Top 50 Malayalam Film Songs of 2019: A Compilation

If 2018 was a grim year for Kerala (with Sabarimala and floods dominating the mental and emotional space of people), 2019 has been quite a distressing year for the nation as a whole with the fervid protests rocking the public space across. At a time like this when the nation is going through a rather tumultuous churning phase, it is kind of awkward to pause the political scene and take a peep into the musical world of entertainment that has enthralled our spirits this year. But life must go on – governments will come and governments will go but the strains of music shall continue to touch our souls as all great art does….

*** Anyway, before I start, just a regular quick disclaimer – I lend a keen ear to Malayalam songs but have no knowledge of music in any way, so this is just my personal listing of the top tracks of films released in 2019. I have been doing this activity of compiling the top Malayalam songs for the year annually for the past 5 years now. Every year, I am forced to increase the number of songs in my list – started with Top 20 in 2015 and it has touched Top 50 this year. Clearly, we are doing good on the music front; not to forget that cinematically also, this is probably the best year in this decade with the likes of Jallikattu, Kumabalangi Nights, Virus, Unda and others wooing both the critics and regular cine goers.

Just to touch upon a few omissions – When I started working on this, my original shortlist had around 70 odd songs and it took quite an effort to bring this down to 50 – attributed to both the excellent output being churned and the fact that I have also tried to listen to a much larger number of songs this year than previously. Udalaazham finally released in 2019, so Bijibal’s beautiful song Medasooryante should ideally have been in the list but I had included this last year itself, assuming it wouldn’t really find a release! The exclusions have included some excellent songs like Neela Malaakhe (Porinju Mariyam Jose), Thedunna Theeram Nee (Neeyum Njanum), Aarum Kaanaathe (Allu Ramendran), Minni Minni (June), Onnum Mindathe/ Then Panimathiye (Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakkeel) and a few others. A lot of countdowns have mentioned Manoharam but it did not appeal to me.

Keeping the normal practice of benchmarking with respect to previous lists, I am happy to have this list swell to a big number this year, however, I did not really see any breakthrough music album this year which I might want to cherish for a much longer time. These songs standout this year but if I were to make a list for the decade, very few will make the cut. This year opened with Kungumanira Sooryan (Neeyum Njanum) by Shreya Ghoshal, a fabulous semi-classical number; semi-classical remains under represented nowadays, so glad to get one this year. Bhajans had their representation last year with Thattumpurathu Achuthan and this year, we had the excellent Sharreth with a strong Ayyappan song Ayyanayyanayyan (Nalppathiyonnu (41)) which for some reason was hardly heard! While the playback space is quite democratic nowadays, Vijay Yesudas continues to be in top form, in terms of both quality and quantity and had Harishankar for company. The female playback scene this year saw Sithara Krishnakumar at the top of the charts, followed by Anne Amie and Shweta Mohan. We did not see too many non-native singers this year (Shreya Ghoshal is hardly a non-native singer now!!!) and unlike the last few years, no actors lent their vocal chords. Sid Sriram made a fantastic debut (in Malayalam) with Parayuvaan (Ishq) but I have never been a fan of his voice (a reason why it is not on the top of the below list).

Bijibal, Gopi Sundar and to an extent Shaan Rahman dominated the charts but M Jayachandran was strangely missing in action for most of the year (and consequently, Shreya?). However, there was a fairly large pool of composers who made a mark this year. A good chunk of them were debutants in Malayalam (not necessarily their film debut in general) (PS Jayhari – Athiran, Charu Hariharan – Oru Karribean Uddaippu, Achu Rajamani – Kuttimama, AR Rahman’s nephew A.H Kaashif – 18am Padi, Wichu Balamurali – Soothrakkaran, which he also co-produced), Prince George – Vijay Superum Pournamiyum, Prasanth Prabhakar –  18am Padi), Arun Vijay (Mr and Mrs Rowdy, Praana), Ifthi (June), Rhitwik S Chand (Thenkasikkattu) and more. Charu Hariharan’s Oru Karribean Uddaippu was the most under rated sound track of the year, despite a couple of wonderful melodies – blame it on the film that sunk without a trace.

As mentioned earlier, while there were many songs to be selected from, unlike previous years, I did not really find any outstanding albums to be recommended as the best for the year. Nevertheless, after a lot of contemplation, I zeroed down to these three albums as a broad representation of the best in the Malayalam music scene this year, in terms of the overall sound tracks in these movies.

