12.31.2007

Kaalai Soundtrack

The starting strings of ‘Eppo Nee’ instantly remind me ‘Manmadhanae’ song. Some parts of the song reminded me ‘Thirumana malargal’ song from ‘Poovellam un vaasam’. Though the vocal melody is not so pleasing, the flute motif and the interludes are interesting. But to pull everything down, we have Madhusree singing. If I have to say about Madhusree’s singing and pronunciation in Vadivelu’s style ‘M.u.d.i.y.a.l.a’.

‘Gutkha Lakkadi’ is funky kuthu with nice interludes but it is not catchy enough especially compared to the other catchy kuthu song ‘Kutti Pissase’. GVP gets the hook right in this song. ‘Kaala Kaala’ with sensuous Mamta Mohandass’s rendition sounds like a reworked female version of ‘Loosu penne’ but GVP’s synthphonic orchestration makes it work. ‘Kaalai’, being a theme song singing praises about Kaalai, sounds fresh with a unique style of singing and thumping beats which again shows GVP’s urge to make something that sounds fresh and new. ‘Veeramulla’ song is a rustic folk number that can be easily skipped.

‘Kaalai’ soundtrack isn’t bad but all the songs fit into the familiar and repetitive Simbu template of songs. GVP tries hard to make it his own and hence the result.

12.28.2007

Tamil Film Music 2007

For past two years, I kept away from listing favorite songs of the year, mainly because I don’t know how to cut the list short to 10 or 20 and most importantly I didn’t know my favorites. For years I have been trying to find a pattern in the song that I like most and that indirectly means trying to understand the very basic pattern of music itself. But recently I found something common in the songs I like MOST. Some songs will have a great melody, some will have a great orchestration, in some songs, singers would have given their best, some songs will have a lot of experimentation and innovation in sounds, but what matters most is the satisfaction that I get after listening to a song. It is this heart felt satisfaction that makes a song my favorite. The 25 songs listed days are those which gave that complete satisfaction to me in 2007. Remember, I am just listing and not ranking the songs

Vazhkai Enbadhu (Katradhu Tamizh – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Sembaruthi Poo Kanakka (Kanna – Ranjit Barot)

Ilamai Ullaasam (Unnaalae Unnaalae – Harris Jeyaraj)

Un Siripinil (Pachaikili Muthucharam – Harris Jeyaraj)

Maayavi Neeya (Sivi – Dharan)

Sahana (Sivaji – A.R.Rahman)

Pesugiraen (Satham Podathey – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Oru Mugamo (Bheema – Harris Jeyaraj)

Valayapatti Thavilae (Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan – A.R.Rahman)

Megam Megam (Kannamoochi Yenada – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Yaaro Yaarukkul (Chennai 28 – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Kannan Varum velayil (Deepavali – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Kaatrin Mozhi (Mozhi – Vidhyasagar)

Kireedom Theme (Kireedom – G.V.Prakash)

Azhaigalin Osaigal (Rameshwaram – Niru)

Sariya Ithu Thavaraa (Kalloori – Joshua Sridhar)

Vizhiyil un Vizhiyil (Kireedom – G.V.Prakash)

Ithu Enna Maayam (Ooram Po – G.V.Prakash)

Mounamae Unnidam (Mozhi – Vidhyasagar)

Para Para Pattampoochi (Katradhu Tamizh – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Naanthaana (Ninaithaalae – Vijay Antony)

Eureka (Thoovaanam – Isaac Thomas)

Unnai Charanadainthen (Ammuvaaghiya Naan – Sabesh-Murali)

Maarghaliyil Kulichu paaru (Onbathu rooba nottu – Bharadwaj)

Billa Theme (Billa 2007 – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

12.27.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

25. Vazhkai Enbadhu

Movie: Katradhu Tamizh (Tamizh MA)
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar
Singer: Shankar Mahadevan

This is easily the weirdest song of the year. Very few songs of this genre achieve the impact that this song leaves on a listener’s mind. The odd violins looping around, the turbulent multi layered percussions and the innovative orchestration makes us feel scary about the whole world around us.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

24. Sembaruthi Poo Kanakkaa

Movie: Kanna
Composer: Ranjit Barot
Lyrics: Pulamai Pithan
Singers: Manicka Vinayagam, Vinaya, Mukesh

I first heard the song along with the visuals when it was played on Sun Music channel. I may have liked this song, but wouldn’t have completely embraced it or its structure if I hadn’t seen the visuals of the song. The catchy flute motif, the earthy percussions, the melody and the narrative lyrics which tell a simple familiar story and the picturisation of the song, made this song an instant favourite of mine.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

23. Ilamai Ullaasam

Movie: Unnalae Unnalae
Composer: Harris Jeyaraj
Singers: Shalini, Krish
Lyrics: Pa.Vijay

It is a short and sweet song and is the only song I instantly liked while listening to the soundtrack for the first time. The conversation between the vocals and Saxophone without any backing orchestration kick starts the song well. It further blossoms with another hippy melody, guitars and refreshing chorus as it proceeds and the song gets even richer towards the end with beautiful and apt orchestration.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

22. Un siripinil

Movie: Pachaikili Muthucharam
Composer: Harris Jeyaraj
Singer: Gautami Rao, Robby
Lyrics: Thaamarai

Recently, when we went for a trip to Kerala, we were playing just Harris Jeyaraj songs and to my surprise found that Harris’s songs are so easy and relaxing to listen to while traveling. Especially I liked this song so much. The leisure melody, the husky singing, apt rhythms and guitar strains are so soothing and relaxing than I thought or experienced when I heard it when the soundtrack got released earlier this year.

12.26.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

21. Maayaavi Neeyae

Movie: Sivi
Composer: Dharan
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar
Singers: Shruthi, Haricharan

Want to know the meaning of a catchy song? Listen to this one. With a different structure, changing tempos, pleasing melody and adequate orchestration, Dharan finds a right balance between class and mass in this song. Usually, a song would have just one single motif other than the main melody or sometimes no motifs at all, but this song has got two beautiful motifs other than main melody and all is well packaged into the song. Dharan’s maturity is evident in the way he has used the bass guitar, the piano and the strings in right amount and at right places in the song.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

20. Sahana

Movie: Sivaji
Composer: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Vairamuthu
Singers: Chinmayi, Udit Narayan

Sometimes, it is just enough to listen to brilliant singer with a beautiful voice giving the best. No, I am not talking about Udit Narayan here and you know it. It is Chinmayi. It is the magic in her voice. It is the way she traverses all those octaves with ease and finesse. And ofcourse Rahman’s beautiful melody, simple orchestration and tabla bytes do the rest.

12.23.2007

Vellithirai Soundtrack

‘Vellithirai’ is a remake of the Malayalam movie ‘Udayananu Tharam’. I saw ‘Udayananu Tharam’ and liked it very much especially for Srinivasan’s performance. But given the kind of script, there is very little scope for music in this movie and when I try to recollect, I don’t remember any of the songs from the Malayalam movie and after listening to the soundtrack of ‘Vellithirai’, I am afraid that we may not remember much about the music for the Tamil version either.

Though G.V.Prakash’s intention for experimentation is evident in some songs, overall it doesn’t work out well this time. The melody ‘Uyirilae’ and its female version ‘Vizhiyilae’ are is the only melody in the soundtrack that lingers for sometime in our mind. ‘Dhayarae’ is surprisingly Irish throughout and hence sounds fresh. ‘Kanjipaanayin’ is a bad one with unnecessary deviations and loud percussions. ‘Sooriyanae’ in the song in which Prakashraj is going to become a superstar and it would work better with the visuals.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

19. Pesugiraen

Movie: Satham Podathey
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singers: Viva Girls
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

Because every line of melody sung or played in this song takes me into a pleasant, soothing, calming ambience with the lyrics providing all necessary optimistic energy boost to move forward in life. Thanks to Selvaraghavan, Yuvan keeps coming up with philosophical classics.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

18. Oru Mugamoo

Movie: Bheema
Composer: Harris Jeyaraj
Singers: Naresh Iyer, Krish
Lyrics: Thaamarai

How can a hero get introduced in a movie with a song which doesn’t have big horns or trumpets blowing or have a full throttled orchestra reaching it highest possible decibels or thundering percussion pumping up the energy? Here is the answer. Harris got his formula right for the first time in ‘Karka Karka’ and follows it in this song too. With Krish and Naresh Iyer not once getting into their effeminate tones and with thumping e-beats, rocking guitars, clever layers of sounds and instruments, the song gives a polished and sophisticated sound to the introduction song of a Tamil hero.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

17. Valayapatti Thavilae

Movie: Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan
Composer: A.R.Rahman
Singers: Madhumitha, Naresh Iyer, Ujjaini
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

How often we get to listen to a song which is a jughalbandhi of filmy folk, Mallu folk, Carnatic, qawwali and Hindustani music? This mix doesn’t happen in just one aspect of the song, the orchestration, the vocal melody, the interludes everything pass through all different genres of music. In an attempt to mix everything Rahman never turns the song too experimental, weird or unconventional. Also, he does it all within the unwritten rules of a commercial dance number in a Vijay movie.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

16. Megam Megam

Movie: Kannamoochi Yenadaa
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singers: Haircharan, Swetha
Lyrics: Thaamarai

If you have heard the song ‘Nuvvena’ from Telugu film ‘Raam’ which was also composed by Yuvan, you would easily understand why this song is one of my favorites. ‘Megam Megam’ is in a sense feels exactly the same as ‘Nuvvenaa’ and yet it is a totally different song. Except for the beats and that motif on strings, every single phrase of the melody played by every single instrument and that sung by the vocals is reworked which neither sounds better nor worse but just as good as its older version.

