Worst Criticism on Thiruvasakam Album

I don’t know why some cynics like X and Y, when writing about IR’s music in Thiruvasakam album, talk and complain more about everything else except music. They talk about the big budget, the producer, the public fund, IR’s ego, the way it was promoted and marketed, IR’s film music, about Thiruvasakam and Manickavasagar, about its religious meaning, about everything else except its music.

The reason is mainly because these people don’t have ears for good music. It is not that they are worried about adulteration of Indian classical music. It is that they don’t know anything about either form of music and as a result they couldn’t appreciate a good collaborative effort like this. Their argument about the other issues related to the album may even be true which I don’t mind but when they say that the music is bad, it truly shows their ignorance in the music form to which this album belongs.

I do sometimes feel that IR is an egoistic person but such a feeling doesn’t stop me from enjoying his music. Some stupid are complaining that Illayaraja has used Thiruvasakam for his tunes and has not composed music for Thiruvasakam. For that they claim that IR’s introduction speech in the start of “Putril vazh” song itself is the proof. I wonder whether there guys heard “Polla Vinayaen”. I can’t imagine how blindly they have criticized the music and has published it openly without any hesitation. Is it possible to compose a tune like that of “Valvinayaen thannai” and use the verses from some literature to fit it in the tune? Or is it possible to compose the tune of “Umbarakatkarasey” without the verses. One of the great aspects of this album is that the verses are given prominence and tune is set aptly underlying the theme and the notes truly carries the emotion that it intends to evoke. And even worse is the statement comparing this oratorio to other Tamil Devotional albums of L.R.Eswari, Iyyapan albums etc., clearly shows how extremely ignorant in music and myopic these people are.

Another gentle man has commented on Illayaraja’s voice. Illayaraja’s voice is what that gives a unique divine sound to the music. I never get angry easily but this statement took me to my extreme limit. Is he sure about what he is talking? Can anyone think of “Janani Janani” song without IR’s voice? He says that he could visualize only Raj kiran and Ramarajan while listening to Illayaraja’s voice and that clearly shows how pathetic his music taste is and myopic a person he is. Do anyone of us ever have had such a visualization while listening to “Thamae thamakku sutramum” and “Masatra sothi”.

I know understood why Illayaraja didn’t release his First Symphony he composed for London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


Quality SEL's - Dil Jo Bhi Kahey Album Review

Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy team comes up with yet another winner in Dil Jo Bhi Kahey album after “Bunty Aur Babli”. What makes this trio stand out among the composers is their urge to try different genre of music in each and every album. This group though initially had a Rahman hang over in their compositions has now managed to establish a unique sound of their own and you realize it when you hear this album and the thought that I crossed immediately after listening to this album in mind was “typical SEL stuff” and of course that is what every composer strives to achieve. The album has got totally 9 songs and the lyrics are penned by Javed Akthar.

The album starts energetically with a typical title track DJBK. Shaan shines with his enthusiastic and energetic singing in this song. Undoubtedly, it is the catchiest song of the album. One of the trios being a guitarist, SEL’s songs always would have an innovative and apt usage of Guitar and that is there in this song too. The “Oh ve ho” part which is a harmony of chorus, peppy beats and strings is a real treat to ears. The minimal semblance of this song with “Main aisa kyun hoon” song vanishes by this “oh ve ho” part.

Then we have trademark SEL melody in Kitni Narmi se which is like a fusion of their melody of “Kal ho naa ho” and rhythm of R.D.Burman’s classic “Ek ladki ko dekha” but yet the song is pleasant to listen mainly because of Sonu’s soothing rendition. The song has a stream line flow till the end, focusing on the melody without any deviations. The piano pieces sprinkled all through the track add beauty to the melody.

It starts in an unconventional note with guitar backing and slowly moves to typical pathos melody in the track Kaun jaane. The song is yet another sample of the Shankar’s expressive singing abilities. The flute pieces in the interludes leave a soothing effect. The song gets elevated when soft rock beats accompany the melody often in between.

Opening title theme has a brief stream of notes making a beautiful melody. The music starts with Caralisa’s silky voice and the orchestration that follows explores the beauty of the main theme further. A very sweet romantic theme it is.

Mere munna that starts with enigma beats is a philosophical melody. The song proceeds in a predictable manner and it is fairly catchy. I think song will work well with the visuals. The “to be not be” bit is nicely interwoven with the song. On the whole, this is the only average number in the album.

Tu nahi jab yahan has lot of voices (Shankar, Shreya, Mahalaxmi, Sudesh Bhosle). The song that starts like a pathos melody but quickly gains momentum. The composition of first ten lines until some beats starts is truly awesome with great emphasis on melody. Performance of all the singers is topnotch. The song can be heard just for the catchy interlude.

