7.30.2008

Saroja Soundtrack

Heard Saroja Soundtrack once. Waiting to listen Yuvan’s next.

7.24.2008

Rock On Soundtrack

Sticking to a particular genre of music means a lot of restrictions for a composer, especially for the Indian film music composers. With same set of instruments accompanying the melody, the overall sound of the songs will remain the same. The composer has no choice but to try different ways of arrangement, different rhythms and choosing different tempos to break the monotony so that each song work. But this will make them concentrate more on the music and melody part of the song than the sound part of it. With genre pieces, a composer cannot escape by replacing a guitar with Veena in a rock arrangement and cheat the listeners in name of fusion. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has not cheated us by playing around but has given us one of very few Indian film soundtracks that stick to a particular genre of music, i.e., Rock, in ‘Rock On’.

Listening ‘Rock On’ soundtrack, made me to think about the lack of pure genre pieces in Indian Film movie soundtracks. When most of our films still don’t conform to one particular genre, why should the music be? The makers want the film to be seen by audiences of all ages and by making a genre piece, one cannot satisfy all kind of audience. ‘Rock On’ could be the first soundtrack (Some say ‘Paanch’ soundtrack, which I haven’t heard) I heard that has songs strictly conforming to one particular genre of music that doesn’t belong to India.

Indian film music as we know is an amalgamation of 100s of genres of music from all parts of the world. With such a colorful mix of genres, Indian Film music has become a genre in itself. But no matter what genre our Indian composer picks for the song, the sound of the borrowed genre is mostly restricted to the orchestration and backing arrangements and mostly the melody gets the Indian touch.

I haven’t heard much of pure Rock music. But Wiki says that Rock music is a genre of popular music with a prominent vocal melody, accompanied by electric guitar, bass guitar, and drums. The western way of writing a melody for vocals, is to leave the notes orphaned (as told by Illayaraja), unlike Indian classical music, where there is lot of wavering and linking happens of and between the notes. In ‘Rock On’, I don’t see any such technique being used in any of the songs.

An Indian film song comes out of great amount of collaboration between lyricist and the composer. The music is bend to fit the lyrics and lyrics is modified to fit into a tune and it is a combined evolving process wherein which they find a balance between the two. So, obviously when a composer makes music particular to a genre, the language plays an important role in overall sound of the song. Lyrics by Javed Akthar fit so perfectly into the sound of Rock music, so much so that you can take out the Hindi lyrics and put English words in the songs, without changing a note in the melody and yet a non-Indian would find it as a true rock song.

With the melody remaining purely western and with arrangements strictly restricted to the rules of the genre, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s ‘Rock On’ is one great soundtrack that hits bull’s eyes with its guts, riffs and rhythms.

7.17.2008

Sakkarakatti and not cho chweet review

I can easily understand why some of them are angry about my views on ‘Sakkarakatti’ music, because I have found myself in their position so many times before when I read a review, highlighting only the negatives and understating the positives on a movie or a music which I love. Though there are positives to talk, some people get upset more by the negatives, because according to them what they feel lacking in, is the most important aspects they look for and so they find that overshadowing other good things that can be talked about.

There are definitely good things to say about 'Sakkarakatti'. I never said anywhere in my post that I didn’t like the soundtrack. I like it. But when my overall feeling about a soundtrack is disappointing, I chose to highlight what didn’t work for me than what little that works. And naturally, one doesn’t spend much time talking about what they don’t like. But I also think that I have become lazier these days, as one see can that even on those soundtracks which I liked very much, I have written comparatively lesser words.

I am not against Rahman or his music, I don’t deliberately criticize any composer or his compositions, and I only register what I sincerely feel. Talking about length, my thoughts on 'Ada' and 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na' were detailed enough I believe. I criticize Rahman, because I care. I sincerely care and carve for his music. I am sure that I won’t remember this soundtrack for a long time; it will not stand the test of time. If one is a true fan of a composer and his music, he/she will not understate the composer by declaring his lesser works as his greatest. And that is what I did.

Ameer has his own arrogant way to put his view points. But if you take all those arrogance away, there is a truth hidden in his statement. That is that Rahman is doing only movies with commercial interests. It is little too selfish to ask Rahman to come down a little bit to become approachable by new wave Tamil directors but these guys can give him greater challenges and help him in pushing the envelope of movie soundtracks further.