12.21.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

14. Yaaro Yaarukkul

(Chennai 28 / Yuvan Shankar Raja / Vaali / S.P.Balasubramaniam, Chitra)

In an attempt to recreate feel of Raaja’s romantic duets of earlier 80's, with live drums, strings, guitars and ofcourse SPB and Chitra, something fresh has come out in this song. It is like a sample of how a song would sound if Yuvan orchestrates a Raaja’s tune not in Yuvan’s style but in Raaja’s style. The rhythm pattern gives a whole new flavour to the otherwise predictable yet pleasant melody.

15. Kannan Varum Velayil

(Deepaavali / Yuvan Shankar Raja/ Anuradha Sriram, Madhusree)

I think this is the song which I was humming the most in 2007. It has a simple orchestration, a very simple and cute tune and especially the way each stanza ends is so cool. I am a big fan of Anuradha Sriram’s voice and it was so refreshing to listen her singing a melody and though she sounds struggling at higher pitches, her voice does add some magic to the song.

12.19.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

13.Kaatrin Mozhi

(Mozhi / Vidhyasagar / Vairamuthu / Balram)

The melody just floating on a soft net weaved by the guitar refrains and bass guitar, kick starts this one of a gem that doesn’t walk its way to our soul often. When such melody kept afloat for sometime sits perfectly on a seamlessly joining percussion rhythm, the amount of satisfaction one gets cannot be expressed in words. The poetic lines of Vairamuthu are perfectly put into musical notes by Vidhyasagar. The words and the music are so light and easy to listen to and yet it is so heavy and deep in its inner meaning. There always is a right singer for a right song sung by the right singer. The right singer doesn’t always mean the best singer. It is the best voice that suits the tone, theme and texture of that particular song and that voice is Balram for this song. I can’t think of this song in someone else’s voice. Not even SPB.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

12. Kireedom Theme

Movie: Kireedom
Composer: G.V.Prakash Kumar

If you are one who listens to Hollywood scores, the orchestration and arrangements of this instrumental has nothing new to offer. And my reason for choosing this song is not its orchestration but its haunting violin theme. The song packages this main violin theme cleverly with snare rich percussive arrangements to start with and then turns soothing and calming towards the end, when the main theme is left afloat on violin, strings, cello and flute one after the other.

12.17.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

11. Azhaigalin Osaigal

Movie: Rameshwaram
Music: Niru
Singers: Haricharan, Kalyani
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

Though on initial listening, it sounds like a pleasant romantic song, the melody actually makes a tight rope walk between the romance and pathos. With the breezy strings and pleasant orchestration taking care of sweet romance, the pathos feels is hidden deep inside the melody itself. Especially with the way Haricharan and Kalyani sing the melody, one can never say where the sweetness ends and the pathos starts in the melody.

12.14.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

10. Sariyaa Ithu Thavaraa

Movie: Kalloori
Music: Joshua Sridhar
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar
Singer: Haricharan

Ofcourse, the song has a decent melody and a thumping rhythm that makes it instantly likeable. But what makes it stand apart from other such melodies is the heavy usage of string section. I don’t remember listening to a song in the recent past which uses strings almost throughout the song as it is in this song. The string section beautifully plays counter to the main vocal melody and is actually the soul of the song. I can’t imagine the feel and the impact of this song without the string section.

12.13.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

9. Vizhiyil Un Vizhiyil

Movie: Kireedom
Composer: G.V.Prakash
Singer: Shwetha, Sonu Nigam
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

It is again a very simple melody which gets it flow right. Getting a melodic phrase is very easy but developing the musical phrase into a streamlined melody without any drastic twists and turns could be a daunting task for a composer. And only when you have such fragmented musical phrases to be put into a single song, one need to go for extra ornamentation, otherwise just an apt rhythm, the melody and good rendition of the singers is enough to make the right impact, as it is in this song. But, I have to admit that the Veena pieces in the interludes do add a serene flavour to the song.

12.12.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

8. Ithu Enna Maayam

Movie: Ooram Po
Composer: G.V.Prakash
Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Alka Yagnik
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

The song has got a pleasant melody with beautiful piano chords running behind. The flute and strings move in and out of the song at the right moments. There is nothing in this world that is as calming as the sound of a grand piano. The sound of Piano spreads a positive energy, a divine aura and vibe in our soul. I don’t remember many songs in the recent past which used the grand piano as much as it is used in this song. Cleverly GVP keeps the beats subdued; giving prominence to the sound of the reverberating piano chords.

12.11.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

7. Mounamae Unnidam

Movie: Mozhi
Composer: Vidhyasagar
Lyrics: Vairamuthu
Singer: Srinivas

As we all know, this song is composed in the same meter as the old classic ‘Mounamae Paarvayaal’. It is a song that best defines the term ‘Genuine Inspiration’. I was wonderstruck by the beauty and simplicity of this melody and when I came to know about its inspiration my respect for the song grew further. Words and music beautifully complement each other. The song placement and the visuals in the movie further enhance the dignity of the melody. And ofcourse, Srinivas is at his soothing best.

12.10.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

6. Para Para Pattampoochi

Movie: Katradhu Tamizh (Tamizh MA)
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar
Singer: Rahul

The truly haunting melody, the passionate singing of Rahul, the intricate orchestration marrying Indian elements with Chinese instruments, Na.Muthukumar’s poetry together made this song an instant classic. While searching for a pattern in my favorites, I also found what makes a song a classic. It is an innate feeling that you get the instant you hear the melody. You feel like listening to a fresh melody which you have heard and felt in your heart for years in your mind. I got this feel the moment I heard the Harp piece with which the song starts. The innateness is there even in the orchestration. The pizzicato strings that starts running in the background when the line ‘Kanneril midhakkum’ starts, adds a deep emotion in the song, it isn’t a filler layer, it is a part of the song, it is the song, the song isn’t what it is without those mild strings. It doesn’t happen always in every song where more and more layers are added just as fillers.

12.09.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

5. Naaanthaanaa

Movie: Ninaithaalae
Composer: Vijay Antony
Lyrics: Vairamuthu
Singer: Sadhana Sargam, Rahul Nambiyaar

This song is no equivalent to the classic ‘Nuvvenaa’ song from the original Telugu version of the movie. It is full of familiar rhythms, flute pieces and strings and is a big bouquet of clichés we associate with a romantic duet. You can easily guess where the melody is leading and when a flute will start to flourish. Yet the flow in the simple melody and the feel that the flow gets us into makes even the clichéd orchestration work. Vijay Antony continues to deliver such simple delightful melodies.

12.07.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

4. Eureka

Movie: Thoovaanam
Composer: Isaac Thomas
Singer: Harish Raghavendra

The song is about a boy’s Eureka moment of finding his girl. The USP of the song is that the melody, rhythm and orchestration goes through a lot of variations, it takes a twist in almost every third line, beautifully tracing the random emotions and ecstasy of a boy falling in love. Inspite of its variations, the song never falls out of stream. Also, Harish Raghavendra’s expression and rendition is in synch with the variations.

12.06.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

3. Unnai Charanadaithen

Movie: Ammuvaaghiya Naan
Composer: Sabesh-Murali
Singer: Harish Raghavendra, Kalyani

Mellow beats, intriguing orchestration, ludes and fill ups with solo pieces on ever pleasing instruments like piano, sitar, sax and flute, melody strongly rooted in a classical raaga and two beautiful singers giving their expressive best, poetic lyrics and you need nothing more to make a soulful and soothing romantic song.

12.05.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

2. Maarghaliyil Kulichu paaru

Movie: Onbathu Rooba Nottu
Composer: Bharadwaj
Singer: Srinivas
Lyricist: Vairamuthu

With just a chord on Piano looping rhythmically in the background and solo instruments filling in the interludes, ‘Maarghaliyil Kulichu Paaru’ is one of those rarest gems that comes out of a perfect marriage between melody and the lyrics. Bharadwaj gives a rock solid proof of how satisfying a film song can get when the words sit perfectly on musical notes of the melody. Simple and earthy words conveying deep philosophical meanings in the lyrics written by Vairamuthu is obviously the soul of the song. Even Thangar Bachaan’s picturisation is beautiful and is at par with the standards of the music and lyrics.

12.04.2007

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007



Billa Theme

Movie: Billa
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

What makes this short piece work is that it doesn’t wander on with a single theme and it ends at right time with right punch. It has an ultra cool, techno orchestration which is in synch with the feel of the movie. Initially, we get a mysterious e-tune (like the one from Manmadhan theme), a rock guitar takes over giving us a head shaking rock bit and only when the solo guitar piece starts almost at the end, we come to know that all those variations are to build up to this ultimate guitar theme. Even though it is short, I sense that completeness in this song.


Also read, Listening Movies....

11.29.2007

Kanna Soundtrack

I got a chance to watch the live telecast of the audio release function of ‘Kanna’ in Sun Music channel in which they also screened the visuals of all the song from the movie. The songs are picturised well and I liked all the songs instantly. Ranjit Barot made a strong comeback to Tamil films earlier in this year with Urchagam. Now continuing with the same Urchagam, Ranjit Barot has come up with a predictable and yet pleasant soundtrack for ‘Kanna’.