Cest La Vie adds to the variety of the songs in the album. I don’t think song of this genre has ever been tried in bollywood before. I don’t know what the name of this genre is and if I am not wrong it is Jalsa as the song mentions at the starting. Though it sounds similar to Rahman’s “Signore” song from “Kannathil Muthamittal”, I have no complaints as when you are new to a genre of music; all the songs in it will sounds similar. The rhythm and the beats are catchy and take us to a celebrative mood.

Beach sequence is short theme music track with peppy beats and Caralisa’s singing in a strange language flows in the background. Sajna Angana aayo re is a 1 minute track that has got nice alap by Javed Ali and catchy folk rhythms.

The album is refreshing as like any other SEL’s album. Go for it.


Oru Naal Oru Kanavu - Movie Review

When the opening credits started to roll, the whole crowd clapped for two names once for Maestro Illayaraja and then for Fazil. The former with his soulful melodies doesn't disappoint the crowd but the later with this pathetic movie disappointed everyone. Do i need to review this movie. I don't know what happened to Fazil. Is he the same director who did movies like Kadalukku Mariyathai, Poovae Poochoodava, Varsham 16 and Manichitratazhu. Even a first time director would have a better job. Even "Kannukkul Nilavu" was far far better than this movie. Stroy, screenplay, dialogues, direction, casting, characterisation, cinematopgraphy, performances and every aspect of the movie is at its worst. People are laughing loud in the cinemas in every other scene not because it has such a class comedy but because of its pathetic composition. People laughed aloud when "Kaatril Varum geethamae" song started, what more sample you want. All the songs are badly placed. Half of the people left the theatre after the intermission. Please , please don't waste your precious time and money on this movie. It is one of the worst movies i have ever seen in my life.

P.S: There is a title song in the movie which is not included in the album. It is yet another nice melody with voice of Bhavatharini.

I always doubted genuinity of sify movie reviews and it is confirmed now.
Read sify's review of Oru Naal Oru Kanavu here


Kanda Naal Muthal Music Review

Yuvan is back to form in Kanda Naal Mudha after some average albums like “Daas”, “Arinthum Ariyamalum” and “Oru Kallooriyin Kathai”. V. Priya (director of the movie) has extracted something that we haven’t heard much from Yuvan. The album has got both class and mass appeal. I would say this as a complete album in which I like all the songs equally. The album is refreshing in many aspects and they are option of the different genre of music, the choice of singers, orchestration and finally cute lyrics by Thamarai. No doubt Yuvan is the perfect blend of IR and ARR and this album is one more sample of it.

Kanda Naal Muthalai is a peppy classical number and a nice fusion. The looping beats in the background fits to T with the rhythm of the classical melody. The flute and sax pieces in the interludes are well composed. Less usage of ghamukkas and swaras makes this classical song sound very straight, simple and pleasant to ears. Subiksha sounds like Bombay Jayshree but does a fine job in rendering the lines with right diction and expression.

Pani Thuli is a beautiful melody with techno beats in the background. I always like discrete beats set to a rhythm and that too when used for a melody as it is done in this song. Synth stuffs are minimal and don’t disturb the main melody. The charanam part is more beautiful than the pallavi. I don’t want to praise Shreya for her perfect Tamil diction again and again as I no more consider her as a Hindi singer similar to Chitra not being considered as a malayali singer. Shreya’s sweet expressive voice adds more beauty to the melody and so is KK. The Thanvi’s chorus part synchs well with the main melody.

Yerimalai Naanae is my pick of the album. It is a great fusion of filmi periodic war music and opera music. The orchestration is excellent all through the song. The church bell sounds and a banging beat that accompanies the rhythm in the background give a grand feel to the song. Yuvan has tried operatic music before in “Theme of Joy” in “7GRBC” but this song is different as it is fused with music that sounds like grand score for a war sequence. Shankar Mahadevan and Vasundra das are great choices and they do a great job with their dominating voices. The interludes that deviate completely from the main pattern of the song are surprising and add a new dimension to it.

Merke Merke is an easy melody that will immediately stick to our memory. You will just wave your head in synch with the catchy rhythm of the song. The song flows smoothly without any deviations, even the orchestration in the interludes plays the main tune again. Shankar Mahadevan is expressive as usual and Sadhana Sargam is silky.

