Yet another weekend is upon us, and what better way to unwind — away from the cares of work and daily schedules — than by listening to some music? This week, we have a catchy selection for you — thumping film scores, auto-tuned mash-ups, a ear-worm of a gaana, and a cover of John Lennon's 'Imagine'. So go ahead, plug in to The Firstpost Playlist:
'Brothers In Arms' by Junkie XL
There are certain movies where the music score is as much a part of the cinematic experience as what is unfolding on screen. Simon & Garfunkel’s music for The Graduate comes to mind. In a wholly different vein, but standout nonetheless, was Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL’s score for Mad Max: Fury Road. As seminal as the film was, the music kept pace with it every bit of the way. Whether it was the zany riffs of the guitar-wielding Doof Warrior, or the thumping beats of the drummers who super-charged the war effort, Junkie XL’s score complemented the insanity of the visuals. Brothers In Arms, especially, is one of the tracks that captures the movie’s high points — the adrenaline-rush chase, the dystopian setting, and its ultimately triumphant tone. To get inspired, or for the perfect music for your next workout, put on those headphones and blast at high volume.
— Rohini Nair
'Codename Vivaldi' by The Piano Guys
The Piano Guys are a group of American musicians who give a 'classical' twist to some 'popular' music. Codename Vivaldi pays homage to a classical concerto written by Antoni Vivaldi specifically keeping the musical instrument cello in mind. The Piano Guys pair this concerto with the soundtrack of the Bourne Identity to create this wonderful mashup where a Cello and a Yamaha Piano play the main protagonists. It is like the old classical masters giving the background score for a 21st century action movie. Cello, which one generally associates with slow, sustained, melancholic music, is used almost as a percussion instrument in this track. And the music is just one half of the equation. The Piano Guys are also renowned for their video production qualities as well. For this particular track, you are visually treated to parts of Utah which would seem like movie locations fit for an espionage drama — top of a chemical plant, inside an abandoned warehouse, atop trains moving through vast countryside and so on. The video as pleasing as the music. Give it a listen and a watch.
— Nimish Sawant
'Imagine' by A Perfect Circle
Imagine being done with this world, how often we do?
Imagine the iconic John Lennon song on some smooth, hard liquor. Imagine the song — often considered an anthem of inspiration — with a dark, cynical touch and you will get you will get A Perfect Circle's cover of 'Imagine'.
The supergroup’s cover of the utopian song in their trademark heavy metal style was part of their 2004 album, Emotive which contained covers of anti-war songs, released, pointedly, on American elections day. And it still hits home in these times of disillusionment with society.
While the original song is soothing and gives one hope, this cover is shrouded in despair at the state of the world. The video’s powerful imagery of war, violence, disease, terror, dictators, world leaders, and throngs of diverse people in varied moods adds to this dismal vibe.
Having said that, the depth of the music, coupled with Tool’s Maynard James Keenan evocative vocals, makes listening to this song an experience in itself. As someone who loves Lennon’s original, I was reluctant to give this completely different version another listen, but after a time, it tends to grow on you. You feel myriad of emotions with every strong riff and every stark image that has often left me overwhelmed.
Call it an emo version or just a typical rock cover of a classic, A Perfect Circle’s ‘Imagine’ cover is sure to strike a chord.
— Zenia Dcunha
'Ain't nobody got time for that!' by Sweet Brown
Sweet Brown, the innocent victim of a fire that burnt down her house pours out her heart to a reporter in an autotuned masterpiece of a kind that will rarely, if ever, raise its head again. All she wanted was her cold pop. The video is beautifully edited and encompasses all manner of humanity. Tragedy and sheer joy go hand-in-hand in a spectacle that you just can't tear your eyes from.
Don't take my word for it, more than a 100 million people have already subjected themselves to Sweet Brown's dulcet tones and if you're not one of them, shame on you. You owe yourself the experience. You will come away teary-eyed, saddened by the knowledge that nothing in life will ever again be as satisfying. But hey, buck up! Ain't nobody got time for that.
— Anirudh Regidi
'Naa Manasu Neelo' by Devi Sri Prasad, Sharmila
This song is such an earworm, I don't even know what language it is in, but have been listening to it 3-4 times every day for a week. Even when not listening to the song, the bits of the female vocalist just plays back over and over in my head. The beats are foot tap inducing at least, if not enough to make you burst into impromptu dance steps in unlikely locations. There seems to be a hook every 30 seconds, and the vocalists just kill it.
— Aditya Madanapalle
'Mandolin Rain' by Bruce Hornsby and the Range
The Way It Is, Bruce Hornsby and the Range's debut album featured this brilliant number, which strikes a note of nostalgia with lyrics that are evocative in their simplicity — "You don't know what you've got till you lose it all again". This number makes an impact with its striking piano chords and Bruce Hornsby's sublime vocals. Hornsby's penchant for innovation in his live concerts is evident in this performance. This version of the song in concert is arguably a notch above the original.
— Neerad Pandharipande