‘Kuiyl Paadum’ is a simple song with Shreya Ghosal adding life to the tune and the lyrics with her cute expressions in singing. The runner up of Airtel Super Singer Junior Vignesh makes his debut in this song. Vignesh’s part of the song is fun and he has sung with right feel. ‘Thullum Thullalil’ has a nice tune and orchestration that reflects what the lyrics intends to say about life. ‘Ragasiya Kanna’ is a sweet romantic melody with all necessary ingredients mixed in right proportion and with Sujatha at her usual best. ‘Sembaruthi’ is an instantly catchy folk number that tells a short story of a newly married couple and thus breaks away from a usual song structure.

‘Aayiram Kelvigal’ is a pathos song that doesn’t evoke enough pathos with its tune, though the orchestration is right. But I liked the technique of layering a main lead and chorus singing the line ‘Ithu Kaadhal ennum’ in very low range with a string section playing the tune in the same range. It helps in the bringing the mood of the song quite effectively. ‘Azhaghiya Pennae Unnal’ is extremely catchy with its techno orchestration, rhythms, a vivacious vocal tune and lively rendition of Karthik. Overall, Kanna soundtrack is not to be missed.

11.20.2007

Kalloori Soundtrack

No one can imitate early 90’s Rahman style of music like Joshua Sridhar but I have no complaints. Because his compositions, though apes the style of orchestration and the feel of that of Rahman, are genuine and Joshua seems to be doing it with utmost honesty without directly lifting any tunes or phrases of Rahman. He brings in a sort of refreshing feel in his music inspite of treading a familiar path. May be that freshness is because not many others who ape Rahman take this path of his. Kadhal brought him to instant fame and though his other soundtracks didn’t become as popular as his first, I immensely liked ‘Uyir’ and the melodies in ‘Aran’ and ‘Ninaithu Ninaithu Parthaen’.

Coming to ‘Kalloori’ soundtrack, I think the music brings in all the necessary elements and emotions associated with a college campus drama, quite well. It has got a refreshing energy in rhythms, and pleasant melodies. The music creates an ambience of its own, which also makes us to yearn for the visuals. Though the story is college based, Joshua doesn’t misuse it by going totally electronic. Instead he restricts to simple pleasant melodies, supported well by a soothing orchestration and just enough e-sounds and beats looping around for the pep. The usage of heavy string sections, chorus and flute pieces in all the songs plays a major role is bringing the right feel in the songs. Especially, the initial flute piece and guitar strains in Kalloori theme (though reminds us of his Kadhal theme music) make us nostalgic about our own college days. I think ‘Kalloori’ music brings the mood and feel of the movie perfectly like yet another Telugu soundtrack ‘Happy Days’ did in the recent past.

10.30.2007

Rameshwaram Soundtrack

Niru made a promising debut with the album ‘Moongil Nila’ which had some beautiful melodies. So, obviously when I heard that he was composing for a Tamil movie, I had high expectations but his first Tamil soundtrack ‘Kalaabha Kaadhalan’ had a below average music. But now Niru has bounced back with a beautiful soundtrack for the movie ‘Rameshwaram’. It has a good variety of melodies and situational songs.

‘Azhagalin Oosai’ starts with a beautiful string section like that of Rahman’s ‘Sonnalum Kaetpathillai’ and soon Niru makes the song his own by using a melody straight out of one of his songs from Moongil Nila album. Niru’s ornamentation of the pleasant melody with beautiful array of instruments striking the right notes at the right places behind the vocals, and his multilayered breezy orchestration in the interludes makes this songs one of the most complete ones in the recent times. Haircharan and Kalyani further romanticize the melody with their silky rendition.

Though highly situational, ‘Elloraiyum’ is instantly catchy with easily identifiable tune and earthy lyrics. Though we talk about innovation and experimentation in songs, there is nothing like the feel that you get when a melody fits to T with a familiar percussive rhythm. And this song has got such a rhythm, though familiar, adds a great energy to the song. ‘Etho Senjapulla’ is total fun with variety of beats, sounds and instruments going together throughout the song creating a feel of its own. Though the melody slips in the charanam, the colorful arrangements make it up.

‘Naan Tharai Nila’ is again a beautiful melody with nice arrangements. Swetha seems to have got some of the best melodies of 2007. She excels again in this song. Niru has used Violin and Veena sounds in a very innovative way in this song. ‘Netrirundhuom’ is Niru’s version of Rahman’s ‘Vidakodu Engal Naadae’. Though it has a very emotional orchestration fitting the theme of the song, O.S.Arun’s rendition makes all the damage. Niru did the same mistake by using O.S.Arun in Moongil Nila. He may be a good classical singer, but his voice simply doesn’t fit in the filmy songs. Fortunately, we have an instrumental version of the song which is very good as O.S.Arun’s vocal parts are replaced by a flute.

‘Rameshwaram’ soundtrack is highly recommended.


Also Visit my new blog dedicated to Background Scores here

My New blog on Background Score

After Illayaraja came into Indian film music, there is quite a lot of awareness about the significance of background score in movies. At least for me it is his background scores that made me to take a deep dip into this interesting art form called scoring background music for films. Those who have read my ramblings about background scores here would now better about how crazy I am about it.

I think still there isn’t enough awareness about this aspect of film making and its significance in films, not just for the common people but sometimes even for the film makers. Rarely Original soundtracks with background score music cues are getting released. Even if it is released, it is heard by only a selected few. Anyway, I can keep cribbing for pages about the poor recognition of background scores in Indian films. Let me stop here.

The purpose of this blog is to share some of the beautiful background score pieces that I heard and enjoyed. Not just from Tamil movies but also from Hindi and English movies and if possible from other language movies too. To make it interesting, I would like to post it like a quiz contest ala conundrumofsonata.blogspot.com where you got to listen to lot of beautiful interludes from Tamil songs and guessed the songs. Similarly here, you will have to guess the movie from the background score pieces. It will be fun. Even if you don’t have much knowledge about the background score pieces, you can land up here to explore and listen to some beautiful music pieces. I know that I may be violating some copyright laws but think of Nayagan’s punch dialogue.

So check out my new blog on background score

http://backgroundscore.blogspot.com

Do drop in your comments and suggestions.

10.27.2007

Sila Nerangalil Soundtrack

Though I always try to keep an eye on all soundtracks of lesser know movies, ‘Sila Nerangalil’ for various reasons, I miss (especially in 2007) to discover soundtracks that deserve to be heard and appreciated. ‘Sila Nerangalil’ is one such soundtrack. It may easily be the most matured music composed by Srikanth Deva so far. Srikanth Deva shows lot of maturity in the melodies, fresh arrangements and variety in the songs of this soundtrack.

With appropriate choice of instruments, high pitched strings, rhythms and a saccharine melody and of course P.Susheela singing after a long time, ‘Pottu Vaitha’ song evokes MSV era of music quite well. The melody though is just above average, gains longevity from Susheela’s voice and rendition. Even now, P.Susheela amazingly sings in a way we remember her singing, say in a song like, ‘Tamizhukkum Amudhendru paer’ (One of my favourite Susheela renditions). These legendary singers effortlessly go beyond the basic tune material of the song, adding their own touches, and make the song their own, a talent which only very few singers now possess.

‘Thirudapatta Nilavae’ starts with familiar tribal beats and chants, but soon before we pass it as a just another song, the hooky rhythm and arrangements with Chinese instruments comes as a pleasant surprise. It sounds refreshing as all these elements are elegantly added to a pathos number but without loosing its feel.

‘Cell Phone’ though is a usual item number, has a very catchy motif running throughout. With just tribal rhythms without heavy percussions and a bit of Arabian stuff thrown in the interludes, it isn’t loud and senseless like most other songs of the genre to which it belongs.

‘Embaavai’ is a very pleasant IRish melody. Pallavi tune sounds a lot like ‘Iniya Nathi Ilaya Nathi’ song from ‘Manasellam’ but surprisingly the charanam turns totally different and becomes more melodious than the pallavi and with beautiful array of instruments filling in appropriately in the interludes; this song turns out very good.

‘Ponguthu’ again travels back to MSV era; to be specific, it is done like a song that Chandhrababu use to sing then. Though it sounds authentic, the tune lacks punch.

‘Sila Nerangalil’ is a very listenable soundtrack. Give it a try.

10.25.2007

Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan - Some more thoughts

In many of his recent movies, especially the Tamil ones, A.R.Rahman composes the tune after the lines are written and that badly shows up in some of his songs. He tries so hard to set the lines to tune and fit it within the basic rhythm pattern looping throughout. This is again evident with the ‘Ellapughazhum’ song from Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan. It starts of well with an identifiable tune, but it slowly looses its flow in the second stanza when he repeats ‘Athai Nee Marakkathey’ or ‘Indrai Ilakkaathey’ which sounds nothing but a filler to fit the rhythm pattern. And in the third stanza, Rahman literally reads few lines with the hooky pattern in the background. But with mastery over layering rhythms and sounds, he covers it up. Often these kinds of variations are mistaken and praised as surprising twists and turns.

