6.27.2007

Kireedom Soundtrack

G.V.Prakash Kumar is definitely a promising newcomer with a big hit ‘Veyil’ and soon-to-become-hit ‘Ooram Po’ soundtracks to his credits. Not often a newcomer like him gets chance to compose music for movies with big stars. It is a chance for the composer and his music to reach a wider audience. In such movies, it is more important to deliver hit music rather than quality music. There is not much scope for you to innovate or experiment in such projects. But inspite of all these constraints, the one who strikes a right balance of everything to delivery a hit and quality music is the real master. Has GVP done it? Well, to some extent.

I think every composer who scores for a movie with big stars is forced to compose a hero introduction song with a lead music like that of ‘Oruvan Oruvan Muthalaali’. Not even a single composer had succeeded is repeating that Rahman magic and GVP joins the list. The 'Vilayadu' song is simply boring expect for Sivamani’s percussive interludes.

‘Vizhiyil Un Vizhiyil’ is a breezy romantic melody with beautiful Veena interludes. Sonu Nigam is lot better than Udit in Tamil pronunciation. Not just her voice, but even the singing style and improvisations of Swetha, reminds us of her mother Sujatha. ‘Akkam Pakkam’ is GVP’s version of ‘Vaseegara’. Sadhana Sargam excels with her expressions in this song. The starting sitar strings of ‘Kanner thuliye’ instantly reminds us the sitar bit from ‘Evano Oruvan’ song and the format and orchestration reminds us ‘Poongatrilae’. I am not against GVP following Rahman in getting overall sound quality (obviously, no contemporary composer can avoid Rahman’s influence and hence Rahman sound in his music) but using the same instruments and following same kind of orchestration is not what we expect. Infact, the starting notes of charanam is same as that of ‘Poongatrilae’ song. The first line of ‘Kanavellam’ is exactly the same as that of ‘Yaar theeyai yerippatho’ from ‘Ooram Po’. I think it is too early for a composer to repeat himself. But otherwise, it is a very nice situational yet catchy number with Karthik and Jeyachandran singing with right feel.

The theme music which we heard in the trailer is a well orchestrated piece. I am happy that they included this piece in the soundtrack. The violin piece is really haunting. The piece suddenly shifts to some action cue and comes back to the main theme in a beautiful way and especially it haunts towards the end when the theme plays on its own on cello, violin and string section without any percussions in the background.

GVP should soon find his own style and sound and it seems that he gets inspired by all contemporary composers. But inspite of all these influences, Kireedom soundtrack is definitely worth a listen.

6.25.2007

100% Rajini + 0% Shankar + (- logic)

I thoroughly enjoyed the Rajini's ‘Sivaji’ and I have seen it two times so far. But I was totally disappointed with the Shankar's ‘Sivaji’. I think all those who expected a typical Shankar movie (the then Shankar who made Indian or Mudhalvan not the one who made Anniyan or Boys) are the ones who have trashed the movie. Though as a Rajini movie ‘Sivaji’ was beyond my expectations, I couldn’t help but feel that Rajini shouldn’t have missed Shankar’s Mudhalvan. That still remains as a big mistake done by Rajini in his career. That was the ideal script where neither Shankar nor Rajini would have to succumb to other’s image or formula of films.

But the irony is, Shankar is the ONE to be praised for giving us such a grand Rajini movie with Rajini at his best and also Shankar is the ONE to be blamed for some of us returning with an odd feeling about why does a Rajini movie even if directed by someone like Shankar doesn’t have a believable story. 0% logic is acceptable but in Sivaji, it goes in the negative.

First half is nothing but a perarasu style of screenplay with technical finesse and of course Rajini in it. On one end Rajini is persuading Shreya’s family to accept him and on the other end he is facing all possible obstacles while trying to make his dream into a reality. In Mudhalvan, when Arjun as a one day CM is attending calls from public, one of the calls will be from Manisha, a brief romantic interlude where Manisha asks Arjun to wear a blue colour shirt and Manivannan will say, ‘Sirukku Neela colour shirt parcel’ a timed dialogue which evokes a smile (and not to forget that few minutes later Arjun will get down from a Car wearing a blue shirt); these little moments in between doesn’t dilute the sensitivity and seriousness in the main proceedings. That was vintage Shankar mixing everything in perfect ratio.

But in Sivaji, the two tracks seldom meet each other. With Rajini getting more and more worried about the society and corruption, we wonder how he finds time and shifts his mind for all those comic interludes with Shreya’s family. Though later we come to know that Sivaji is ambidextrous, it is a characteristic of doing two different things at the same time but not being in two different moods at the same time. Sivaji is full of such disjointed episodes and of course the episodes work brilliantly on its own and as a whole it doesn’t. I feel once the VCD is officially released each of us can have our own edited version of Sivaji. I can make at least 3 different movies out of Sivaji.