Top audio tracks in 2019 (with links to their jukebox):

1 – Neeyum Njanum (Vinu Thomas)

2 – Vijay Superum Pournamiyum (Prince George)

3 – Luca (Sooraj S Kurup)

https://open.spotify.com/album/0GRGwqjhmtztXY50CNWe1j

https://gaana.com/album/luca-malayalam

My 2019 Top-50 Malayalam Film Songs Listing

[Format – Song (Film): Music Director – Playback Singer – Lyricist]

1 – Neeyum Njanum (Vinu Thomas)

2 – Vijay Superum Pournamiyum (Prince George)

3 – Luca (Sooraj S Kurup)

https://open.spotify.com/album/0GRGwqjhmtztXY50CNWe1j

https://gaana.com/album/luca-malayalam

My 2019 Top-50 Malayalam Film Songs Listing

[Format – Song (Film): Music Director – Playback Singer – Lyricist]

  1. Aaradhike (Ambili): Vishnu Vijay – Sooraj Santhosh,Madhuvanthi Narayan – Vinayak Sasikumar
  1. Pakalaay (Vijay Superum Pournamiyum): Prince George – Vijay Yesudas – Jis Joy
  1. Vinmeghamaay (Oru Karribean Uddaippu): Charu Hariharan – Vijay Yesudas – Harinarayanan B K
  1. Parayuvaan (Ishq): Jakes Bejoy – Sid Sriram/Neha S Nair – Joe Paul
  1. Cherathukal (Kumbalangi Nights): Sushin Shyam – Sithara Krishnakumar/Sushin Shyam – Anwar Ali
  1. Nee Himamazhayayi (Edakkad Battalion 06): Kailas Menon – Nithya Mammen, Harisankar K S- Harinarayanan BK
  1. Thoomanju Veena Vazhiye (18am Padi): Prasanth Prabhakar – Vijay Yesudas – Lawrence Fernandez
  1. Ponveyilin Kasavai (Puzhikkadakan): Ranjith Meleppatt – Vijay Yesudas, Ann Amie – Rafeeq Ahamed
  1. Jaathikkathottam (Thanneer Mathan Dinangal): Justin Varghese – Soumya Ramakrishnan, Devadutt Bijibal – Suhail Koya
  1. Vanil Chandrika (Luca): Sooraj S Kurup – Arvind Venugopal,Zia Ul Haq – Shabareesh Verma,Nisha Nair
  1. Kungumanira Sooryan (Neeyum Njanum): Vinu Thomas – Shreya Ghoshal – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Ayyanayyanayyan (Nalppathiyonnu (41)): Bijibal – Sharreth – Rafeeq Ahammed
  1. Hey Madhuchandrike (Argentina Fans Kaattoorkadavu): Gopi Sundar – Vijay Yesudas – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Vennilavin Thaliralle (Neermathalam Poothakalam): Sheron Roy Gomez – Haricharan – S Chandra
  1. Shilayude (Android Kunjappan Version 5.25): Bijibal – Vipinlal – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Mizhiyil Paathi Njan Tharam (Oru Nakshathramulla Aakasham): Rahul Raj – Sithara Krishnakumar – Kaithapram
  1. Vidavaangi (Kalki): Jakes Bejoy – Sithara KrishnaKumar, KS Harisankar, Alan Joy Mathew – Manu Manjith
  1. Anivaga Poothoren (Neermathalam Poothakalam): Sangeeth Vijayan – KS Harisankar – Anakha Anupama
  1. Thorathe (Kuttimama): Achu Rajamani – Vineeth Sreeniavasan – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Ore Kannal (Luca): Sooraj S Kurup – Nandhagopan/Anju Joseph/Neethu Naduvathettu/Sooraj S Kurup – Manu Manjith
  1. Aganaga (18am Padi): A.H Kaashif – Haricharan, Suryansh Jain – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Uyiril Thodum (Kumbalangi Nights): Sushin Shyam – Sooraj Santhosh, Anne Amie – Anwar Ali
  1. Varmathiye (Oru Karribean Uddaippu): Charu Hariharan – Shweta Mohan – Harinarayanan B K
  1. Pavizha Mazha (Athiran): PS Jayhari – KS Harisankar – Vinayak Sasikumar
  1. Athippoovin (Oronnonnara Pranayakadha): Leela L Girish Kuttan – Karthik – Ajeesh Dasan
  1. Ennalum Jeevithamake (Ilayaraja): Ratheesh Vega – P Jayachandran – Engandiyoor Chandrasekharan
  1. Oru Pakal (Gramavasees): Prince Rex, Sooraj S Nair – Najim Arshad – Renjith Mavelikkara
  1. Etho Mazhayil (Vijay Superum Pournamiyum): Prince George – Vijay Yesudas/ Shweta Mohan – Jis Joy
  1. Vaanavillen (Safe): Rahul Subrahmanian – KS Harisankar – Shyam Nettayikod
  1. Pularum Vare (Shibu): Sachin Warrier – KS Harisankar – Manu Manjith
  1. Thane Mizhi Nanayaruthe (Aadya Rathri): Bijibal – Bijibal – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Nee Mukilo (Uyare): Gopi Sundar – Vijay Yesudas, Sithara Krishnakumar – Rafeeq Ahammed
  1. Puthiya Vazhi (Mr and Mrs Rowdy): Arun Vijay – Najim Arshad – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Paravayaay (Oru Nakshathramulla Aakasham): Rahul Raj – Srinivas – Kaithapram
  1. Aliyukayayi (Shibu): Sachin Warrier – Karthik – Manu Manjith
  1. Anuraga Kilivathil (Shubarathri): Bijibal – KS Harisankar,Sangeetha Srikanth – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Paadi Njan (Thamasha): Shahabaz Aman – Shahabaz Aman – Pulikkottil Hyder, Muhsin Parari
  1. Kaattil Veezha (Uyare): Gopi Sundar – Shakthisree Gopalan – Harinarayanan B K
  1. Nadhiyin (Soothrakkaran): Wichu Balamurali – Vijay Yesudas – Wichu Balamurali
  1. Thenikkatte (Thenkasikkattu): Rhithwik S Chand – Shweta Mohan, Rhithwik S Chand – Santhosh Varma
  1. Pranthan Kandalin (Thottappan): Leela L Girish Kuttan – Sithara Krishnakumar, Pradeep Kumar – Anwar Ali
  1. Aadyam Thammil (June): Ifthi – Sooraj Santhosh/Anne Amie – Vinayak Sasikumar
  1. Pon Thaarame (Helen): Shaan Rahman – Vineeth Sreenivasan, Divya S Menon – Vinayak Sasikumar
  1. Kaithola (Naan Petta Makan): Bijibal – Sanjay Satheesh – Engandiyoor Chandrasekharan
  1. Illikoodinullil (Sathyam Paranja Viswasikuvo): Shaan Rahman – Sudeep Kumar, Merin Gregory – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Shalabhamaayi (Praana): Arun Vijay – Shilpa Raj – Harinarayanan BK
  1. Aalolam (Love Action Drama): Shaan Rahman – KS Harisankar and Gowry Lekshmi – Santhosh Varma