Rahman has used a lot of new voice in ‘Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan’. There are no known big names here. But I feel, though ARR introduces many, he is unable to nurture everyone these days. He uses only a few singers often like a Naresh Iyer or a Madhusree or Karthik. Though ARR has been constantly giving songs to singers like Aslam or Chinamyi, I think he could use them more often. Two notable singers in the ATM singers list are Madhumitha and Saindhavi. When I watch their live performances on TV, I wonder why these brilliant singers are under-utilized in Tamil Film music or in Rahman’s music. With right opportunities a Chinamyi or a Madhumitha or a Saindhavi could have easily become ‘Shreya Ghosal’ of Tamil film music. Any song of Madhusree would easily sound much better in a Chinmayi/Madhumitha/Saindhavi’s voice. One more versatile singer who isn’t getting enough opportunities is Maathangi.

In ATM soundtrack, my pick is ‘Valayaptti’. This is one song where Rahman stamp is all over in every instrument used, every layer and every beat of the rhythm. Though it sounds a lot like ‘Kummi Adi’, the interesting parade of different genres of music on a common road of rhythm, sounds so refreshing. Even the interludes are made like a collage of different genres and sounds.

Having understood the conditions in which Rahman would have scored music for this music, I am not complaining or regretting. But I strongly feel that Rahman should stop doing music for such Tamil movies simply for the sake of having a presence in Tamil Film music. He should do only movies in which he gets the time he needs to give his creative best. Having said that I am sure, ‘Sakkarakatti’ soundtrack won’t be much different.


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10.22.2007

Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan Soundtrack

A.R.Rahman and Vijay combination after ‘Udaya’ did raise lot expectations but one must be clear about what one can expect from such a combination to happily accept the quality of music delivered. In Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan, Rahman delivers good enough crowd pleasing numbers sprinkling with some of his trademark fresh sounds here and there.

Rahman injects a fresh energy into an otherwise hero-pleasing-his-fans intro song 'Ellapughazhum', with catchy rhythm pattern, rocking guitars, rough vocals and grand orchestration. ‘Pon Magal Vandhaal’ is an interesting rework of the old classic with enough pep in the tune and thump in beats. ‘Madhuraikku Pogathey’ takes us back to ‘Kizhakku Cheemayilae’ times, a simple, earthy and catchy number without usual Rahman mix of e-beats and with bass layers joining only at the end.

‘Merlyn Monroe’ immediately catches our feet with its soft and peppy bass pattern that loops throughout. It is peppy, soft and even melodious at times without any heavy beats. It has been quite a while since Rahman made such not so complicated peppy tracks. ‘Valayappatti’ interestingly swings between a pleasant classical melody and folk music; it seamlessly traverses from one form to the other without meshing it up and giving a fresh sound to the song.

‘Kelamal’ sounded like IR’s ‘Aaghaya vennilaavae’ in parts but otherwise a nice melody but I am surprised by all- techno orchestration for such a melody. It would have sounded much better with some live orchestration. The tune wanders a little and struggles to reach a point in charanam but I hope it will grow on repeated listening.

On the whole, Rahman delivers a hit material.

Some More Thoughts


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10.09.2007

377

Moser Baer is definitely up to something. They are doing a great job distributing good quality home videos for a very reasonable price in Indian market. They are buying rights from almost all other small companies which already got the rights of old movies to release the movies in their own brand. They have joined hands with Prakash Raj’s Duet movies to produce 3 Tamil movies which are currently under production. They thought of releasing the home video of ‘Mozhi’ just after one month of the release of the movie and even a release function was held but for some unknown reasons, it got released only after 6 months. Even 6 months is so early for a Tamil movie home video to hit the stands.

But above all, what surprised me the most was their recent release of a Tamil Telefilm 377’ on home video. ‘377’ is a collaborative effort of film institute students. If not for Moser Baer, I would never have got a chance to watch this movie. I was really surprised by the quality of the movie. Though there are some usual technical glitches due to budget limitations, it is a very good thriller better than what Tamil mainstream makers do in the name of thrillers. The topics which this movie touches upon and the way they have visualized them is a rarity even in mainstream cinema.

Plot(No Spoilers): Suddenly lot of teenage guys seem to be missing in the city and the police department transfers all these missing cases to a special investigation department who don’t wear khaakhee’s and have some special powers. Within first few minutes, we (and of course the special police) easily guess who the culprit is and within another 30 minutes or so we guess why is he doing it but the rest of the movie is all about how they confirm their doubts and trap the culprit and find all proper evidence to prove it in the court. This search of the culprit (man/woman) and the reason for disappearance of teenagers leads to quite a shocking revelation.

The screenplay is really tight with a not a frame being wasted. The two main officers involved in the investigation have two different approaches in solving the case. One (an experienced one) strongly believes in instincts and hard-to-believe magical powers and the other (a relatively young new comer) believes in real facts. The totally different way in which two police approach the same case to find the criminal and their little conflicts makes the proceedings interesting. But it is also interesting that both these methods equally contribute to the progress in the case right from finding the culprit and finally catching him with all the evidence. Though the humor is forced in some of the scenes, it works. Background score though little amateurish in the initial scenes, it heightens the impact of the scenes in the latter parts of the movie. While trying to shoot in the natural light, some of the night scenes are so dark, you can’t even see what is happening but otherwise the lighting and camera angles create the right mood and impact that a thriller genre needs. The performances are good, everyone look so casual, natural and convincing in their parts.

If you find ‘377’ in any music store, give it a try.

9.26.2007

Sivi soundtrack

Finally after a lot of search, I grabbed a copy of ‘Sivi’ soundtrack with music by Dharan. I couldn’t find Sivi audio CD for past two weeks and finally found it almost in a dustbin from a small CD shop. Infact, CD has with songs from one another movie it costs only Rs.19. Who should we blame on for this situation? Why there is such poor marketing for even good products. If we ask them, they would blame us for downloading the songs online, piracy etc. What else are we supposed to do if the audio CD is not available in the stores for such a long time? First of all, why don’t the audio companies realize the potential of a good music. Are really deaf people working there? Mistake is on both sides, we the listeners should feel the importance of buying originals and the also audio companies should care for marketing the music in a better way to reach everyone. Anyway let me stop complaining and get back to the routine…

P.S.Dharan
had quite a debut with ‘Parijaatham’ though, I don’t think it was a complete soundtrack. I had problems even with the most popular song ‘Unnai Kandenae’. But ‘Parijaatham’ music definitely helped us to notice a spark in this young composer. ‘Sivi’ is a completely enjoyable soundtrack. We speak about catchy music and the songs of ‘Sivi’ are perfect examples of that. Dharan doesn’t compromise the freshness and quality of music for being catchy and that is a notable quality for a newcomer.

‘Oh Nenje’ is a beautiful hip-hop melody with nice rap portions sandwiched within. I am not a big fan of rap music, but I liked this Dr.Burn’s rap because it is in chaste Tamil with some meaningful words (unlike say a Blaaze or Premgi ones). ‘Maayavi Neeyae’ is one of the best songs of the year with an unusual format, beautiful bass lines and lot of rhythm variations. Apart from the main melody, the two motifs, the female humming and the violin piece are beautiful and adequately placed at appropriate places.

Sivi theme has a dark feel written over it with usage of lot of e-sounds. Dharan gets heavily inspired by the background score of ‘Requiem for a Dream’ for this theme but somehow makes it up by mixing these eerie sounds with the vocals of Sunitha Sarathy (funny that CD outer cover which I bought credits Na.Muthukumar for writing the lyrics of this song). Neruppum is full of Arabic arrangements and nonetheless catchy. I hope Dharan gets some worthy projects in future.

9.22.2007

Saawariya Soundtrack

After Black, Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB) is back to his comfort zone in ‘Saawariya’, a romantic musical and that is what it sounds to be, when we listen to its beautiful soundtrack. We don’t often get to listen to such soundtracks in Indian cinema though we have heard this kind of music a plenty in SLB’s own previous films (of course Black is an exception).The reason for it sounding so beautiful and refreshing each time is that he makes movies only once in two years and it is in Devdas that we last heard this kind of music. ‘Saawariya’ has music composed by Monty and words written by Sameer.

The exquisite singing by all lead singers no matter how little space they get, the importance given to vocal harmonies (sometimes they get more space than even the lead singers), usage of dhols, exhaustive yet appropriate usage of the sound of wind chimes, usage of Chal-Chal sound, unconventional structure of the songs, innovative melodies and rhythm patterns, usage of every possible classical Indian instruments like Harmonium, Santoor, sitar, Veena, Shehnai, unique and appropriate mix of all these carefully chosen instruments which makes up for fresh orchestration and arrangements, the synth patterns and e-sounds hidden deep inside the multiple layers of otherwise pure classical songs, unexpected orchestral outbursts, sudden twists and turns to various genres of music, after a sudden pause a male vocal breaking out with an alaap accompanied by banging percussions, romanticism in every single note of the melody, the blend of western classical and Indian classical music, ‘Allah’, ‘Chand jaisi ladki’, Shreya Ghosal, Richa Sharma, and finally the seamless fusion of all the above elements making each song a gem is what you can expect out of SLB’s movie soundtrack. ‘Saawariya’ is no different.

All guitars galore ‘Saawariya’ title track and its reprise version are instantly catchy. It is also the only song of the soundtrack without much of Indian classical music influences. The new singer Shail Hada is a great find who has finely rendered this song with quite a bit of yoodling. He is able to traverse between any of the western octaves effortlessly.

‘Jab Se Tere Naina’ is a beautiful melody with Shaan giving his best. I don’t know how to express it but there is this great feeling that pulls you straight into the song, in every precise moment, when the song shuttles smoothly between lines without any percussion and that with catchy rhythm on heavy percussion.

