The first half of January was quite listless for Telugu music. The 2nd half fared slightly better thanks largely to Govind Vasantha’s much-awaited soundtrack for ‘Jaanu’, the official remake of the Tamil cult hit ’96. ‘Aswathama’ composed by Sricharan Pakala is the only other album that released during this period.
Rum Pum Bum – Disco Raja – Thaman S – Lahari Music/T-Series
Thaman goes for an unusual combo with Bappi Lahiri and Ravi Teja behind the mic. The eventual outcome is a track that has a lot of retro-style swag. The song gains brilliantly from the bond theme like guitars (Lee & Thaman) and is perfect mass hero material. One can expect a lot of slow-mo swagger of the hero (& his sidekicks – interesting to see yesteryear Tamil star Ramki among them) to this track playing in the background.
Rating – 8/10
Andaga Annaga – Aswathama – Sricharan Pakala – Aditya Music
Vedala Hemachandra’s voice has a lot of similarity to Vijay Prakash’s. He owns this mellow composition with aplomb. Sricharan keeps the arrangements simple and ambient to let the singer take the spotlight.
Rating – 7/10
‘Maahi’ sung by Poojan Kohli is mildly interesting but doesn’t rise above the standard template wedding song. The title track sung by Divya Kumar works briefly for its rock arrangements but the tune itself is middling.
Boggu Ganilo – World Famous Lover – Gopi Sundar – Aditya Music
The instantly appealing tribal chant like start (that reminds one of the iconic ‘Circle of life’ from The Lion King), the playful ‘Sey Sey’ hook and the neat vocal harmony that belts out a folky portion – all segues neatly into a joyful track led by Niranj Suresh, who at places sounds like Adnan Sami. The percussion ensemble with a sprinkle of Thavil works well.
Rating – 8/10
That leaves us with the album of the month – Govind Vasantha’s ‘Jaanu’. Considering the iconic status the original Tamil soundtrack enjoys, it would have been simpler to go with the same soundscape for the Telugu remake. But Govind chooses to go for a fresh set of tunes.
Oohale – Jaanu – Govind Vasantha – Think Music India
This is the only track that Govind retains from the Tamil OST, the song that went on to define the film (and in a way Govind’s career as a composer as well) – ‘Kaadhale Kaadhale’. But he adds a delicious twist in the form of the ‘Piya Balam Mora’ prelude. Govind’s, now familiar, violin portions are gorgeous. Superb!
Rating – 10/10
For the uninitiated, here is ‘Kaadhale Kaadhale’ from ’96.
Pranam – Jaanu – Govind Vasantha – Aditya Music
Possibly the ‘Thaabangale’ equivalent from ’96, this one has Gowtham Bharadwaj (it was Pradeep Kumar in Tamil) in toe with a brilliant Chinmayi Sripada. The piano-led melody feels like a chip of the old block (’96 in this case) and that augurs well for the film. The bass (Naveen) & guitars (Keba Jeremiah) complement beautifully.
Rating – 9/10
The makers, in an interesting twist, have released this track in Tamil, titled ‘Theeram’, as a single.
‘Naa Kale Kalai’ and ‘Inthena’, both beautiful tracks, sung respectively by Brinda & Chinmayi, along with ‘The life of Ram’, that features a adorable child chorus, along with Pradeep Kumar round off the excellent soundtrack, that should hold this remake in good stead to start with. I am more curious to see what is the Ilaiyaraaja equivalent in the remake. Ilaiyaraaja’s songs were the heart and soul of ’96 and it is hard to find something as embedded & period defining as his music. ’99 the Kannada remake suffered to a large extent on this front.
The low output in January, meant ‘Jaanu’ was pretty much the saving grace and good soundtrack like this possibly also needs that space. We hope February has a lot more in store with Valentine’s day round the corner.