Tera Fitoor from Genius (Hindi)
For an artist who was hugely proficient in producing TV soaps, composing music, singing (albeit through his nose), acting (kind of) and wearing the cap at the drop of the… well, Himesh Reshammiya was oddly muted all through 2017. His first soundtrack in 2018 is ‘Genius‘. The single released so far, Tera Fitoor, is a surprisingly welcome addition to the man’s repertoire. It took me all the way back to his 2006 soundtrack for Ahista Ahista, and the song Allah Karein, in particular. Thankfully, he seems to be mature enough not get behind the mike, and lets Arijit Singh do the vocals. The result is a simple, sweet melody, with that gentle rhythm.
The full soundtrack of Srinivasa Kalyanam (Telugu)
After his middling Mister in 2017, and the recent, average Mahanati, Telugu composer Mickey J Meyer bounces back confidently with the very commercial and likeable Srinivasa Kalyanam. I had already written about the lead single, Kalyanam Vaibhogam sung by veteran S.P.Balasubrahmanyam a few weeks ago. The 3 other winners from the soundtrack include Ekkada Nuvvunte (sung by Dhanunjay), Modalaudaam (Sunitha Upadrashta and Anurag Kulkarni) and Ithadena (Shreya Ghoshal). All the 3 songs have a really appealing lilt in their rhythm (with Ithadena being softer, and more melody-oriented) and work effortlessly. The other song, Vinavamma Toorupu Chukka, seems straight out of M.M.Keeravani’s playbook, but Mickey does handle it well, aided by Sunitha Upadrashta’s pitch-perfect vocals.
Bum Bum Bum from Iblis (Malayalam)
Malayalam composer Dawn Vincent, having been predominantly in the music arrangement/background music scene, and who made a tentative start scoring a couple of songs for Adventures of Omanakuttan, gets his chance at composing the soundtrack for the upcoming film Iblis (incidentally directed by Rohith.V., who directed Adventures of Omanakuttan). The pick of the listenable soundtrack is Bum Bum Bum, a lively, almost-whimsical calypso-ish song, featuring Sumesh Parameswar’s guitar and a stellar chorus. Naresh Iyer, always dependable, rules over the vocals.
The full soundtrack of Annanukku Jey (Tamil)
Arul Murugan aka Arrol Corelli has so far only been known for his deeply pathos-laden music in Mysskin’s films. He has very limited songs to his credit, like the one song from Pisaasu or the title song for Thupparivaalan. So, it comes as a pleasant surprise to see him score songs for a full-fledged mainstream film, in Annanukku Jey. Except for the film’s instrumental theme, featuring The Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra, nothing in it sounds anything like his Mysskin association! The pick of the soundtrack is easily Andrea Jeremiah’s Mayakkuraane, a jazzy melody, set amidst a superb brass section. That brass rules over the gaana-ish Maane Thene too. Arrol also creates a kuthu-jazz of sorts in Anjaa Nenjane supported by Anthony Daasan and Sammie Kootaliz’s lively singing. There are 2 true-blue gaanas too in the soundtrack, Thaaru Maara and Satti Melatha, sung by Deva and Gana Bala, respectively. The former is a particularly nostalgic delight. Annanukku Jey is a very promising change of tone for Arrol.
Listen to the soundtrack: https://www.saavn.com/s/album/tamil/Annanukku-Jey-2018/HVAIh5DIcRY_
Chumbak Chitak Chikatla from Chumbak (Marathi)
Singer Divya Kumar is usually summoned for high-pitched songs with soaring tunes, or to sing the higher-pitched notes in a song. So it is a pleasant surprise to see him getting to sing a significantly lower pitched, almost hush-hush title song for the Marathi film Chumbak. The song’s composer is Amar Mangrulkar, an ex-advertising professional, who pivoted to making music and is known for many ad jingles, besides the music of TVF Tripling. The song has a genial and good-natured lilt, along with the occasional comical sounds that add to the appeal.
Hum Dekhenge from Coke Studio 11 (Pakistan/Urdu)
After the Explorer series, Coke Studio 11 (Pakistan) launched the introductory song with a bang. Hum Dekhenge is a protest song, composed by Professor Asrar and made popular by Iqbal Bano’s rendition against General Zia ul-Haq’s military regime and its Islamicisation, in 1985. The song was written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, a poet who was banned under the Zia ul-Haq regime. Using this song to launch the new season, amidst the general elections in Pakistan, is an intriguingly topical decision! The song, produced by this season’s leads, Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza, has a sprawling 70 singers, including the transgender duo Lucky and Naghma, who add to the inclusivity-mantra with ‘Joh mein bhi hoon, woh tum bhi ho’. Goosebumps-inducing introduction to the new season, this!