‘Masha-Allah’ is a clam and soulful track with more emphasis on emotions than an immediately identifiable melody. It takes time to sink in but it does for sure after two or three listening. Kunal Ganjwala has done a brilliant job in this song with his emotive husky vocals and western touches. In beautifully placed ‘Masha-allah’ motif, the tabla mukhda, a distant sounding Shreya’s Allah, an emotive vocal harmony, guitar strains, a mild piano melody and Kunal’s husky rendering of Masha-Allah run together to give us a scintillating musical experience and to make what I called the quintessential SLB mix of everything.

By this time you must have noticed that so far I have not mentioned anything about Monty, the composer of the soundtrack. Of course, due credit should go to Monty for the beautiful music. But I think SLB interferes too much into a composer’s business to an extent of stopping a composer from doing what he feels right and this could be one of the reasons why all SLB soundtracks sound the same. I am rambling about this because the next song ‘Thode Badmaash’ is composed by SLB himself. Great job SLB. It is a short and sweet melody elevated to Himalayan heights by Shreya’s rendition. Monty has given a beautiful ornamentation to SLB’s tune.

I always like songs that break the conventional structure with surprise twists and turns. ‘Yoon Shabnami’ is one such song. It starts like a conventional romantic melody, turns into a qawwali, symphonic strings follows, comes back to the melody again and ends with soulful strings playing the main melody of the song. The damn catchy main percussive rhythm we heard in the trailer is from this song which kind of binds all these variations well.

‘Daras Bina nahin chain’ is a delight because of Monty’s impeccable orchestration. The whole song just wanders through various alaaps, jathis, percussions, vocal harmonies and brief instrumental motifs without any main melody except that of Richa Sharma’s ‘Saawariya’ alaap which is quite soul stirring.

‘Sawar Gayi’ is an out and out Shreya show but could be best enjoyed with the visuals because the song takes quite sometime to just come to its main melody. The main melody is good though. ‘Jaan-E-Jaan’ is one of those pathos songs which have a melody that blows you when played on an instrument but sounds clichéd when vocals sing with words in it. It may be because of the conventional orchestration, full of strings in the background. The piano version, violin version and the operatic version of the main melody of the song that appears in this song itself sounds damn good. Even Kunal and Shreya’s expressive singing couldn’t create much impact like they did in other songs. I am not saying it is a bad song but when compared to the other songs of this soundtrack; it sure stands out for wrong reasons. We have to wait and watch it on screen to better feel the music of this song.

Kunal excels again in ‘Pari’ which has got a very unconventional melody that takes strange turns in the beginning itself. There is an unsettling feel in the music which is brought out well by an intricate orchestration. The ending is dramatic, grand and great with a full blown orchestra playing the main melody. ‘Chaabeela’ is a typical bollywood festive song and mood is brought out quite well but not as catchy as the other festive songs in SLB’s previous films.

‘Saawariya’ music is great for the most part. If you have passion and patience for good music, ‘Saawariya’ is a delight. If you are die-hard fan of Himesh’s kiddish rhymes, stay miles from this soundtrack.

9.20.2007

Om Shanthi Om soundtrack

In the soundtrack of ‘Om Shanti Om’, Farah Khan’s music sensibilities are on display more than that of Vishal-Shekar’s. The feel and the kind of music is exactly how ‘Main Hoon Na’ was, with full of predictable masala but nevertheless enjoyable. As the script travels through different periods of Hindi cinema, there are heavy influences of R.D.Burman, Lakshmikanth-Pyarelal and Jatin-Lalit kind of music in most of the songs; in fact one of the songs is arranged by Pyarelal. Lyrics penned by Javed Akthar and Shekar.

>‘Ajab Si’ is obviously the best song of the soundtrack in all aspects. It has a very simple melody oozing with romanticism. The minimal orchestration with mild beats, strings and flute add up to give a feel of floating in the air out of ecstasy. KK is brilliant in the song giving right emotional touches all through.

‘Dard-E-Disco’ is that typical catchy bollywood number which goes totally Arabic in its orchestration and arrangements and to add to the euphoria, we have energetic vocals of Sukhwinder singh.

‘Deewangi’ sounds like a poor Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s composition. The format of the song, instrumentation, the build up to the English parts and the English lines are all like how it would be in a SEL’s dance number. But it doesn’t work because of the lack of good melody. The synth motif is good though.

‘Main Agar kahoon’ is a sweet romantic ballad with Sonu and Shreya giving their usual romantic touches. The melody takes time to sink in. The pleasant strings and the breezy orchestration evokes nostalgic. The song is likeable mainly because it comes in between other average numbers heavy on beats.

The melody of first few lines of ‘Jag soona soona lage’ is actually good and especially that synth motif in the background has the necessary feel. The song soon becomes very painful and boring as it proceeds further with lines lacking an emotive melody.

‘Dhoom Taana’ is very enjoyable because it faithfully replicates the sound of early 90’s festive songs. The dholaks, drums, Shehnai, motif like ‘Dhoom taana’, sudden shift from dholaks to rock and roll beats and the final percussive crescendo are all quintessential elements of a festive song in early 90’s Hindi cinema and everything is there in this song.

‘Daastan’ starts promisingly with an orchestral piece and the problem arises when a flat vocal melody begins. The Bollywoodish vocal melody and the intermittent operatic outbursts don’t gel well and what we get at the end is a totally confused mesh. Even the vocal version of the main theme melody of the movie is spoiled by change in tempo and amateur beats. Just skip this track.

‘Om Shanti Om Theme’ is a pleasant piano melody which is used in almost all the songs of the soundtrack.

Except for two songs, I enjoy listening to this just-okay soundtrack because I didn’t expect much from it. Vishal-Shekar didn’t strive hard to strike any balance between their influences and their own style of music which makes the songs so predictable. But Farah khan would make these songs enjoyable on screen with her dazzling choreography. Let us wait and watch.

9.13.2007

"Chale Chalo - The lunacy of Filmmaking" A Must Watch


Much before the release of ‘Chale Chalo – The Lunacy of Filmmaking’ DVD, Satyajit Bhatkal wrote and released a book on making of Lagaan titled ‘Spirit of Lagaan’. Even if you have already read that book, you should definitely watch this movie for it brings all those magical moments behind the making of a masterpiece right in front of you. The book though is an interesting read and has more trivia about the making than the documentary; visual impact of the documentary is beyond anything that the book offers. I am surprised with the quality of the documentary considering that it is shot and edited by someone who neither has handled a camera before nor does know anything about movie making. Satyajit Bhatkal is an advocate by profession.

A documentary is a reverse movie making process. Usually, a movie is shot after a script is written but for a documentary the script is written after the movie is shot. It is an art in itself as tough as movie making. The only advantage is that you need not make anyone to act; you just have to capture the reality and make drama out of it. And toughest part is editing and sequencing the available video material to tell a gripping story. Satyajit Bhatkal has recorded every single moment of the making of the movie from which he has edited and sequenced the most interesting and vital moments into a 120 minute documentary, which runs at a pace faster than the actual movie.

The documentary may definitely be boring for those who don’t like the movie (are there any?) and for those who haven’t realized it magic and impact. It is for hardest core fans of Lagaan. The documentary has no footages about the creative process of the movie making. It doesn’t show how the story was written or how such a tight, streamlined screenplay was achieved. It is all about the cumbersome process of transforming Ashutosh’s creative genius from paper to screen and the practical problems they faced for it. It tells a real story that is more gripping and fascinating than the actual movie. The documentary takes us in a long journey right from the moment when the seed of Lagaan was sowed in the minds of Ashutosh till the movie getting an Oscar nomination.

Satyajit has given more emphasis on the problems they faced while shooting than the joyous moments. He records everything from thorns in Champaner plains that pained the legs of the cast - who have to walk with bare legs (period factor), the extreme heat of the desert to the trouble of production executives in getting 10000 people for first day cricket match shoot in a remote village. In between he adds as many interesting trivia about the movie as possible.

There is one episode in this documentary which is amazingly edited and put together and is a classic example of how a documentary should be made. The purpose of this episode of the documentary is to show the problems faced by Ashutosh while shooting the Arjun’s batting scenes (the actor playing Arjun’s role didn’t know how to bat). It also tells how Ashutosh overcame the difficulties and how he made the actor look convincing as a good batsman in the movie.

Though the script of Lagaan may be one of the most well-bound ever written in Bollywood before starting the shoot, such challenges pops up once in a while where the director has to take immediate decision within the given time frame and yet without compromising the quality. Though well planned, sometimes there is nothing that can help you like spontaneity. This is a classic example of it.

To make this episode simple and straight, Satyajit would have easily conveyed it by making Ashutosh or Aamir khan explain it in words. They could have said the entire thing in just 2 lines.

‘Arjun is supposed to be the best batsman in Champaner team but actually while shooting, the actor who played Arjun’s role didn’t know even the A..B..C.. of cricket. He was eating up lot of shots and we were running out of time. So in order to show him convincingly as a good batsman on screen, we took close-ups of Arjun’s face with a reaction that looked as if he is hitting a ball with ultimate force’.

Less than one minute and they would have covered it and we would have got the point and this is how it would be written if you read the book. Now see how this gets transformed or dramatized in the documentary that reaps in maximum effects.