At the end, I have only one question. Is ‘Sakkarakatti’ music, the greatest ever that Rahman could have given for the movie? If your answer is yes, I wonder if you really remember or know what Rahman is really capable of and definitely I respect Rahman and his music more than you do.

7.16.2008

Ameer in Saroja Audio Launch

A.R. Rahman is an Isai Puyal. He has created a sensation all through out the world, through his music. Now, he is not in this venue, but still, I have a question to be asked to him.

"He is composing music only for films with commercial interests. Why hasnt he composed for films which have a deep subject ?. He has composed music for K. Balachander with 40 years of experience, Bharathiraaja with 30 years of experience. why hasnt he composed music for Directors like me ?. Whats the reason for him not to consider ourselves as a Director?"


This is exactly what I was trying to ask in my post on Sakkarakatti music.

7.12.2008

Sakkarakatti Soundtrack

‘God Father’, ‘Jillunu Oru Kaadhal’, ‘Sivaji’, ‘Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan’ in Tamil, ‘Guru’, ‘Jodha Akbar’, ‘Ada’, ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa’ in Hindi were Rahman’s works in recent past and with that you know the kind of comparison I draw in here. I too agree that it is unfair to compare chalk and cheese as the kind of movies Rahman chose to do in Hindi and Tamil were totally different. But my problem is mainly with Rahman’s choice of movies and then comes the quality of music. No doubt all the aforementioned Tamil soundtracks were big hits but Um… Forget it. Coming to ‘Sakkarakatti’

We have another sure-shot winner from Rahman in ‘Sakkarakatti’ soundtrack which is full of Rahman clich├ęs. He kills a Tamil song again by using Madhusree; he explores Chinmayi’s voice further in a song, the template of which is one of the weirdest experimentations of Rahman in recent past, uses two of his already released Hindi tracks from ‘Meenaxi’, composes a ultra cool number with Blaaze’s rapping in between and it has a single word repeated twice as its hooky phrase.

‘Yelae’ is the most interesting song of the soundtrack. An instantly catchy guitar riff and a flamboyant violin running across wildly in conversation with the vocals, harmonica bits, the musicality of the word ‘Yelae’ and the amount of casualness it brings to the mood of the song, the cool singing of Krish and Naresh Iyer all put together makes ‘Yelae’ an easy stand out of this soundtrack.

The one good thing about listening to ‘Sakkarakatti’ is that it made me to revisit the soundtrack of ‘Meenaxi’. ‘Meenaxi’ is so special to me because it was the first ever soundtrack CD I bought after buying Philips 5 in 1 player. Aah… What an experience it was. It was a real stunning soundtrack of Rahman and not so surprisingly it still is.

What I expect from Rahman is such a complete soundtrack, which Rahman once use to dish out movie after movie in Tamil.

To Muneer: The soundtrack has two already heard songs, one weird number ‘I miss u da’ which I am sure will soon be forgotten, another mediocre melody ‘Marudhaani’ (with some great interludes and humming parts) but with Madhusree, one cool and peppy number, one great song ‘Yelae’ and with this mix, I am little hesitant to call it a great soundtrack on the whole. But I like the soundtrack.

7.08.2008

Uliyin Oosai

I am listening to Illayaraja’s ‘Uliyin Oosai’ songs for past one week or so. It is an absolutely delightful soundtrack with classical and semi classical melodies. Though the orchestration and overall sound of one or two songs is at odds with others and the period of the movie, the chaste Tamil lyrics and Raaja’s vintage orchestration make us forget the initial discomfort that we get from the alienating sound. It also made me to revisit the songs of ‘Ivan’ and ‘Pon Megalai’, the songs from the soundtrack which I often hum or listen in my mind though I don’t hear the actual audio frequently.

Mean while, Kumar, Vignesh and Emjay write some interesting articles about Raaja’s music in their blogs. Each and every post of them is educating and a pleasure reading. But while there are many blogs like these which tries to decode Raaja’s compositions from 80’s and to some extent from 90’s, I couldn’t find many (or any) such blogs or such write-ups in blogosphere on Raaja’s latest works. Aren’t Raaja’s recent works worthy enough to write about? Or is it that there still is so much to dig and learn from Raaja’s earlier compositions that the hard code Raaja fan bloggers tend to write mostly about them?

With soundtracks of Mayil, Naan Kadavul, Nandhalala and Dhanam, Illayaraja has an interesting lineup this year. Eagerly waiting for each one of them.