Koo Koovena is a very joyful and fun number. Funky beats, funny lyrics, catchy vocal tune and expressive singing make this work. I think the song will appeal more with the visuals. Mahalaxmi Iyer has a very sweet voice and it is refreshing to hear her back in Tamil. Karthik has got to deliver few dialogues in addition to singing and he has done it pretty well with right expressions. Harish Ragavendra sounds like a soft innocent guy caught in the fight between the other two.

Pushing it hard is another catchy number that will rock the young minds. Usually I don’t like this kind of songs but I like this song very much because it has got meaningful unadulterated Tamil lyrics that go like a debate on marriage and English lyrics are plays it part alone. Yuvan, Premgi (Rap) and Clinton have sung this number.

On the whole, yet another real winner from Yuvan Shankar Raja.


My Wife's Murder - Well Done

We have seen a lot of murder mysteries before, in which there will always be a suspense (about who is the real murderer) element and many twists and turns to keep the audience glued to the screen. But in Jijy Philip’s “My Wife’s Murder” there are no such elements, we know who the murderer is and we know that the police will surely find him and yet the realistic treatment and the logically convincing screenplay woven around a single incident with very few well etched characters involved grips the audience.

The movie picks momentum from the very first frame and sustains it till the end. Not even a single scene is unnecessary. The way Ravi (Anil Kapoor) hides the truth and the police (Boman Irani) seeks the truth is what makes the movie racy, thrilling and entertaining as a whole. Actually I was waiting for some twists at the end, but the major twist is that there is no any twist, the narration is pretty streamlined and goes in a predictable manner but even then it works. Though the movie can’t be said as a thriller, there are few jerky moments in the movie. The ending may disappoint some but it was completely satisfying for me because of its emotional content.

Anil Kapoor has given a subtle and sensible performance, may be one of the best in his career. His unshaven face, always tired looking eyes and his body language gives a life to the character he plays. Watch for his expressions in scenes immediately after the murder. The shiver in his body, his eyes and face expressions deliver a mixture of emotions anger, shock and fear together well. Nandana sen is adequate. Boman Irani as the police officer does a fine job as always. The two kids are unbelievably natural and help a lot for the realistic feel of the scenes in which they involve.

Cinematorgraphy by P.S.Vinod is raw and realistic. He has gone for a pattern that is dark and dull that sustains a tensed mood throughout the movie. The background score by Amar Mohile is one of the worst I have ever heard in my life. I don’t when these guys are going to learn the importance and the impact of silence in such movies. Hardly there are scenes without music in the background. The continuously banging beats in the background pains our eardrums. With a neat background score, this movie would have created a much greater impact. Anyway, I like this movie very much. It is yet another quality product from RGV factory.


Lots of Interesting News

Rajini - Shankar Togather. Most probably A.R.Rahman would be opted for music. Cinematography - Santhos Sivan (90%) as he is one of the best cinematographer with whom Shankar have not worked so far. Art direction will be Sabu Cyril. And the big question is the heroine. Any guesses.

Kamal - K.S.Ravikumar again for "Dasavatharam" publicised as a comedy entertainer. Wish the movie strikes with the audience unlike Kamal' other recent comedies. The ten roles seems to be a great idea but making a convincing screenplay for it is a big challenge and let us see how Ravikumar does it. Obviously the dialogues would be written by Carzy Mohan. I wish Illayaraja scores for this movie.

Vikram's next is with Vishnuvardhan who made waves by making a clean entertainer with "Arindhum Ariyamalum". I have no much expectations on this project as i think AA borrowed a lot from Maniratnam movies and i doubt whether he can come up with a genuine script and screenplay that can match the calibre of Vikram. Undoubtedly Yuvan will be the composer for this movie.

It is surprising that AVM selected Ajith as the hero for their next movie. I think Ajith is Ganguly of Tamil cinema. He is totally out no matter how many kilos of weight he looses. He is a loser.

Btw, It is surprising to know that the son (who himself is a composer) of the composer who made "Thiruvasakam" doesn't know to write notes for his song.


"Mangal Pandey" Background Score Review

Every composer won’t get a chance to score background music for such large scale period movies where they have ample scope to prove their mastery over music. A.R.Rahman was very lucky in that sense as most of the bollywood directors approach him whenever they take up historic or patriotic subjects. So far we had two OST albums from ARR one for Warriors of Heaven and Earth and Bose which had some great orchestral pieces and now Mangal Pandey adds to the list (Album is going to be released soon).

Mangal Pandey gives much more scope for ARR to prove his versatility in music as it has got varying emotions all through the movie. Though there is no much scope for ARR to enhance the intricate emotions through his music in the background (as there are no visuals depicting intricate emotions), it has got all basic moments of a war film which requires grand orchestral pieces which ARR has used quite well. The sounds-like feel in some of the music cues is only minus point that you can find in this score but I am happy that score is not a single theme based; every situation has got its own unique theme.

