Leave Michael Jackson alone

I think it is total injustice being done to the genius of Michael Jackson with these posthumous releases like, the latest one, “XscapE”. It should be completely left to an artist like MJ to decide which songs should go off the studio and which should be kept in the shelves. No one else – not the label, or the estate, or the Jackson 5 – has the right (and talent) to take those records, which he didn’t intend to release, and publish without his consent, without his plan. Particularly with an artist like MJ who was a perfectionist.

It is indeed sad that MJ couldn’t bid a proper good-bye and his last, “Invincible”, was a skeleton of Michael’s genius (I consider ‘HIStory’ to be his best work with ‘Dangerous’ coming to a close second) but publishing these remixed songs, particularly with a crappy video like they have done for the song “Love Never Felt So Good” (remember all those good old MJ videos?) is plain insult.

Nagavalli by The Down Troddence

This is one gem of a work. I’ve never been a fan of Thrash Metal and don’t know much about the genre either but these guys made me listen. The way they infused the story of Nagavalli, a fictional character from the popular Malayalam movie “Manichithrathazhu” that made Shobhana a national award winner, and put it in to the contemporary context is a great work. Add to that the pinch of folk and finally the perfect blending into the original score. Perfect example of how you can use the popular art psyche to introduce or popularize the little known art forms/music genres. Contrary to the new-age indie bands who poor lyrical quality, these guys beat it on that front too. Well done THE DOWN TRODDENCE! (And whoever done the video deserves an applause too).

Malayalam film songs of 2012 – My picks

It is that time of the year again, to rewind and count the best songs that I have heard this year in Malayalam movies. If 2011 was the year of singer Shreya Ghoshal, 2012 is the year of lyricist Rafeeq Ahamed. Most of my favorites from this year were written by him.

A new generation of music directors and singers continue to rule the scene and top the charts, though the veterans still contribute to the hits. More actors have taken up singing in the movies this year – like Biju Menon, Lal, Remya Nambeeshan and Mamta Mohandas – and among them Remya and Mamta have proved themselves to be good singers. Actor Mohan Lal too had a popular hit with the song “aattu maNal paayayil” on which he collaborated with music director Retheesh Vega. Indie musician/music blogger Harish Sivaramakrishnan has made his entry into Malayalam film music with the song “maRayumO” from the movie ‘Jawan of Vellimala’. Though different genres have been tried and tested, ‘melody’ remains as the popular genre in Malayalam film music.

So here goes my list of favorites from 2012. You would note that this is in no particular order.

Song: Mazha Kondu Maathram
Movie: Spirit
Music: Shahabaz Aman
Lyrics: Rafeeq Ahamed
Singer: Vijay Yesudas

I don’t think there has been better lyrics written for any other Malayalam movie in this year than the movie ‘Spirit’ written by Rafeeq Ahamed. Each and every song in this movie is sheer poetry written without verbal/grammatical jugglery. Kudos to music director Shahbaz Aman who has composed aptly supportive music score without killing the soul of the lyrics. Also checkout the other songs in this movie such as “maraNametthunna nEratthu” or “EE chillayil ninnu”.


Song: Kanninullil Nee Kanmani
Movie: Trivandrum Lodge
Music: M Jayachandran
Lyrics: Rajeev Nair
Singer: Najeem Arshad

This song became an instant favorite when I heard it for the first time. The music, vocals and visuals are all beautiful in this song. The kids who acted in the video were also sweet. I thought it was Shankar Mahadevan when I heard the first verse but later realized that it was Najeem Arshad’s voice. Don’t know if that sounding-like-Shankar part was intentional or not.


Song: Mozhikalum Maunangalum
Movie: Padmasree Bharat Dr. Saroj Kumar
Music: Deepak Dev
Lyrics: Kaithapram
Singer: Haricharan

This year, music director Deepak Dev has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. He has been accused of stealing Canadian musician Loreena McKennitt’s music and using it in his movie album “Urumi”. Loreena had filed a case against Deepak which I think is still on-going. However, this particular song is one of the best songs of the year. Deepak couldn’t have got a better team than Haricharan on vocals, Embar Kannan on violin and Sanjeev Thomas on guitars for this song.


Song: Vaathilil Aa Vaathilil
Movie: Ustad Hotel
Music: Gopi Sunder
Lyrics: Rafeeq Ahamed
Singers: Haricharan

It is singer Haricharan again who has teamed up with music director Gopi Sunder this time. Gopi is known to have made peppy songs with heavy use of guitars, electronic keys and stuff but this song is like a cool breeze floating in the air with a soft aroma of Haricharan’s vocals that makes you close your eyes, inhale deeply and enjoy the bliss. Okay, I understand that I’ve gone overboard but you know what I meant when you hear this song 🙂 (the video below has dialogues from the movie that might be a distraction to enjoy the song). The movie is also a good watch, by the way.


Song: Shalabha Mazha Peyyumee
Movie: Nidra
Music: Jassie Gift
Lyrics: Rafeeq Ahamed
Singer: Shreya Ghoshal

Jassie Gift is most remembered for his hit song ‘Lajjavathiye’ but the man has composed many beautiful melodies right from the beginning of his career. You would remember his song “thooveLLa thoovum ushassin” from the movie ‘Saphalam’. This song from the debut directorial venture of Siddharth Bharathan is also a beautiful melody, sung by Shreya Ghoshal. Check it out.


Song: Muthuchippi Poloru
Movie: Thattathin Marayathu
Music: Shaan Rahman
Lyrics: Anu Elizabeth Jose
Singers: Sachin Warrier, Remya Nambeeshan

This whole album is so far the best work of music director Shaan Rahman. This song particularly lingers in my mind with beautiful visuals and Sachin Warrier’s beautiful vocals. I don’t like Remya Nambeeshan’s vocals in this one though. The songs in the album are written by a 21 year old techie and it is her first work in the movie industry.


Song: Aandelonde
Movie: Ivan Megharoopan
Music: Sharreth
Lyrics: Kaavaalam Narayana Panicker
Singer:Remya Nambeeshan

This folk-ish song has marked actress Remya Nambeeshan’s debut as a playback singer and it became immensely popular. Remya’s voice and treatment gave this song the right feel. With the veteran lyricist Kaavaalam’s lyrics and Sharreth’s music, the song is an absolute delight to listen to.


Song: Nilaa malare
Movie: Diamond Necklace
Music: Vidyasagar
Lyrics: Rafeeq Ahamed
Singer: Nivas

Beautiful composition, vocals and orchestration. Vidyasagar gives one of his melodious best with a new voice.


Song: Azhalinte Aazhangalil
Movie: Ayaalum Njaanum Thammil
Music: Ouseppachan
Lyrics: Vayalar Sarath Chandra Varma
Singer: Nikhil Mathew

Another top composition by national award winner Ouseppachan.


Apart from the above mentioned Malayalam songs, there are a few other language songs which were playing in the loop in my playlist. The following songs were played perhaps more times than any of the songs listed above.

Song: Shedding Skin
Album: Coke Studio @ MTV Season 2
Composer: Karsh Kale
Singers: Karsh Kale, Shruti Pathak, Shilpa Rao, Apeksha Dandekar and Monali Thakur


Song: Sadaa
Movie: Shala
Music: Agnee (band)


Song: Sara Sara Saara Kaatthu
Movie: Vaagai Sooda Vaa
Music: M Ghibran
Lyrics: Vairamuthu
Singer: Chinmayee


Related Posts:

Malayalam film songs of 2011 – My picks
Malayalam film songs of 2009 – My picks
Malayalam film songs of 2008 – My picks