Peter Hayen’s stunts are too long and boring to the core, how many times he is going to repeat the same Matrix tricks. Rahman’s background score is loud enough. I think Kanika had a hard time dubbing for Shreya. Inspite of all these, I am going to watch it for the third time coming weekend. So what actually works in Sivaji? Rajini’s charm, charisma, screen presence and style, Vivek’s non stop one-liners, Rahman’s music for Songs, Song picturisation (When I saw the movie for the first time in Salem, there was a special applause when Sahana song ended with the top angle shot of the whole glass set), K.V.Anand’s grand, wide and colorful cinematography, Manish Malhotra’s costumes, Thotta Tharani’s production design, Shreya’s body, Sujatha’s dialogues and above all Motta Boss.

Story, Screenplay, so called Shankar message are all just an excuse to support Rajini to do his own things in the best possible way. For now I may enjoy Sivaji but few months later when I want to see the same Rajini in action in a more meaningful and entertaining, gripping and commercial way, I will fall back to Maniratnam’s Thalapathi. It was one of those ideal masterpieces where Super hero remained a super hero with the director not compromising on anything to give the movie a modern epic touch to it.

6.20.2007

B...L....T....N

Sivaji – A.R.Rahman

Nothing great but good enough. Sahana is an exception. Other songs are catchy and enjoyable but definitely are forgettable inspite of its grand visuals. Rahman has tried to walk the middle path with Shankar’s commercial intentions overtaking Rahman’s classic instincts. Though I am happy with Rahman’s music as for a Rajini movie, I am slightly disappointed with his score as for a Shankar movie. It isn’t a surprise after watching the movie as it is more of a Rajini movie in Shankar style rather than a Shankar movie in Rajini style.

Ammuvaghiya Naan – Sabesh-Murali

‘Thavamai Thavamirunthu’ Sabesh-Murali has dished out a Panjamirutham again. Thanks to Karthik’s review without which I wouldn’t have bought this soundtrack. In ‘Unnai Charanadainthen’ song, in the last line of the charanam, Harish sings the lyrics in tune and as a counter part Kalyani sings the tune as a swaram, this kind of layering, I think we never have heard before. We have heard an instrument accompanying the vocals but not another vocal singing the swaram. It is these kinds of fresh techniques that increase our hopes on this composer duo.

Aadavaari Maatalukku Ardhaalu Verulae – Yuvan Shankar Raja

It is a very different soundtrack from Yuvan-Selva combo but definitely not their best. Good thing is that they have tried to bring together tollywoodish rhythms with Yuvan’s style of melodies. Songs with mostly simple and familiar rhythms, good melody and relatively minimal orchestration are easy on ears.

Jhoomo Re - Kailasa

I liked Kailasa and hence I like this album even more. The compositions are a unique pot pouri of Sufi, folk and soft rock. My pick is ‘Jaage Jaage’, a beautiful melody with every single instrument falling into at the right place. The variety in the songs provides enough scope for Kailash kher to prove his versatility. The technique of starting the song with just his voice and rhythm joining in later could be used less, because it becomes monotonous after a point even though the songs are very different from each other.

Jhoom Barabar jhoom – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy is repeating a ‘Kajra Re’ both in quality of the songs and its commercial success. The classical touches in compositions given by Shankar Mahadevan elevate the songs to higher levels from being just another foot-tapping dance number. The instrumental jam is an interesting track with a basic bhangra rhythm and all main themes of the soundtrack lining up one after the other with nice arrangement of instruments.

Cheeni Kum - Illayaraja

A big slap to all Indian composers who do the so-called remixes. The way he has brought in the new sound with soul of classics remaining intact is admirable. How could one think of ‘Kuzhaloothum’ song without those flute flourishes and yet make it equally appealing and admirable. But ‘Jaane do Na’ is the real big surprise for me. Though the original version of the song is good, not many would have placed that song is their list of IR’s classics but this rechristened version definitely would find a place in my list. After listening to this album, I want IR to do more of this kind of work along with his new projects. Infact, IR can release a separate album with such rechristened classics. I was so happy to see, ‘Cheeni Kum’ album listed top on sales for past two weeks in Music world, Chennai.

Ninaithalae – Vijay Antony

Though the soundtrack isn’t at par with K.M.Radhakrishnan’s classic score for the original ‘Anand’, Vijay Antony has given some feel good melodies with ‘Naanthaana’ being the pick of the album.

Urchaagam – Ranjit Barot

‘Well’come back Ranjit Barot. But I think Ranjit has forgotten that there are good Tamil singers. Have anyone heard the soundtrack of ‘Rasigarmandram’?


Pallikoodam – Baradwaj


The soundtrack depends a lot on the visuals with its situational songs. Yet, a Charanish ‘Manasu Marugudhey’ and Cheranish ‘Meendum Pallikku’ are impressive on very first listening.

6.14.2007

Kaadhalukku Mariyaadhai - Background Score

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