Reflections 2018 Movies

What boomed out of the speakers this year?

Sid Sriram

Sid Sriram  

2018 witnessed a deluge of good soundtracks, with the new wave of composers experimenting in diverse genres

As years go, 2018 should be remembered for its musical masterpieces. Telugu movie soundtracks were diverse, with many genres touched and experimented with. A new wave of music directors brought in fresh sounds, innovative tunes and didn’t hold back on the instruments used. Almost every movie had at least one memorable song, and a few stood out for the range of their OSTs, a melange of exquisite compositions creating the right moods.

Voice of the year

Before we start discussing songs that mesmerised us this year, a virtual standing ovation has to be given to Sid Sriram. Every song he has touched this year has built itself a monument, growing beyond the movies they were part of. From Inkem Inkem to Egiregirey and Undiporaadhey, every song he has lent his vocals to has stirred something indecipherable in our heads.

Now that we are done venerating the ‘voice of the year’, let’s roll along a long list of scintillating albums. Whatever be the word on the movie, Agnyaathavaasi had one of the best albums of the year, thanks to Anirudh Ravichander’s unabashed mix of rock, Carnatic and soft acoustic melodies, Gaali Vaaluga staying fresh all year.

S S Thaman

S S Thaman   | Photo Credit: V Raju

Tholi Prema, which probably stands out as the rom-com of the year, was another loop-worthy album, any time of the day, any season. Thaman didn’t experiment a lot; nevertheless, the title track, along with Allasani Vaari and Ninnila, high on melody and low on processed sounds, will remain in collective memory, when romantic songs are considered.

Earthy notes

Devi Sri Prasad

Devi Sri Prasad  

Devi Sri Prasad wove magic with Rangasthalam, arguably, the most diverse album of the year. Yentha Sakkagunnave is a gem that will be heard even after decades, rich in rustic lyrics and musically heartwarming despite its simplicity. The title track is powerfully vibrant. Rangamma Mangamma brought back a touch of the 60s. Orayyo was gut-wrenching, especially with Chandrabose’s vocals.

Another album every track of which was noteworthy is Sammohanam. Vivek Sagar gave us four dreamily soft songs, Oohalu and Kanulalo being the notable ones.

The runaway hit of the year, RX 100, owes its success big-time to its soundtrack, which smashed the barriers around a movie made on a small-budget with newbie actors. Chaitan Bharadwaj’s album was not just about the ubiquitous Pilla Raa, sung by Anurag Kulkarni. Reppalaninda and Adire Hrudayam, sung by Haricharan and Karthik were equally delicious. The songs stood out for their rhythm and beat patterns, unconventional, but highly catchy and hummable, without losing on melody.

Another low-budget movie, low on star power that scored with its album is Lover, Raj Tarun playing the protagonist. The album has a medley of songs from various music directors, Naalo Chilipi Kala (Sai Kartheek) sung by Yazin Nizar and Adbhutam (Tanishk Bagchi) sung by Jubin Nautiyal and Ranjini Jose, making a mark.

Gopi Sunder’s promise continued, Geetha Govindam being his best album this year. While Sid Sriram made Inkem Inkem Inkem Kaavale ethereal, Chinmayi lent a mellifluous touch to Yenti Yenti, the two big numbers on a brilliant album overall. It was trademark Gopi Sunder, heavy on classical tunes and improvisations with the melody.

Bold sounds

Armaan Malik

Armaan Malik   | Photo Credit: M A Sriram

Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava, Trivikram’s other release of the year, was another winner from Thaman. Unlike in Tholi Prema, Thaman was a lot bolder here with his sounds. Anaganaganaga, sung by Armaan Malik, was sensational. Yeda Poyinado was hauntingly beautiful, and so was Peniviti. Reddy is one of the mass-songs of the year; overall, a power-packed album.

Padi Padi Leche Manasu’s tracks composed by Vishal Chandrasekhar give the year a nice ending, the title track sung by Armaan Malik ringing bells in your heart with its alternating high and low-pitched vocals.

Several individual numbers stood out in various movies. Mahati Swara Sagar deserves applause for Chusi chudangane sung by Anurag Kulkarni, from Chalo.

Thaman should also be lauded for Mandaara from Bhaagamathie picturised on Anushka and beautifully sung by Shreya Ghoshal. Similarly, Chinnanati from Howrah Bridge and Parichayam from Manasaku Nachindi are couple of wonderful melodies that were lost because of their movies disappearing quickly.

Manasa from Touch Chesi Chudu starring Ravi Teja and Raashi Khanna is worth being on every end-of-the-year playlist, and so is Guruvaram from Kirrak Party. While Bharat Ane Nenu had a powerful title track, the Nani-starrer Krishnarjuna Yuddham was boosted by some wonderful numbers like I Wanna Fly and Dari choodu, all credit to Hiphop Tamizha, for whom this was the second outing in Telugu.

Heavy on percussion

Bollywood favourites Vishal-Shekhar in Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India managed to experiment and succeed with a percussion-heavy Lover-also, and an acoustic Maya, sung by Arijit Singh and Ramya Behara. The album also had what was the best mass song of the year, Iraga Iraga, rendered by Mohana Bhogaraju and Rahul Sipligunj.

Anurag Kulkarni also had a brilliant year, and lent sublime vocals to Aagi Aagi along with Manisha Eerabathini, giving the buddy-comedy of the year, Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi, a different dimension, Vivek Sagar composing the music. Sid Sriram and Lipsika touched hearts with Egiregirey in Shailaja Reddy Alludu, Gopi Sundar once again conjuring a magical tune ideal for a bucolic context, to add to his Andamaina Chandamama from Tej I Love You, quite the favourite on several FM channels.

Mickey J Meyer

Mickey J Meyer  

Mickey Meyer gave us the memorable Mahanati title track, along with the classically rich Sada Nannu, sung by Charulatha Mani, whose lilting melody will never wear out on a music-lover’s playlist just like the greatness of Savitri, whose biopic was much overdue.

Sricharan Pakala made an impression with Goodachari, the hit spy thriller whose melodic Sakhiya and rock-heavy Anagananga (electric guitars are always brilliant, aren’t they?).

Anirudh Ravichander gave us another show of brilliance with U-Turn’s Karma Theme, whose offbeat rhythm was buoyed by folk and acoustic influences, make it one of the best movie tracks of the year. Neevevaro boasted of another Sid Sriram classic, Vennela, composed by Prasan, who also gave us the melodious Yento Illa, sung by Vandana Srinivasan.

Harshvardhan composed the brilliant Soundarya Lahiri in an otherwise forgettable movie, Saakshyam. Mani Sharma made an impressive comeback too, with Devadas, once again Sid Sriram weaving magic with Emo Emo, whose surreal choreography elevates the song to a different high. Maate Vinaduga from Taxiwaala composed by Jakes Bejoy, sung by Sid Sriram has been rocking the charts, lending the romantic touch in a sci-fi thriller.


Chinmayi   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Another budding music director, Prashanth Vihari, gave us two wonderful tracks — Samayama from Antariksham 9000kmph and Mellaga Mellaga from Chi la sow, with its pure acoustic and Carnatic fusion rendered beautifully by Chinmayi. We round off the special mentions with the groovy Undiporaadhey from Hushaaru, composed by Radhan and sung by, wait-for-it — Sid Sriram.

That’s a massive list of songs worth revisiting and we’ve still not mentioned several good ones — such was the deluge of good tracks this year. If 2019 does half as well as this, we will have another musical year on our hands.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 10:52:25 AM |

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