Satyajit inter-cuts the interviews of Aamir and Ashutosh explaining about this situation with the actual video footage taken while this scene was shot. It shows Arjun missing every single ball and we could see frustrated Ashutosh looking at the monitor. Also see how Satyajit adds comedy in between by showing a video footage of the interview of the guy who played Arjun’s role saying that ‘I am the best batsman of Champaner 11’, immediately after the shots of him continuously missing the balls while shooting. At the end, Satyajit beautifully connects the shots of Ashutosh, Apoorva Lakhia (First A.D of the movie) and Aamir smiling shots, when they get the required feel in the shot and he doesn’t stop with that, he again inter-cuts the smiling shots with actual footage from the movie where Arjun continuously hit sixers and boundaries.

What amplified the whole impact was the brilliant way in which Rahman’s background score from the movie in used for this part of the documentary. Satyajit has used the background music scored for the scene where Aamir tries to hit a ball in front of the villagers in which he will miss the first two balls but hit a sixer in the third. Of course the scenario is almost the same while shooting the Arjun batting scenes.

The most fascinating aspect of the documentary is that it draws a parallel between the actual story of movie and the real story of its making. Ashutosh plays the role of Bhuvan in this documentary. Everyone in Bollywood (including Aamir) seems to have advised Ashutosh not to take up the risk and challenge of making this movie. It is exactly like how all the villagers are against Bhuvan for risking the villager’s life by accepting the Paul’s challenge. Ismail and Bhuvan’s injury and pain is equivalent to A.K.Hangal’s injury and Ashutosh’s slip disc problem. Inspite of such heavy body pain they continued with their shoot like how Ismail and Bhuvan continued with their game. Like how Bhuvan selects people according to their inborn skills, Ashutosh carefully picks the cast through audition and screen tests. Like how Bhuvan’s dream soon becomes the dream of all the villagers and players, Ashutosh’s dream also becomes the dream of every other cast and crew involved in the project. The climax of the documentary is as uplifting as the movie’s climax. Watching this documentary is like reliving the whole experience of watching Lagaan in theatres. After all, both the movie and the making of the movie is a triumph of hard work, determination, courage, sacrifice, team spirit and synergy.

If you are a fan of Lagaan, this documentary is a must watch.

9.12.2007

Waqt Par Bolna - Hariharan

It is no exaggeration if I say that Hariharan is one of the pioneers of Indian pop and fusion music. I still admire the work he did along with Leslie Lewis in ‘Colonial Cousins’ the music that was much ahead of its time. They came up with two other albums ‘Aatma’ and ‘The way we do it’, which were good enough but it couldn’t succeed as much as their debut album did. The problem with the other two albums was that it tried to follow the same kind of music they created in their debut album. The format and structure of the songs were already so familiar for the listeners and the surprise element was totally missing.

It is one of those rare cases where the makers and their product became a victim of the success and impact of their own previous work. The big impact and success of ‘Colonial Cousins’ was not just because of its brilliant and innovative music but also because it was for the first time, the world was hearing something like that. They didn’t just make music; they created a new idiom of music. But once it has been done, they should have tried something totally different, which they didn’t do then and hence the subsequent failures.

With the recent ‘Waqt Par Bolna’, Hariharan seems to have realized it, without Leslie though. Hariharan himself has composed and sung all the 10 songs. Hariharan says that the songs of this album belong to ‘Ghazal blues’, a new name for the genre of music he has created for this album. I don’t know the grammar of either Ghazal or blues music to comment anything technically about it but what is important is that this fusion takes us on a pleasant journey.

The problem with this kind of strange fusions is that sometimes composers would forget the big picture of music, that it should emotionally move the listeners. It just would sound like a theoretically perfect score about which scholars of music can write an analysis note by note. They would appreciate it for the brilliance of the composer to have made a grammatically correct mix of both forms of music. What is all the fuss about if the mere sound of it doesn’t touch the senses of a listener? I have listened to mostly filmy Ghazals, but never heard any real blues songs. Thankfully my lack of knowledge helped me to go beyond the technicalities and enjoy the emotional essence of the songs.

With two forms of music, a composer has four elements to play on, the rhythm pattern and the structure of the vocal melody of two forms of music. Here it is even tougher because both forms of music (Ghazal and blues) sound to be progressive in nature. It has a standard fixture and yet gives freedom to improvise to any extent within its boundaries. In this album, Hariharan has restricted the vocal melody mostly to that of Ghazal with typical vibrations, expressions and wavering of notes and the rhythm part mostly avoids tabla and sticks to that of jazz blues.

Fortunately in both blues and Ghazal, there is this trend of repeating a single line more than once with all the repetitions sounding slightly different from the other. This narrows down the line between the two forms of music and hence the fusion in the melodies are not so complex. The orchestration and arrangements for the most part are somewhat filmy or popish and when in some songs it restricts to the authentic jazz blues arrangement, listening to it is a unique experience.

The blues style of free flowing piano, bass and beats backing Hariharan’s exquisite rendition of Ghazals in its purest form, gives us some of the most exhilarating parts of the album. Each and every song has got a haunting melody which sometimes is so easy on ears and sometimes requires our utmost concentration and attention to consume the complete beauty it offers. For casual listeners, such songs could bring some yawn but if you are patient enough, Hariharan’s voice and passionate singing in these songs will definitely mesmerize you.

‘Mujhko chuke’ is a stunning masterpiece which blends everything so beautifully, you cannot figure out where blues and Ghazal meet and part in the vocal melody of this song. I get goose bumps whenever I listen to the melody in the line ‘Itni kushiyaan’ from the song ‘Jab bhi milti’. The violin postlude of this song which introduces a whole new melody at the end is one of the most beautiful soul searching combinations of notes I heard in recent times.

The simple title track is the catchiest one in the album and no wonder they chose this song for the promotional video. Hariharan’s interpretation of traditional ‘Kesariya Baalamva’ is initially very strange to listen to but it grows on you when you begin to wither off your associations with the original version. Stephen Devassy has done a neat job in arranging this song which is a very toll task considering the wandering nature of the main vocal melody. Jolly mukherjee, the music arranger for all the other songs, should be lauded for the beautiful music arrangements, which is innovative, emotive, ambient and harmonic.

You don’t need to have any knowledge in music to listen and enjoy this music; instead you just need to have passion and interest in listening to good music. If you are one of that kind, Grab you copy now.

9.10.2007

Kannamoochi Yenada Soundtrack

V.Priya + Yuvan’s ‘Kanda Naal Muthal’ was one of those rare soundtracks with all melody, all situational and all enjoyable songs to which I still go back. The soundtrack of ‘Kannamoochi Yenada’ is also breezy though not as instantly hooky as ‘KNM’. Yuvan somehow manages to bring in a variety of genres in the songs of all his soundtracks. KMY is no different.

It has got a typical romantic duet in ‘Megam Megam’, an east-west jam fusion in title track (less interesting than KNM title track), an innovative e-sound patterned rhythm in ‘Sanjaram’, all jazzy ‘Andru vandhadhum’ and hip-hopish here and folksy there mix in ‘Putham pudhu kathudhaan’. I am sure V.Priya would make interesting visuals for these songs which will definitely make us like the songs more, because right now, I am not too much into either the title track or ‘Putham puthu kaathudhan’ song. But other songs are on loop for sure. And a special mention to Thaamari for her no-nonsense, tune friendly lyrics though there isn't any out-of-the-box thoughts.

Inspite of being conventional, there are some interesting places in the songs. The strange way in which the first few lines of charanam end, an interesting vocal harmony at the end all make ‘Megam’ song an aural delight. The suppressed tabla beats (like the one we heard recently in Adnan’s Kisidin) in ‘Sanjaram’, rhythm with just water splashing sound and the constant variations in the rhythm pattern pep up the otherwise ordinary middle portions of ‘Sanjaram’. The jazzy interpretation and reworking of ‘andru vandhadhum’ song is refreshing. I want Yuvan to do more of such remakes than mindless remixes he has been churning out often. I like the way the song reaches ‘iruvar kannilum ore nila’ with a bridging ‘anaal’ or 'illai' in a definitive jazz fashion. Finally, someone has to seriously stop composers from using Madhusree for Tamil songs.

8.21.2007

Rahman and Me on a Nostalgic Trip



2000-word blog post becomes 18000-word e-book



Memoirs of a Rahmaniac is a celebration of twenty years of omnipresence of AR Rahman's music in Sureshkumar's life.

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Reviews

"Speechless."

"Lost for Words."

"I had tears in my eyes."

"I think we should share this with Rahman and I cannot imagine how happy he would be."

"Read it twice. What a nostalgic trip, just that u had taken it for me too."

"You made me cry with Nostalgia."

"I can't believe I had a very similar journey as a Rahmaniac."

"Stunned!"

"Excellent. This is the story of many Rahmaniacs, especially people nearing 30."

More Reviews..

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8.14.2007

Ooh la la la - Second Quarter Finals

‘Ooh La La La’ gets better with each and every episode mainly because the each and every participating band really rock. The bands participated in second quarter finals are Route 10, Innovusion and Oxygen. All the six songs good or better were well performed. Oxygen was declared the winner which again raised lot of questions about what they are really looking for in a band.

The original composition of Innovusion and Route 10 were way better than that of Oxygen. I think it is the collective performance that matters more than the quality of the song. Kalyani of Route 10 gave a jaw dropping performance in the original composition round. Also they dared to choose a classic like Illayaraja’s ‘Nee Partha Parvaikku’ song to remix in the second round and what a remix it was. They jazzed it a bit and created a new tune of the song which doesn’t actually deviate much from the original and yet sounded something fresh. But the reason given for their elimination is the ending of the remix song which I thought was done in a more matured way but not a live performance friendly ending.