There is a typical sudden and rapidly ending grand choir piece (sounds-like Yuva/Ayuhta Ezuthu title music) when we see Amir’s face for the first time on screen. This cue can be said as the theme music of the movie which gets varied and repeated in some other pieces.

Similar to “Waltz of Romance:” in Lagaan, there is good waltz music scored for the English party sequence, which sounds in the fore for very few seconds and runs mildly in the background after that.

There is a friendship theme to underscore the deep emotions between Mangal and Gordon. This piece involves a full-fledged string section playing a nice melody. A dark melody played in flute emulates the love flourishing between Toby and Jhwala. It has some pathos feel in it sounding the mood of Jhwala.

There is a sweet alap played back during the secret meeting of Aamir meets Rani.

The best cue comes when the villagers and the sepoys get together with lights in their hands against the British who have come there to collect the stolen riffles. The music, which starts with horn piece slowly, moves to a grand choir and orchestra giving to the visual.

The marching theme set to some quite different rhythm scored for the grand parade scene where we see thousands of sepoys is again good.

There is a great pretty situational and emotional cue composed for the scene when Aamir comes to know the truth about the kartoos, the shock and anger are well infused in the music by using some strange string playing classical notes along with percussions and temple bells (gives a religious tone).

There is a full throttled orchestral piece, which is an extended for the scene where Aamir stands alone against the British troops.

And finally the End credits have a full length score with strings and thundering percussions, which is nothing but a western orchestration of Mangal song. Initially it sounded like a western classical piece but I recognized it when it moved to a flute piece playing the tune of the second stanza of the song.

The Mangal (Aatma) song itself serves as a nice background for the climax. On the whole, the background score is pretty good and gives an international feel to the movie along with other technicalities. I am waiting to find all these tracks in the OST album that is going to be released shortly and also it may contain some of the cues that i missed to notice while watching the movie.


Thoughts on Chidhambarathil Oru Appasamy Music

Both Azhaghi and Solla Marantha Kathai of Illayaraja and Thangar Bachaan combo had good music, which are both apt to situation and catchy as a stand-alone track. But this time in Chidamabarathil Oru Appasamy, the music and the songs may be apt for the situation for which it is composed but it doesn’t impress as a stand-alone track. We will have to wait for the visuals for the songs to grow on us. But that doesn’t mean is bad instead it is a very mediocre effort of Illayaraja.

I don’t know what Illayaraja means by saying, “Doing music for Thiruvasakam and a movie are the same for me” because the quality of music is not the same. The album has got totally 5 songs and all are situational. The album belongs to Manjari, another import from Kerala. She has proved her versatility by singing three different genres of songs in this album. New breed of singers like Karthik, Tippu and Ranjith sing all the songs. I wonder how these voices will suit Thangar Bachaan. I initially thought Illayaraja would sing all the songs, as Thangar is the hero.

Nalla Vazhvu sounds like a festive cum devotional number. The string bit in the prelude gives a promising start to the song. As always the interludes are good especially the second one has Aiyaappa chanting set with a catchy rhythm. The song starts with so-used-to tabla rhythms as in 70’s and slowly transcends to typical IR rhythms of 80’s.

Ayya yenna is a sensuous melody with heavy bass backing. The starts well but slip off in the middle with an ordinary tune in the charanam and there are no strong elements to boost the mood of the song except for the way the word “aasai” is sung thrice continuously in the pallavi.

Pudusa Ninaichikittu is a philosophical number. It is a very average song and like the previous it also starts well but fails in the charanam part. Even the interludes are not good. I don’t know why IR has gone for strings in the keyboard instead of violins in the interludes. Hope the song will work well with the visuals.

Ponna Porantha is the pick of the album. It is a pathos melody with some great orchestrations all through the song especially the first interlude is too good. The song would have easily been done with tablas but IR has gone for a different rhythm instrument which adds to the freshness of the melody.

Anaithu vidungal – Anaithu Vidungal

Better luck next time to all IR fans.


Rating a Music

If you say “IT is Good”, you mean “I like IT”.
If you say “IT is bad”, you mean “I don’t like IT”.
If you say “IT is the Best”, you mean “I like it very much”.
If you say “IT is the Worst”, you mean “I don’t like it at all”.

