2.28.2009

On The Loop


Siru Thoduthalilae (Laadam - Dharan)

‘Siru Thoduthalilae’ is a beautiful melody with a breezy orchestration. You feel like flying while listening to the song. For the most part, there are no any percussion beats; it just sails through with backing chords and bass lines. Dharan has rightfully gone for a matured female voice (Bombay Jayshree) this time, because I felt his earlier melodies weren’t carried through well by new female voices. This is one of those rare songs which I could listen on and on. The instrumental version of 'Siru Thoduthaliae' is heavenly. It is such a delightful track where Naveen just freaks out by using variety of flutes with lots of additional layers and improvisations on the main melody. The first thing that hit me when I heard Laadam CD is its sound quality. Never before a Dharan’s soundtrack sounded so high in quality and the reason is Late H.Sridhar who has done the mixing and mastering.

Poovinai (Aanandha Thaandavam - G.V.Prakash)

‘Poovinai Thirandhu’ is one of those rare gems where everything goes beyond just being right. After ‘Dhaiyarae’ from Vellithirai, GVP gives an Irish spin to an Indian melody that aptly elevates the beauty of Vairamuthu’s poetry. The theme piece based on the melody of ‘Poovinai’ suggests the entire narrative arc of the movie. It starts with a grand piano playing the melody which then pleasingly moves on to a flute and a sudden turn happens with turbulent percussion storming the beauty of the melody which turns smoothness of the melody on the flute into a soul shattering shiver.

Kaatrilae Vaasamae (Yaavarum Nalam - Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)

‘Kaatrilae Vaasamae’ starts of like a vintage SEL melody but with somewhat artificially forced techno beats. It then surprisingly turns into a vintage Raaja with beats on Tabla. And when the transformation happen with Chitra going 'Anbae', the song as a whole reaches a pinnacle of emotional beauty and Chitra’s exquisite vocals adds to the feel. Considering that the movie is a bilingual it is interesting that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy chose to keep up the south Indian feel in the melody.

Lesa Parakkudhu (Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu - Selvaganesh)

The beauty of 'Lesa Parakkudhu' is not just in its melody and singers, but also in the usage of real percussions like Ghatam, Thavil and Ganjira (all by V.Uma Shankar) throughout. The rhythm pattern is complex and brilliant. Yet, the song, true to its starting lines, is so light (Lesa) on ears. Chinmayi has become the ever re-inventing singer, she sounds so vulnerable and innocent in this song and Karthik's smooth rendition complements hers. The orchestration done mostly with real instrumental adds an earthy ambience around the sweet melody, and Stephen Devassy plays his way through with instinctive Piano pieces that gorgeously decorates the main melody.

Pada Pada (Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu - Selvaganesh)

It is one of those simple, no fuss melodies that just flows right. Karthik really performs (not just sings) his songs well these days and especially when it comes to these kinds of songs, where the hero sings about the ecstasy of finding his soul mate, Karthik is at his best. There is nothing great about the song, yet a listener can instantly fall in love with it as it sounds right, so right in every aspect, that you cannot skip or ignore.

Uyiril Yedho (Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu - Selvaganesh)

It has been a while since we heard such a song where there are no unnecessary layers of ornamentation, where there is just a Piano backing throughout, where the prominence is given for the melody and the emotions it simply invokes. Haricharan just sails through beautifully on this melodious voyage. This is the best song of the soundtrack without a doubt. I haven't seen the movie and so eager to watch how this song has been used in the movie.

Vizhi Moodi (Ayan - Harris Jeyaraj)

Ayan is yet another Harris Jeyaraj soundtrack and it is so sad that when you say that, it tends to sound negative these days. With no Jeeva and Gautam Menon by his side, Harris Jeyaraj has to seriously think about his strategy, which seems to be not working anymore. But, ‘Vizhi Moodi’ is a very good. Again Karthik just melts with the melody in this song. The easy sing-along melody (though sounds heavily inspired by one of vintage Raaja melodies of 80s) is infectious and with trademark minimal orchestration Harris Jeyaraj pulls it through effectively.

Pudhidhai Mannil (Isaikaatru - Mohammed Rizwan)

Long back I wrote about Tamil pop. The situation hasn't changed much since. Tamil pop is still struggling to make its mark in the market. When I was in Chennai, there used to be a big hoarding for the album 'Isaikaatru' in Vadapalni with Vairamuthu standing in the middle with two other guys. Two years later, last Month, I found the CD of 'Isaikaatru' in Landmark. The album (composed by Mohammed Rizwan) is pretty good with easily accessible melodies and the one which I liked most is 'Pudhidhai Mannil'. A song that sings about hope and optimism is interestingly given a mellow musical shape. It is so leisurely paced like a lullaby and orchestrated like that of a classical Ghazal. That makes the singer Prasanna's job quite tough, he has to walk on a delicate path between sounding firm and yet soft and Prasanna walks through it quite brilliantly.