If they want only performers then their choice is justified but if they want to introduce someone who could create a new idiom of music then Oxygen is far behind Route 10 or even Innovusion. I liked Innovusion’s original composition which was a pure instrumental throughout with little vocals but that itself turned as a negative point for them. I didn’t like their remix of ‘Poongatru’ song and this is where the Oxygen got an edge over Innovusion. Oxygen performed ‘Thaniyae thanan thaniyae’ song really well. It is nice to lisen remix of the new songs instead of add a bass and rock drum beats to the old song kind of remixing. The little celtic deviation didn’t gel well with the overall sound of the song but liked the jathis running all though.

Can’t wait to watch the next episode.

Btw, Here is my new composition.

8.12.2007

Bheema Sondtrack

Harris Jeyaraj is the one with highest success rate among his contemporaries. The reason is that he constantly delivers songs with simple, easy, catchy rhythms and melodies that instantly hook the casual listeners. Who cares about innovation and experimentation? What a casual moviegoer or a casual music listener wants is an immediately head shakable tune and that is what Harris delivers again and again with utmost success. Harris’s songs are crowd pleasing spoon feeds than ground breaking experimentations. The maximum experiment you can find in his songs is the way he uses different meaningless vocal sounds and words instead of a humming or a ‘lalala’ version of the tune in the interludes and preludes.

Apart from the fact that Harris is in fine form in Bheema, what I am surprised the most about is the beauty of songs with simple and minimal orchestration and clearly audible lyrics. No song has too many instruments or sounds or loops overlapping. At the maximum you can listen four layers running in parallel and that applies even to the only folk number ‘Rangu Rangamma’ (which usually is deliberately made to be loud) in an otherwise all-melody soundtrack. Infact Harris throws some surprises in this song by going completely western classical in the interludes which is otherwise a folk number.

One big relief is that I didn’t get a sounds-like feel in any of the songs in the soundtrack which was an ordinary thing to happen when you listen to a Harris’s soundtrack for the first time. Also there are no usual Harris’s clichés like club beats or stylized singing except for few strange humming here and there. The hero introduction songs of Harris’s are always unusually more techno and sophisticated than any others and like ‘Karka Karka’ from ‘Vettaiyadu Vilayadu’, ‘Oru Mugamo’ is an effective hero introduction song without much ado. Krish definitely is coming out of his effeminate singing style and this song is a proof of it.

It is good to hear singers like Hariharan in two pleasant melodies of the soundtrack. So ‘Enadhuyirae’ is the long promised song in Harris’s composition for the Airtel super singer winner ‘Nikhil Mathew’. He makes an impressive debut. But why the breathing sounds in between the lines are so deliberately and distractingly loud. Is it to prove that the singers have sung these lines in a single take without punches or is it the side effects of having a crystal clear sound mix?

Harris’s Bheema is a strong and solid hit material.

8.09.2007

Ooh la la la Quarter Finals

I don’t know on what basis they have grouped 18 bands into 6 groups with 3 bands each. The problem of having such groups is that some very good band may fall into the same group and since it is mandatory to eliminate two groups in each episode, some really good talents may get eliminated. If there is any rule or logic based on which the grouping of bands is done, they could have mentioned it.

The first episode of quarter finals rocked. ‘Agam’ who performed extremely well missed out because of tough competition from ‘V3’. (You can listen to agam's bautiful original composition which they performed in the competition here in Harish's blog). Though V3 was good, lyrics were barely audible. For the sake of showing their versatility in singing, I think the lead singers of V3 went little overboard with rough singing in the original composition. If they continue the same rough singing in all type of songs, it may soon become repetitive and boring.

8.08.2007

Hearty Congrats to Baradwaj



On this happy occasion, I just wanted to list down some of my favourite articles (may not be the best) written by Baradwaj Rangan. His reviews are to-the-point yet eloborate, well balanced, comprehensive and knowledgable write-ups. Some of his expressions and explanations and the way he puts some facts about music and movies beautifully have moved me to tears (I am being emotional or exaggerating anything here). His reviews are like music to me. These are reviews which I have gone back to re-read many many times.

Iruvar and Tamil Cinema.... – One has to be a Tamilian to understand what this articles means to us. The perspective with which BR brings in an analogy between the movie and 75 years old Tamil film Industry along with detailed review of the movie is what that makes this piece of writing as the most special one.

Virumandi, Pudupettai – This is how a balanced writing should be. Though he was so happy with the movie, he rightly points out the flaws. Mostly when something unconventional becomes successful like ‘Virumandi’, most of the so called critics will turn cynics. But BR was never cynical, he has always been logical.

Madras Male – For precisely echoing what was running in the minds of Millions of tamil fans of Director Maniratnam after the release of movie ‘Guru’.

The King and I – It was an article written for Illayaraja’s 60th birthday. Exactly the same thoughts of mine about Illayaraja. Ebout each and every line in this write-up reflects my thoughts about IR music and I was emotionally moved when I read it. Same applied to his review on Cheeni Kum soundtrack.

Omkara – This one was an example of how to write a review informing people about what they could have missed while watching the movie. The interpretation, perspectives and reading between lines, you could see a critic doing his job to utmost perfect in Omkara review. I loved the movie more after reading his review and that is how a critic’s writing should be.

8.02.2007

Music not just for Ears



My friends often tell me that I spend too much time in listening to music. Listening to music is not a problem but they say listening continuously in Ipod with ear phones could bring lot of problems to my ear drums. Though I didn’t take these advices seriously, I realized that they have a point. I often fear about what would happen to my life if I become deaf someday. I couldn’t even think of such a situation. But recently I found that I already have a solution for this problem which infact I posted in this blog before.

I am no Beethoven to compose music inspite of being a deaf but at least I can feel and listen to music in my mind. It may not bring the same effect as it would if I have the ability to hear but at least I can console myself now.

Nowadays, there is this technique of playing the songs in my mind. Believe me, it is a very good meditation which will definitely improve our concentration levels in other activities. But when listening to music in my mind, instead of listening to just the main tune of the song, I try to listen to all the layers in the orchestration. It is really tough but I believe if the music is good, every single note of the score will stick to our mind.

Doing meditation was always a problem for me. Meditation is nothing but concentrating on one particular thing. I found meditation easy when I close my eyes and listen to the songs in my mind. It is more effective than meditating with music playing in the background. Has anyone done this before? If not try it out and tell me how it felt.

7.31.2007

Ooh La La La - Wow!!!!!

‘Ooh La La La’ is a very exciting show in more than one way. One side we have the best composer of India coming forward for such a noble cause and spending so much time in judging the show,giving interviews, directly meeting the bands etc., On the other side, the packaging of the show is what I am really got stunned about. We have never seen a show which is as tightly packed as this one. It is well edited with just enough time alloted to everything that is happening in and around the show.

They cover so much in just over 20 minutes without wasting even a second. What could have lasted for 10 episodes is cut down to just one episode and good thing is that they don’t leave anything behind for the sake cutting it short. Hats off to the technical crew of this show. Also the show has a well maintained site in where every episode is uploaded at 10.30 p.m every Sunday right after the telecast ends in Sun TV. This way I am happy that I won’t miss any episode of the show.

So far, among the songs performed, though shown only a little time, I like ‘Ooh la la la’ sung by a band in which the singer Kalyani is a part of. I am humming it ever since I heard it in the first episode. I don’t know why pure instrumentals are not encouraged in the contest. One of the main parameters for judging the band is the Vocal performance. Why can’t a band have no singers and perform just instrumentals?

7.30.2007

Why do we Hum a tune?

For past few years I have been thinking about this or rather asking this question to myself but never thought of posting or asking in this blog. Why do we suddenly hum or whistle a song or a tune? How is it that a song suddenly comes to our mind out of nowhere? If we had listened to a song in a TV channel or in a FM in the morning, we are bound to hum the same song all the day or we usually hum a song we heard just few minutes of few hours back but what it means if you start humming a song which you don’t even remember the time you last listened to it?

Some of the songs that often comes to my mind are ‘Unnai Naan Arivaen Ennai Andri yaar Arivaar’ from Guna, ‘Vaan nilaa tharum oli ival vizhi’ from Kadhal Virus, ‘Bhaagere Mann’ from Chameli, ‘Unnodu vazhatha vazhvu’ from Amarkalam, ‘Kaatril varum geethamae’ from Oru Naal Oru Kanavu, first interlude of ‘Kanmani Anbodu kaathalan’ from Guna, version of ‘Paavana guru’ from Mella Thiranthadhu kadhavu and few others. Some of the songs that I have listed are classics and some may never come to my mind when someone suddenly asks us about my all time favourite songs.

I initially thought that it all depends upon the mood. Partially it is true; ‘Bhagerae mann’ always comes to me when it drizzles in Bangalore. But does it mean that it is the best rain song ever made. Why ‘Oh ho megam vandhado’ didn’t come to me. It definitely is a song that has more chances to come to any Tamilians mind while it is raining. Why it didn’t come it me? What does it mean? I seriously have to go back and analyze all different situations when each of the above songs came to me. I think I will definitely find an answer. If someone has already thought about this, please let me know why it is so. The more you try to understand the music, more mysterious it becomes.

7.23.2007

Ooh La La La....