By which I mean the fact is that IT is not good, bad, best or worst. Always IT is what it is but it is we who have different perspectives on everything based on our knowledge, prejudices and biases by which we classify something as G/Ba/Be/W. The problem props up only when everyone tries to prove that his perspective is the absolute truth about something that we give opinion on. Arguments and debates are always set to convince others and make them accept it, to get himself convinced that what he feels is right.

IT that I mentioned in the initial lines can be replaced with anything in the universe that is
opinionated or that falls into the perception of a human being. IT can be he, she, it, music, dress, colour, book, painting, country, religion, language, religion, god, sea, river, lake, park etc.,
If you feel that I sound too philosophical them blame it on all those with whom I have debated about music. It is through those debates on music I learned this ultimate truth. I have been writing reviews for almost two years and mostly I write reviews on music albums. Every time when I admit some music as best in my review, there is at least one reader to oppose me. I often wonder how a normal human being can hate such a beautiful music. On contrary, when I say something as bad, there is always a group of people who like very much the same. After facing all these debates and conversations I realized that each and every one enjoy something based on what they know, what they already observed and what they think as best and no one can be blamed for it. IT is again …..(Read Line 1)

Measure of Quality of Music

Now let us concentrate on only one of the ITs that is Music. I am going to contradict myself by saying that there must something called a higher (beyond one’s opinions and likeability) quality (benchmark) in everything especially in Music there must be a ???? Music. This ‘?????’ cannot be good, bad, best or worst. It can’t be anything except ‘Timeless’. I finally ended up in finding a measure of the quality of music. Time is the measure of the quality of music. The life of music determines its quality. So what I mean is that you can’t absolutely say that any music is great or classic immediately after listening. By doing so we are actually predicting it. With this I mention whenever you come across my opinion on music, take it only as “My Opinion” and not an absolute verdict of music which no one can say can ever give. By this I don’t mean that no one has the qualification to rate or review music but I just want to say no one has the right to declare the final verdict on music, they only can post it as their opinion.

The western classical compositions are perfect examples of such timeless classics. Still our cell phones play Mozart’s symphony and Beethoven’s piano pieces as ring tones. They have crossed 100s of years and still attract every living being all over the world. No music is born classic. The beauty of music gets amplified as it gets older. Why we still enjoy listening Star Wars main theme, Beethoven’s Fur Elise, Senthamizh Then Mozhiyazh, Pyar kiya to darna kya, Ek ladki ko dekha to, Dr.Zhivago’s love theme, Lara’s theme, Kalayum neeyae malayum neeayae, Kalangalil aval vasantham, Malarndhum malaradha, Mozart’s Sym.25, Pon malai pozhudu, Kannae kalai manae, Kadhal Rojavae, and add all you personal favorites in the list. These songs remain in our soul even after centuries and decades.

One of my roommates feels that the western classical symphonies as mere noise produced by hundred instruments but he likes the songs like “Appadi podu”, “Annanodu pattu”, “Seena thana”. He literally closes his ears every time I play symphonies or OST albums. He will go outside when I play “Polla Vinayaen” from “Thiruvasakam”. What can you say about him? We can just ignore these guys. These people have got the guts to admit that they don’t like it because they don’t know about it. The problem is with myopic elite people who are obsessed with one particular form of music and who feel other forms of music as mere noise. Just because they like one form of music so much, they will degrade others. This is what that happens most commonly in all music discussion forums. No body rates a music for what it is, every rating and reviewing is based on something. A music album should be rated for what it is and not for what we think it should be. The “based-on” concept should never come as a hindrance for a music album to get its due.

This is how we (includes me) rate and review a music album

Based on the level of Standards that the composer has set for himself
Just think what your rating would be if A.R.Rahman did a “Barsaat” and Nadeem Shravan did a “Yuva”

Based on what you like and what you don’t like or what you know and what you don’t

A classical music fan cannot give correct opinion on a rap / pop / rock album unless he has an open mind to any form of music. He should either stay away from the album and even if he listen to it, he should stay away from giving opinion on it as he/she doesn’t know anything about the intricacies in other form of music.

Based on Expectation
Expectation is the most dangerous word for both an artist and critic. The album may actually be good, but due to sky high expectations, we will get disappointed and hence rate it very low. You can’t get a classic every time from a composer.

Based on Biases / Prejudices
Some of us have bias on one form of music or a musician. We will straight away criticize anything that comes in this form or from this musician. Also we tend to offend when a composer who is doing well in one style of music suddenly switches his style of composition. Even though it is good, we would feel that he should have stuck to his own style. Say, if Ismail Darbar scores a pop album with full of techno and DJ works, what rating we would give it?

Based on strange liking/dislike towards a composer
Sometimes we give high ratings to even average efforts of our favorite composers but give low ratings for even good efforts of composers whom we don’t like for some strange reasons.

