Sundar C.Babu

Sundar C.Babu is one composer to look out for. I fairly understood his potential in his debut soundtrack ‘Sithiram Pesudhadi’ where he included background score pieces from the movie in the CD and most of them are good instrumental pieces. Though I haven’t seen Sithiram Pesudhadi, I still remember the Henchmen theme.

When I saw the song ‘Kathala Kannalae’ from the latest movie ‘Anjathey’ on music channels, I thought this is just another hit song like ‘Vaala meenukkum’, but only later when I bought the soundtrack, I found that Sundar C.Babu hasn’t learned his music through gadgets. Every bit and every note of the song is catchy to the core, but what puts this song notches up above usual catchy kuthu songs, is the simplicity in its orchestration, the beautiful chorus line he has composed for the entire song that gels so well with the main melody and subdued rhythm sounds. With such a catchy rhythm, any composer would get tempted to include more rhythm layers and increase its volume level, but Sundar stays away from everything and leaves the song with just a single rhythm pattern looping around, and it is never loud. He seems to be a composer who cares for simplicity in melody, elegance in the orchestration. Listening to ‘Kathala Kannalae’ is as pleasant an experience as listening to any soft melody.


Sing Along

We often call a song good, a classic, great, pleasant, soothing, catchy, disturbing, soul stirring and all that. But what makes a song a sing-along song? Good melody, great melody, catchy rhythm, or is its lyrical beauty? Humming is something that we do even we are not actually listening to a song, but we sing along when we actually are hearing and listening the song. By singing along, I mean naturally singing along with the song, without even being aware of it.

What makes us to sing-along with a song? Is it the great melody? Yes, may be, but it can’t be just that. Or is it the catchy rhythm? No, I don’t remember singing-along with any of the kuthu songs that has been dished out in every other Tamil movie soundtrack. But definitely rhythm has a part to play, when it is a fitting rhythm that gently carries the melody without any overbearing sound. Or is it the lyrical beauty? No, because I sing (rather hum) along even when I hear an instrumental piece or a song in the language that I don’t understand. And in what I call sing-along songs, I don’t usually sing-along from the very first line till the last word of the song. Suddenly somewhere in the middle, something pushes me to start singing along with the music, it could be just a word, or just a line.

May be there could be some technical reasons for a song and its melody to have this quality, but from a layman’s perspective, I feel it is the flow in the melody (the rhymes we learned in our childhood are the simple and best example for the flow in the melody), is what that makes it a sing-along song. Though there are songs with very complex melodic structures, catchy rhythms and great lyrical value, there is always this natural link that gets formed between phrases of the melody. A melody which starts with a stream of notes, when it takes a very natural passage, which sounds as if can’t take any better path, as if there is not alternate path in which the this melody can flow. The feel, this link or connection between phrases is not seamless in all the songs. Even the songs that we call great from a technical point of view may not have this seamless link between the phrases.

I don’t know if an entire song can maintain this streamline flow in its melody. But this kind of a sing-along song is becoming a rarity these days. It certainly requires some skill and genius to e experiment make a melody technically complex and great for elites and yet have this sing-along quality that helps a layman to connect with the song easily. Somehow, when we try to put our mind into the technical details in the song, we forget that there is such a beautiful quality that exists for a song, and we miss the pleasure of singing along.

Also, Why do we hum?



‘Velliththiria’, the remake of Malayalam movie ‘Udayananu Tharam’, fails where the original fails, and when it scores it isn’t at par with original. Udayananu Tharam is more of a satire on the hero centric Indian film industry. It openly pulled the legs of popular Malayalam stars. The script didn’t leave even Mohanlal behind, who himself is a part of the movie. In Tamil version, though there are dialogues about and pointers to big Tamil heroes, it really doesn’t have the same impact as that of the Malayalam version.

The original version was fun throughout, because it is Srinivasan who portrays the wicked and cunning wannabe hero role, who turns into a superstar. Srinivasan’s appearance makes all his cunning actions, funnier and light, though on surface it badly affects our hero whom we are supposed to empathize with in the movie. But here we have Prakash raj playing this cunning role, whose actions after few initial scenes, looks villainous and don’t have the lighter feel that the original had.

Inspite of a genuine portrayal by Prakash raj, his looks and his image as a villain in Tamil movies makes the proceedings feel more heavy and serious. The assistant director and a heroine loving each other, their marriage, and its consequences forms a boring sub plot in the original and it is retained as it is in this version, and though it is with far less melodrama, it dampens the flow. Inspite of its cons, if you haven’t seen the original, probably you may enjoy the movie for Viji’s trademark funny one liners and the interesting climax sequence.