Paavayae Nee (Saaral - Gopakumar)

The album Saaral opens with the melodious drizzle of 'Paavayae Nee'. It is a typical soft romantic ballad with a predictable orchestration. But Unnikrishnan elevates the source melody material into great heights with his own classical touches throughout. Not so often, we put a song in the repeat mode just for the singer; I did it with this song. But the album that starts with such a promise turns highly disappointing with other songs.

Siragugal (Sarvam - Yuvan Shankar Raja)

In spite of heavy orchestration (done along the lines of Yegiri Kudhithaen from Boys), loud beats, horrendous Tamil diction by Javed Ali and Madhusree, the typical Yuvan melody does the trick and puts the song on the play list. I especially like the way the melody slides down with the line 'Unnai Unnai Thaandi chella koja dhooram' which almost becomes a recurring motif of the song.

36 comments:

kannan said...

The one thing I don't like about the song Poovinai is the irrelevant Latin guitar parts in the second interlude. No doubt it is a very nice piece on its own, but the transition to the piece and the transition out of the piece are both very ugly IMO, as the piece itself doesn't fit the style of the song. Maybe there is a situational reason as far as the movie is concerned, not sure.

And yes, I surprisingly liked Siragugal despite the double trouble in pronounciation department (usually it is just one singer who spoils it; this is a rare occasion where the two compete to outdo each other in killing Tamil).

I liked Kaatrilae Vaasame until the strange beat started; overall pretty nice songs in the album, but I don't find myself hooked to any of them.

Suresh Kumar said...

Kannan - Abt 'Poovinai', I felt it all gel well in the song and if at all I have to pin point one problem it is volume of Strings used when Shreya goes high in charanam, it was a bit loud as a whole...

And yes, Sirgugal works inspite of their bad diction..

I really Kaatrilae Vaasamae, ever since I heard the song, the melody has been on my lips....

Vinith said...

Tough it has "not-new" songs, the list is good...

About Sarvam's track - not only Siragugal almost the whole album has been spoiled by bad choice of singers. However the album is great...

Suresh Kumar said...

Vinith - True, Sarvam suffered mainly because of the singers... but I also liked the music part of it....

Muthuvel said...

Siru thoduthalilae is really the top number in my playlist in recent times. And I liked almost all songs from 'Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu', was wondering all these days why you didn't review it all.

Suresh Kumar said...

Muthuvel - Only recently I bought all these CDs.... Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, Laadam, Sarvam etc.,

kannan said...

Off topic : Suresh, what do you think about the recently announced Kalaimamani Awards?

Sureshkumar said...

Kannan - Read about that in Vinith's blog. Long long back 'Kalaimamani' has lost its worth...

Vinith said...

Exactly. The music part of Sarvam has the Yuvan we have been missing in last few albums. Enough innovation and freshness in music.

Arun said...

Suresh: How about 'Chinna Sirasu' from KPKP? Completely hooked on to this! Wonderful melody and backgrounds by Yuvan.

Suresh Kumar said...

Arun - I am yet to listen to KPKP... will check that...

Anonymous said...

Off-Topic
Pls watch,may be you have watched it earlier:Raaja explaining his thinking process:When he heard a concerto,he was actually "listening" to a keerthana.Amazing to watch,but hardly surprising coming from Raja:-)Though i hate Raja promoting his kids,in this interview i liked it because,he was very relaxed and let his guard down due to the presence of bavadharini..Also wish he speaks more often in TV..
Rgds,
Another common music fan,not a fanatic

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHd-uQz7j44

Oops forgot to post the link:-)

Filbert said...

Suresh, I too was wondering why there is no song from KPKP in this list and then found out from the comments section the reason behind it. IMO, it is one of Yuvan's best in recent times. There is this inexplicable something about the Oru nimisham song from KPKP that I am almost addicted to that song. Eagerly looking forward to your take on the KPKP songs :)

Suresh Kumar said...

Anon - Yes, I have seen that video. Very special one indeed...

Suresh Kumar said...

Filbert - The problem is I am not able to buy the CDs as and when it releases as I am in bangalore and the Planet M neat to my place has very few Tamil audio CD's.. They sell only the most popular ones with big stars... I get a chance to buy them only when I go to Salem... Even in Salem Odyssey, I didn't find the CD of KPKP.. I will have to check it again next week....

Anonymous said...

This is marvellous!!!I'm just spellbound to see the musical trinity of tamil film music in the same stage having a rollicking time.We are truly a blessed generation.
http://www.kollywoodtoday.com/gallery/events/arr_cine_musicians_union1/index.html#thumbnail11
rgds,
music lover

Anto said...

needhane and katrukulle were excellent numbers from sarvam. do check it. Also mudhal murai song from adhe neram adhe idam. sounds good.

Sureshkumar said...

Anto - Yes. Needhane and Katrukulle but for Yuvan's singing, are good.

I also liked 'Mudhal Murai' from Adhe neram adhe nimidam... Premji is improving.. but I heard after I posted this article..

Anonymous said...

Sarvam music review??? :) :)

Vinith said...

Sarvam music review??? :) :)

Suresh Kumar said...