Finally you can see that the actual music is considered only to a small extent while rating an album. I have done all the based-on mistakes that I have mentioned above in one or the other music reviews that I have written. But now I have broadened my mind to listen and enjoy a wide variety of music without any based-on factors in my mind.

I have not written about how to rate or review a music album (which i think nobody can tell correctly) but i have written just how we have been doing it.


My 200th Mouthshut Review

Actually i have been writing in a site called Mouthshut for past two years. Just Now i posted my 200th review there. The post is on "Rating Music Albums".

MoviE ReviewS

When a heated arguement in going on in Lazy Geek's post on Good Movie Reviews, Sulekha.com has extended the time to submit reviews on Movies that we think as one of the 100 best Indian movies ever made. Many entries under the Current Front Runners list in that site are shocking to find as best indian movies. I see the same list scrolling for past two months. I think they ceased to update this list. Also go here to see movie reviews which the site claims as Top reviews so far and read Lazy Geek's post again.

Here are Some of them in the list of 100 best Indian movies

Kaka Kaka

Btw, here is a comprehensive list of all Indian bloggers. Great job done by Thennavan. Check whether your blog is listed there.


Weekly Top Ten - 1

Suresh Super 10

So let us start Sa ri ga, ri ga ma, pa dha ni, dha ni sa Suresh Super 10

Top Ten Albums (Based on Audio Sales Rank given by Music World, Chennai)

1. Aa Aah (Obviously)
2. Anniyan (Still !!!!)
3. Thotti Jaya (What to Say?)
4. Oru Kallooriyin Kathai (Yuvan has become a reliable composer)
5. Chandramukhi (Rajini)
6. Arindhum Ariyamalum (Yuvan's peppy sounds)
7. Ullam Kaetkumae (Harris's better work recognised atlast)
8. Kadhal + Kaaka Kaaka ( Good Combo)
9. 7G Rainbow Colony OST Album (Surprising yet believable considering the quality of music)
10. Priyasakhi (Good melodies)

Top Ten Songs (My Opinion)

Saami Kitta (Daas / Yuvan / Shreya Ghosal, Hariharan)

Unakku Endru oru (Oru Kallooriyin Kathai / YSR / Unnimenon, Chorus)

Mazhai Mazhai (Ullam Kaetkumae / Harris Jeyaraj / Unnikrishnan, Harini)

Iyengaru Veetu (Anniyan / Harris Jeyaraj / Hariharan, Harini)

Uyirae En Uyirae(Thotti Jaya / Harris Jeyaraj / Karthik, Anuradha Sriram, Bombay Jayshree)

Muthal Muthal (Priysakhi / Bharadwaj / Chitra)

Kadhal Illai Sadhal Illai (ABCD / D.Iman / D.Iman)

Antha Naal Nyabagam(Athu Oru Kana Kaalam/Illayaraja/Shreya Ghosal, Vijay Yesudas)

En Anbe Aaruyirae(Aa Aah/A.R.Rahman/A.R.Rahman)

Kaatril Varum Geethamae(Oru Naal Oru Kanavu/Illayaraja/Illayaraja)

Thoughts on Chameli Music

“Chameli” is one beautiful album that I missed to own and listen at the time of its release. But these days I am completely into its music. Thank god I listened to it at least now. It is always better late than never. This album is another inclusion in my long list of moon light melody albums (Parineeta, Reflection of Passion, Swarabishekam, Mughal–E- Azam, Kangalal Kaithi sei, Piya Basanti etc.,) which I prefer to listen while going to bed.

Unaware of whom the composer is, I was surprised to see the name of Sandesh Shandilya. I thought he is a great composer when I heard the album Piya Basanti and I thought here is a composer whose talents were little explored and used in bollywood. I don’t know what his other works are, can someone suggest me some of his other works. Let me come back to our business Review.

From what I have listened so far, Sandesh Shandilya is a very unique composer. He gives importance to catchy melodies than the catchy rhythms. His intention seems to not try something completely different with music instead he strives to do something so familiar, no native, so natural and yet haunting and long lasting. He strives for a soulful music and not for a unique sound. He takes utmost care on streaming the notes instead of engineering the sound which most other composers do these days. Simplicity has its own charm. Sandesh stormed my soul with his simple and minimal usage of orchestration. The vocal tune carries the song all along and the backing instrument just aids and adds beauty. Let me come back (again) to this album.

