The 1st fortnight of October was rather disappointing with hardly any album or track warranting a mention and hence no list was published. The 2nd fortnight fared much better with a bouquet of releases spanning across genres.
Athademo – Independent Release – Tirupathi Ramanuja Suri
Lalitha Sangeetham or Lalitha Geethalu is a light music genre that features poetry on subjects such as love, nature etc., very similar to Bhaava Geethe in Kannada. This one is penned by Devulapalli Krishna Sastry. Anjana Sowmya and Vadali Phani Narayana (Orchestration) reimagine this classic song from the ’50s and results in a soothing number. The arrangements are minimal and Anjana Sowmya is excellent with her rendition. The music video is neatly done as well.
Rating – 9/10
Ramuloo Ramulaa – Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo – Thaman S – Aditya Music
The makers have claimed that this is the most ‘viewed’ South Indian song in the 1st 24 hours of its release. Apparently this song clocked 8.3 million in the said period to achieve that feat. I would assume that the ‘views’ were driven more by the star(s) in the video than the song itself. The video even features a hashtag for the dance move. After all, the USP is Allu Arjun dancing skills. It is a peppy song alright and the hook is infectious. But beyond that, musically this is run-of-the-mill stuff that we have heard in many a film. Anurag Kulkarni and Mangli are the singers and also features percussion wizard Anandan Sivamani.
Rating – 6/10
Nuvvu Naatho Emannavo – Disco Raja – Thaman S – Lahari Music
Thaman’s 2nd entry in the list is in a muddle with one section of fans questioning the composition that seems to be a mish-mash of popular Ilaiyaraaja compositions. For folks familiar with the legendary composer’s music every bit seems to be carefully picked from his compositions on purpose, although there is no indication from the makers of this being a tribute to the Maestro. If that was not enough, the song is sung by S.P.Balasubramaniam and the orchestra (strings) conducted and arranged by Prabhakar, who is Raaja’s lead violinist and conductor. Interesting!
Keeping the above claims aside, the song rides on SPB’s fabulous vocals (he is 73!) and the arrangements are superb. The ‘Dheemtiki Pappa’ reprise works brilliantly. A definite chartbuster owing to the nostalgic value.
Rating – 8/10
Thaman had done something similar in the past, for the Tamil film ‘All in All Azhagu Raja’ (2013) starring Karthi & Radhika Apte and was marketed as a tribute to the music of the 80’s.
Manasara Manasara – Tholu Bommalata – Suresh Bobbili – Aditya Music
Labeled the ‘breakup song’ this is an immersive melody and impresses in both its versions. Sid Sriram and Chinmayi Sripada ace their respective renditions, with the female version echoing the emotion a shade better. The keys (Balu) & flute (Lalith) underline the composition beautifully.
Rating – 8/10
La la la la – Iddari Lokam Okate – Mickey.J.Meyer – Aditya Music
This is a simple and pleasant melody and Sameera Bharadwaj’s vocals are good. Mickey keeps the arrangements minimal and lets the composition & the singer take center stage.
Rating – 7/10
Namo Namo – Raagala 24 Gantallo – Raghu Kunche – Aditya Music
The inherent charm of Raag Behag is what makes it one of the oft-repeated in Carnatic concerts. This song starts with one of the most popular Annamayya compositions, ‘Narayanathe Namo Namo’ in the voice of Ramya Sree Kamaraju and it is Haricharan’s stellar show all the way from thereon. In the Charanam, Raghu touches on Raag Maand and the effect is lilting, to say the least and elevate the track. The arrangements are apt with Sandilya’s violin standing out. This is one is on loop!
Rating – 9/10
‘Rebba‘ (a fanboy take on the female lead Eesha Rebba) from the same album and sung by Raghu himself may find favor with the dance floors for its infectious energy.
‘Charitha Choopani‘ from Bhagat Singh Nagar (Prabhakar Dammugari) that eulogizes the sacrifice and valor of leaders is a good listen. ‘Love of Saradhi‘ from Saradhi (Aneesh Solomon, Chetan & Praveen) is a short but immersive melody and is the only standout track from an otherwise ordinary album.
Overall, the Telugu releases in October were a mixed bag, with just a couple of stand out tracks.