Vinith - Aah... Was so busy in writing Background Score reviews on Kadhal Konden and Black... But soon I am coming with a post not specially on Sarvam but in general on Yuvan music these days...

Vinith said...

Interesting... Looking forward... :)

Muthuvel said...

I don't understand why people go to such extent to put mud on somebody.

Other than the acknowledged reworking of 'Choli ke Peeche' track I didn't find any similarities...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8QQMk_il0Q&feature=channel_page

kannan said...

Well I must admit this is still one of the better done videos talking about ripoffs. Most of them are like, "whaat? you think this sounds similar??". In this vid, I could clearly see what he was talking about. I think the Ringa Ringa one is unnecessary, he clearly said it's inspired, even before the soundtrack went for all the awards. The O Saya is a bit disturbing though, I can see a bit too much similarity for my own comfort. The Jai Ho one is a bit random, I think only the beat is a bit similar, I don't see any similarity in tune. Liquid Dance, I think the portion is too small to make any sort of conclusion. Aaj Ki Raat, the similarity is definitely a bit disturbing, but I think that has more to do with the genre to which it belongs, and all songs from that genre have some similarities.

Suresh Kumar said...

Muthuvel - I am in the office. Can't watch the video here. Will watch it this evening. Eagerly waiting.

Anonymous said...

i was surprised by the o saya claim,however i did search for the supposed original - spanish song in youtube,theres no similarity.However one must admit that the person responsible seems to miffed albeit without a reason and knows how to layer sounds.The o saya similarity works out bcoz of he'd layered the rhythm pattern on the spanish song..the SEL song aaj ki raat is has disco beats.. disco genre like few forms of hip-hop, has this peculiar problem-they have a heard before feel in almost all songs..

Digression:
we know that u'r a IR fan and one cannot be completely objective wrt idols,but u display a semblance of maturity and balance.
In many forums and blogs across the web,a group of fanatics is trying its best to be obnoxious and insist their point eventhough mostly people dont care..u know whom i'm talking abt :-) This particular group is so pathetic & sick that wherever ARR is being praised/reviewed positivley/showered with accolades they come and end up spoiling it:recent eg:baradwajrangan's piece on road to oscars..Life as a common music fan cannot be smooth with such fanatics..IR as we know doesnt really care for awards/accolades/praise and goes on with his work like a yogi and the fanatics attitude is a shame on this genius..eagerly awaiting nandalala,scored with hungarian musicians..
rgds,
a common music fan

Anonymous said...

off topic:
recently happened to listen cheenikum and mandram vandha reworking initiated a discussion with frnds:Raaja's recent songs like vaanavillae-ramana and the cheenikum song offers a means to contrast because we have something to compare with: have much better sophisticated orchestration and intricate arrangements:by sophistication i mean Raaja's evolution in finesse.Mandram vandha has beautiful orchestration,the trademark chords,the raajas stamp in arrangements,but the cheenikum song shows Raaja's evoltuion in those 20 years to provide a richer experience.
ur thoughts?

Suresh Kumar said...

Anon - Yes, I saw the video and read through a forum where I realized that it is such a desperate attempt to prove that Rahman has plagiarized. That video is not at all worth discussing about... at the most, you have laugh at the prevailing madness to bring down people who have genuinely reached heights..

kannan said...

The O Saya "original" is re-layered? That is really pathetic. The only reason I thought it sounded very similar was the ditto beat and vaguely familiar tune. If the beat was just layered over, then this is just a stupid attempt to prove he is copying.

Why are people doing this kind of nonsense? They are actually putting in effort to do this crap. Reminds me of the "Tamil Nandu" story which Manivannan says in the movie Rhythm.

Suresh Kumar said...

Anon - Yes. I indeed liked the new orchestration and fine sound of all the songs in Cheeni kum. I still listen to all the songs in Cheeni kum soundtrack. But orchestration per se (without considering the finese in sound clarify) in both Vaanavillae and Cheeni kum title track (or even Mandram vandha) are of equal quality...

Suresh Kumar said...

Kannan - Yes. In fact, even for me that story about coakroach or crab in the bottle came to my mind.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suresh!

Did u listen to yuvan's chinnan chirusuga (KPKP i guess) beautifully rendered by Javed Ali.
Its a typical Rajas-que folk song..
I found it worth for repeated listening.
(look out for the acoustic guitar use in folk melody)


Sivaram Kumar

Vinith said...

Pasanga??????????

There is one beautiful melody on par with Kangal Iranda. Another lovely song sung by Legendary Balamurali KRishna.

Vinith said...

As shivram kumar says, chinnansirisu song in KPKP is awesome! Wondeful composition by yuvan. proves that he is chip off the old block (of course, he is block by himself now ;) )

Sureshkumar said...

Anon and Vinith - Chinna chirusuga is beautiful, ofcourse it is on loop in my playlist...

And heard Pasanga... liked the whole soundtrack... and yes 'Oru vetkam' has everything in it to be the next 'Kangal irandal'...