“Chameli” album has got 8 songs. I am saying that there are 8 songs though there are only 4 songs + repeated versions and an instrumental, because I didn’t skip even a single track though repeated. In addition to the music, the album gets its unique sound because of Sunidhi Chauhan. She has a versatile voice. She sounds completely different in different pitches. It is difficult to find that “Bhage rae” and “Sajna ve” are sung by the same singer. She sounds sensuous and silky in Bhage rae and vibrant and energetic in Sajna ve.

This is a kind of album on which there is not much to elaborate or ramble on except for one word “Beautiful” for the reason I mentioned in the previous paragraph. The real instruments dominate the tracks rather than loops and rhythms. The rhythms are subtle and adequate enough to perfectly synch with the melody. Anything you play on flute will sound soothing but think of if you play some really beautiful stream of notes it will sounds just divine and such a divine feel you get all through the “Bhaage rae” song which has ample amount of flute pieces shattered. And so is the usage of Saxophone in “Jaane” and its other versions. It is the best song in the album in my opinion. All the three versions are great and the instrumental version is just out of the world. Tala (Saxophone) has performed well in the instrumental. All the songs have catchy bass running in the background. “Sajna ve” is a nice rhythm number again with some emphasis on melody in the vocal tune. That is what we call a fast melody. The thing I like the most is even rhythm based numbers like “Yeh Lamha”, which makes us to tap our foot has no too many instruments to bang on our ears. Simplicity is omnipresent in the composition and that is what impressed me the most than anything else.

Go for it. Chameli album is a must buy.


Rising: The Ballad Of Mangal Pandey Review(Not Mine)

Don't mistake me. I haven't seen the movie yet. I found this review in arrrahmanfans group. As i can't find out the weblink of this review, i am posting the entire review here.

The Rising: The Ballad Of Mangal Pandey Jonathan Romney in London 04 August 2005 00:01

Dir: Ketan Mehta. India. 2005. 150mins

The story of the Indian Mutiny gets a swashbuckling spin, completewith musical numbers, in The Rising, a film that director Ketan Mehtaoriginally planned to make in 1988.

The presence of Aamir Khan – star of Lagaan, one of the few Bollywoodfilms to achieve a healthy degree of non-niche prominence – suggeststhat The Rising might follow suit, though much will depend on itsreception in Locarno where it premiered on Wednesday (Lagaan waslaunched in similar style).

Crossover potential could be hampered, however, by what mainstreamaudiences may perceive as a jarring incongruity between taut,realistic historical drama and the extravagant dance sequences scoredby star composer AR Rahman.

Slightly less than a full-blown epic, the film is handsomely mounted rather than truly spectacular, but at time of viewing, some CGI work,notably in the battle scenes, was yet to be completed. Whether or not it can break out of the specialised market, The Rising's seriousness and political sense of purpose should give it an edge both theatrically and on DVD. The film is released in the UK and Us onAugust 12.

The film begins after the 1857 court martial of the historical figureMangal Pandey (Khan), a sepoy – an Indian soldier enlisted in theBritish army under the all-powerful East India Company. A voice-overtells us we will learn what brought Pandey to this point, and how hisactions led to the downfall of the East India Company, and sowed theseeds for the eventual dismantling of the British Raj.

The action flashes back to a skirmish between the British army andAfghans, in which Pandey saves the life of a young Scottish officer,Captain William Gordon (Stephens). The two men's friendship is latercemented in a wrestling match but is tested when the sepoys come intoconflict with their British commanders, as a result of theintroduction of a bullet cartridge lubricated with beef and pork fat,and therefore offensive to the Indian soldiers.

Meanwhile, both men embark on romances with Indian women - Pandey withRani (Mukerji), a young woman sold as a prostitute in a brothel forBritish officers, and Gordon with Jwala (Patel), a young widow whom hesaves from death by suttee.

The Rising strikes an uneasy balance between factually-basedhistorical drama and very broad melodrama, especially where some ofthe British characters are concerned, although Kenneth Cranham excelsas a boorishly corrupt trader.

Writer Farrukh Dondey manages to impart a great deal of historicalinformation about both the economic voracity and the culturalignorance underlying British dominion, giving the film a distinctMarxist spin. But that requires an awkward amount of exposition, andit stretches plausibility that Gordon should deliver an angry lectureon the oppressive function of the opium trade, anachronisticallysigning off, "And we call it the free market."

The talk, however, is offset by some taut dramatic sequences,especially in the climactic stand-offs between the sepoys and theBritish, with Khan excelling as an intense, charismatic leader whofinally achieves a quasi-messianic status. He's well matched byStephens as a thinking gentleman-of-action.Several song-and-dance sequences provide vibrant interludes,especially when Mukerji lets rip with jubilant, flirty brio.

