo) is Anirudh at his best, producing massively entertaining music! Edhuvaraiyo, with Sean Roldan’s grungy vocals, Moby-style backgrounds and director Gautham Menon’s motivational dialogues, is a cool song. Kalyaana Vayasu, sung by Anirudh himself, is incredibly catchy. Sivakarthikeyan’s lyrics seem influenced by Simbu, particularly that ‘Wait pannava’ line! Having written earlier about Orey Oru, written by Vignesh ShivN, the other Anirudh-Vignesh song is Thittam Poda Theriyala. With its repetitive hooks and the sitar-led interludes, this one too is a worthy follow-up. Kabiskabaa Coco – The Gibberish Song and its soul twin, Gun-In Kadhal, are absolutely zany and delightful! The latter has Vijay Yesudas tempering the glitzy sounds with his softer verses, while Arunraja Kamaraj goes delightfully berserk, including the punchy Kabiskabaa Coco hook! 

The full soundtrack of Naduve Antaravirali (Kannada)

Saxophone virtuoso Kadri Gopalnath’s son, Manikanth Kadri has been a very, very competent music composer in South Indians for quite some time. But, despite some really good soundtracks, he also seems vastly underrated. His latest soundtrack for the Kannada film Naduve Antaravirali comes after his highly listenable Kannada soundtrack for Run Antony in 2016. The soundtrack’s best songs include the waltz’y Shaakuntle Sikkalu, featuring Sanjith Hegde’s dreamy voice, with a soft lilt that is immediately addictive. Then there is Kannu Kannua, a saccharine-sweet melody that evokes pleasant memories of A R Rahman’s Kissa Hum Likhenge, from Doli Saja Ke Rakhna. Finally, there is Ele Vayasina, a decidedly more energetic song than the earlier songs and offers some fantastic sounds as the interludes kick in. Here’s hoping Manikanth gets the big break he so deserves at least with this one!

Coke Studio Explorer

Apart from film songs, the big musical highlight of last week was easily the prelude to the new season of Coke Studio Pakistan, called Coke Studio Explorer! It’s a 5-episode music travelogue where producers Zohaib Kazi and Noori’s Ali Hamza travel to different parts of Pakistan and discover folk music and singers. The format reminds one of Dewarists, while the local music artists’ collaboration seems straight out of MTV Sound Trippin’. The show has started off on a splendid note with 2 songs.

The first is from the Kalash Valley, located in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, sung by Ariana and Amrina. The song, Pareek (meaning Let’s Go), is a folk love song that gets a superb electronic backing, in line with Zohaib’s musical sensibilities.

The second song, Faqeera, featuring the voices of brother-sister duo of Shamu Bai and Vishnu is almost Rajasthani in sound and feel, given its Sindhi folk origin. Absolutely mesmerizing tune, and equally fantastic orchestration that accentuates the folk tune with its electronic sounds, benjo chords and dholak rhythm.

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