This is a raining season of singing talent hunt shows in all TV channels in India. Be it the regional or national channels, all are trying to hit high TRP’s by conducting these talent hunt shows. But the big question is how many of them really give importance to the talent. Except for a few, all the other shows are just shows which could beat any popular mega serial in dramatizing the happenings. After Vijay TV’s Airtel Super singer junior which is the most honest and beautiful talent hunt show I have ever seen closed down a week back, I decided (or rather had a chance) to watch at least two or three episodes of the talent hunt shows currently running in all other channels. Hero Honda Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Voice of India, Indian Idol, Ennodu Paatu Padungal, Jaya TV’s little masters, Sun TV’s Ooh La La La, Sabtha Swarangal Children’s special are those shows of which I have seen few episodes of each of the show. Every show has its own merits and problems.

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is comparatively the better one in Hindi. It is mainly because the finalists are awesome singers who keep pushing the bar up in each and every performance making it tough for others. The only problem with this show is the judges. Ismail Darbar, Himesh, Vishal Shekar, Bappida all fighting with each other while passing verdict after each performance is irritating after a point. Sometimes they do have a constructive clash but most of the times, it looks like a drama and the background music given in these moments heightens the dramatic feel of the show. Otherwise, the contesting singers make this show a must watch. Voice of India has only few good singers and even in this show the judges fight with each other unnecessarily. It is a very average show on the whole. Indian Idol is the worst of the lot. With barely few good singers, most of them are not consistent in their performance. It is better not to talk about the judges. Alisha always praises even the worst of the performances and Anu Malik continues his harsh talks and blabbering in the name of cynicism or constructive criticism.

Ennodu Paatu Paadungal conducted by SPB has better to worst singers but what makes this show interesting is the tips given by SPB for the singers and his tidbits and comments about singers, lyricists and the composing styles of various composers. Jaya TV’s little masters and Sun TV’s Sabtha Swarangal children’s special has nothing new to offer. These channels just want to gain something out of the impact created by Vijay TV’s Super singer junior. I also saw an episode of Malayalam Super singer. The judges were very strict and the amount of analysis they do on each performance makes it worth watching. I can’t really comment much about the singers as I saw only one episode.

Now A.R.Rahman joins hands with Sun TV to conduct a band competition 'Ooh La la la' in south India. I think this is the first show of its kind in India. This is really an interesting idea. Hats off to A.R.Rahman for coming up with such a novel concept and making it possible. The great thing is that the winning band will cut a music album in Rahman studios under his music label. It definitely will bring a sea change to the fate of Tamil pop albums in future. Finally, I think people will start listening to independent music albums also. The first episode of the show was well packaged with interviews of A.R.Rahman, Shankar Mahadevan, Vasundra Das, Sivamani, Malgudi Subha, Naresh Iyer and few other music personalities who were a part of some band in the earlier stages of their career. Rahman’s speech about his intentions and the band concept was a treat to watch. The members of all the contesting bands also spoke about how it feels to be a part of this contest and of course about A.R.Rahman and how his music inspired them. Few song bytes of some bands were also shown. The interesting thing is that bands should perform only their own and original compositions. After Vijay TV’s Airtel Super singer, this is one show which I am expecting to watch all the episodes.

7.18.2007

Mungaru Male Soundtrack


I came to Bangalore only 2 weeks back but heard a lot about the movie ‘Mungaru Male (The Monsoon Rain)’ and its music by Mano murthy. Immediately bought the soundtrack and for past one week I am listening the songs. I never have heard any Kannada songs before, so it was initially little strange and tough to get used to the sound of the language. It is difficult to review a movie soundtrack which is in a language you don’t understand. Though music has no language, a film song isn’t just music. It is a beautiful amalgamation of poetry and music. In addition, an impact of the song also depends on the visuals and its apt usage in the movie. Based on how and where it is used, a better song could become a best song. I may be one of those unfortunates who aren’t able to cherish the beauty of these songs in its entirety as much as someone who knows the language would but I am quite happy with what I could experience with just the music.

Anisuthide or Araluthira could easily be a popular bollywood number. The guitar pieces, saxophone, strings and the beats are typical bollywood stuff and to add further to the feel, Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghosal have rendered the song. The orchestration of the song is good but quite predictable except for the surprise conversation between vocals and solo violin towards the end which add more depth to the emotions in the song. Even without understanding the lyrics, one could identify with the emotion that pours out of the haunting melody.

There is an easy way to find whether a composer has an intuition and natural talent. Give him just a solo instrument or a minimal orchestra (no computers, no electronic gadgets or synthesizers) and ask him to compose a song. If he could get an arresting composition with such restrictions, then he is the one to look out for. I thought that Mano murthy is also one such composer after listening to Ivanu Geleyanalla. Shreya Ghosal’s expressive, exquisite singing along with beautiful strings flowing perennial emotions in the background, the song transports us to a different world.

Mungaru Male title track is another beautiful composition which could easily cross boundaries. I like the way Mano uses strings. He has a clear understanding of the wide range of emotions which Strings could easily bring in. Kunidu kunidu is a formula duet with all necessary ingredients but good. Udit Narayan is a great singer in Hindi but in south Indian film songs he is a misfit. His lack of flow and staccato singing causes enough harm to the melody of the songs.

Onde Ondu Saari is a peppy track. The interesting element of the song is the beautiful female humming bits that come as a counterpoint to the lead vocals all through the track. Suvvi Suvvali is rich with bhangra flavour. It is instantly catchy with foot tapping rhythm. In spite of the bhangra bits and beats, the vocal melody goes totally south Indian in every aspect.

So what are you waiting for? If you are a true fan of music, you will definitely like to get drenched in the melodious showers of ‘Mungaru male’.

7.17.2007

P.L.Krishnamoorthy - Airtel Super Singer Juniour

So, finally Krishnamoorthy is the ONE. Many of them land up in my blog to watch the winning performance of Krishnamoorthy. So here it is,


7.08.2007

Airtel Super Singer Junior


Airtel Super Singer Junior is the only TV show that I have completely watched in recent times without missing even a single episode (thanks to the re-telecasts by Vijay TV). Indian Idol has turned out like an Ekta Kapoor serial, manipulating the emotions of both the contestants and viewers; it is core melodrama than talent hunt but Vijay TV handled the kids with utmost sensitivity. There was no unnecessary suspense buildup or no exaggerating the emotions of the kids. The prime importance was given to their talents.

Now the show has almost come to an end and what an end it was with both super finalists Krishnamurthy and Vignesh giving their best. It was really surprising to see, Saicharan who was technically better than the other two not making it to the super finals but of course as he himself said, his choice of song was wrong and with a very unique bass voice like his, he should have worked on selecting songs which works best in his voice and in that sense the other two were brilliant. I don’t know how people voted for Aparna in the wild card round, not that she is a bad singer but she definitely doesn’t deserve to be a finalist.

Among the Wild card round contestants, Vidyalakshmi had better vocal quality and technical finesse in singing but she couldn’t make it because the song Anuradha Sriram choose for her was not so popular and Anuradha Sriram sang most of the lines giving little scope for Vidhya to show her talent. I initially thought Balasarangan would make it to the finals as he had huge public support but his folk with Anuradha didn’t click with the masses. But Balasarangan did a very good attempt in that song. Roshan had a very soft voice but was not consistent in his performance.

It was good to see Krishnamurthy and Vignesh growing better in their singing in each and every episode. If you have heard their singing in initial auditions, one would never have thought that they are going to be finalists, but definitely their hard work has paid off. I have seen Krishnamurthy earlier in Raj TV’s Rajageethams and even in that show he came as one of the finalists. Saicharan was already giving stage performances in Abashwaram Ramji’s orchestra. Vignesh is the real find of Super singer Junior. It is good to see, Vignesh and Saicharan’s name in credits of Kireedom soundtrack. They were in the child harmony list.

Now, when I think back there is one junior singer who got eliminated at a very earlier stage. When I heard her rendition of first few lines ‘Kannum Kannum Kalanthu’ from Vanjikottai Vaaliban in her first auditions, I thought she is going to be the Super singer or at least one of the finalists. Her voice control and the free flowing sangathis were admirable and I was looking her as a kutti Chinmayi, but I was shocked to see her getting eliminated in a later round and again the reason was bad song selection. Her name is Srinidhi.

Now the list of some of memorable performances in Super singer junior so far

1. ‘Palinginaal Oru Maaligai’ by Vidhyalakshmi
2. ‘Come on Come on ‘ by Deepti Suresh
3. ‘Chinna Kannan Azhaikkiraan’ and ‘Malarthum Malaraatha’ by Balasarangan
4. ‘Ninaithu Ninaithu Paarthaen’ by Roshan
5. ‘ Kannum Kannum Kalanthu’ and ‘Kaatrinilae Varum geetham’ by Srinidhi
6. ‘Sangeetha Jaathi Mullai’ by Krishnamurthy
7. ‘Vandhaal Mahalakshmi’ and ‘Marutha Malai maamaniyae’ by Vignesh

Now the war is between Krishnamurthy and Vignesh. I am really confused about whom to vote for. Krishnamurthy dared to attempt such a tough song like ‘Sangeetha Jathi mullai’ and he was near perfect in his rendition and Vignesh did a terrific job with his expressions and Sangathis in ‘Vanthaal Mahalaxmi’ but his only problem is his barely audible voice when he sings in low ranges. I already voted five times, every time I will vote for one and later think that other one also deserves it. I think Krishnamurthy will win though I would be very happy if it ends in a tie but with viewers voting it is rare to get a tie. So let us wait and watch what the whole Tamilnadu has to say?