Waiting to watch it on Aug 12.

Here is another review

Maniratnam + A.R.Rahman again

Yesterday I saw the A.R.Rahman’s old New York concert. The double VCD pack released by Saregama has only the Hindi songs performed in the concert. The CD also contains a 10 minute documentary on Making of the show in which surprisingly I caught Maniratnam speaking about Making a music show with A.R.Rahman which is actually have come true now with “Netru Indru Nalai” which is a show conducted to help a organization called Banyan and the show is on August 15.

Here is what Maniratnam says

It is like a film since you are having music as a base and you are trying to make a big show and entertainment, may be I would look for a concept. I don’t know as I haven’t really put my mind into it, but I have to think what it needs to make a great show. Especially with A.R.Rahman, we have great advantage. His body of work is tremendous and there is enough choice for you to take out from. So we just have to see how best we can do.”

These words sounds very relevant now as finally Maniratnam, A.R.Rahman, Rajiv Menon and Sabu Cyril join hands to make a grand musical as a retrospective of Tamil Film industry. Actually I wonder what difference (conceptually) Maniratnam can make in shows like these except for technical excellence. We have to wait and watch. It would be better if they also release a VCD/DVD of the show in the market and raise even more funds.

There is an interesting
article in today's Hindu Metro Plus (Chennai Edition) about this show.

Unfortunately, I will be missing the show as I am going to my home town on Aug 15.


Some Doubts on Thiruvasakam - Illayaraja

In Thiruvasakam album there is a peculiar sound used often in most of the songs which adds to tge divine feel of it. It sounds like chal-chal, something like shaking a set of metal strips togather. I don't know what intrument it is. I have not heard this sound in any symphonies of the western classical composers. Can anybody tell me what is the name of the instrument and whether it is one of the instruments in a symphony orchestra? If you don't get about which sound i am talking about here is a clue. In "Poovar Senni" song, the exhilirating symphony following "Adivom naam sivapurathul adiyar" has the best usage of this sound and instrument which takes me to a kind of trance state.

Can anybody tell me is piano used in Symphony Orchestra. Because in "Polla Vinayaen" song, when the symphony plays the tune of "My eyes were set on" part each line ends with three notes played in Piano. Is is recorded in the symphony or done seperately?

Also please suggest me some weblinks to learn how to write a Symphony. I searched it but i couldn't find any good web contents about Symphony writing.


Oru Kallooriyin Kathai Music Review

Yuvan Shankar Raja the music maker of the season combines with a lyricist Na.Muthu Kumar, who reserves his best for him in “Oru Kallooriyin Kathai”. I had some expectations but the album doesn’t meet it. It is yet another average effort from Yuvan though it has got some pleasant melodies. The problem is the sounds-like feel of the songs. The album has got 3 melodies and 3 so-so rhythm numbers.

Kangal Kalandhida is a good melody with a fast rhythm. Though the rhythm fits the song well, it would sound more soulful if not as fast as it is and also the beats are damn usual. The song talks about the feelings of a group of college friends returning back to their college life. Muthu Kumar over takes Yuvan’s music by his meaningful lyrics. After a couple of listening you will concentrate more on the lyrics and its meaning than the music. Muthu again (first one being “Ninaithu” from 7GRBC) excels in word play by writing two different yet same set of lyrics for same tune matching the situation in the movie. There are actually two versions of the song and a third one being the second version of the second version of the song. Among the singers I felt Karthik’s singing better. The interludes are different for two versions and sound good. I think one will enjoy the song more and appreciate the lyrics if you know the story of the movie (actually I know it).

Kadhal Enbadhu is a sequel to “Ye Nenje” song from April Mathathil. The beats and the rhythm are exactly the same. Piano pieces sprinkled throughout are good. Harish does a fine job as always but I felt Chinmayi was not really interested in this song especially I didn’t like the way she sings in a different pitch at the end. Somehow such sudden variation in pitches doesn’t fit the mood of this kind of songs well. Yuvan goes for voice doubling effect but it leaves no impact. Though the song as a whole is not perfect, the melody is definitely good.

Unakku Endru Oruthi is my pick of the album. The melody, flow, and chorus truly sound the feelings of a man meeting his dream girl for the first time. The lyrics are again top notch. Unfortunately the best track of the album runs for les than 1 minute. Yuvan has done many songs (“Ithu yenna maatram”, “Chedi ondru mulaikkudhey”) for the same situation before but this stands out as the best in my opinion.

I have nothing much to write about rest of the songs except for two words “Just Skip”.

P.S: Comparitively I like "Thotti Jaya" album more.