     48. Njaanakum Poovil (Happy Sardar): Gopi Sundar – Sithara Krishnakumar – Harinarayanan BK

  1. Chillayile (Vikruthi): Bijibal – KS Harisankar – Santhosh Varma
  1. Aval Varum (Kakshi Amminippilla): Arun Muraleedharan – KS Harisankar – Rafeeq Ahamad

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Superb list. I wonder which are those 20 which didn’t make the cut. Some of the ones which I liked and which were not in the list above are:

    akale oru from 9
    njan jackson allada from Ambili
    aaradhike from ambili
    athmavil peyyum from an international local story
    nee mazhavillu polen from finals
    parakkam parakkam from finals
    kaanaatheeram from helen
    aaraaro ardhramayi from irupathiyonnaam noottaandu
    parayuvaan from ishq
    vennilavu peythalinja from ittymaani made in china
    enaadi kallyaani from janaadhipan
    kudukku from love action drama
    mukkuthi from mamangam
    munnotithaa from manoharam
    kinavo from manoharam
    arutharuthu from nalppathiyonnu
    kaineetti aaro from ormayil oru shishiram
    neeyum njanum from ormma
    malabari penne from oronnonnara pranayakadha
    munnale ponaale from oru adaar love
    kanno nilakayal from oru yamandan premakadha
    theeram thedum from the gambler
    meene chembulli from thottappan

    Like

  2. Ranjit,

    Happy to hear your feedback. Aaradhike is the 1st song in the above list and Parayuvaan the 4th.

    Some of the ones that I had to drop were – Onnum Mindathe/Then Panimathiye (Kodathi Sameeksham Balan Vakeel), Kaanaatheram (Helen), Neela Malakhe (Porinju Maria Jose), Sakhiyee (Thrissur Pooram), Ore Kannal (Luca), Thotte (Marconi Mathaai), Minni Minni (June), Athmavil Peyyum (An International Love Story), Thedunna Theeram Nee (Neeyum Njanum), Kinavo (Manoharam) and more….

    Like

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