3.29.2009

Super Six

I had written a post about super singer getting too stretched out and boring this time, as we already know who the winner is going to be. But with the way things are going now, though this season seems to be stretched too long, it definitely isn’t as boring as it was when it all started. With the help of the voice trainer Ananth Vaidyanathan (who has done Voice Engineering in some European university) almost all the singers who are still in contention has improved leaps and bounds.

Finally, Prasanna is out, which is something I was looking forward to happen in next one or two rounds. Without a doubt, Prasanna is the best performer in the show, but unlike Hindi singing reality shows; here the focus is clearly on finding a voice for playback singing. I really don’t know what Indian Idol was all about; singing was the last thing that mattered to anyone in that show. Anyway coming back to Prasanna, the major problem with him was imitation. He doesn’t imitate just the style of singing or expressions of the original but also the voice, which is not good for a playback singer. Uniqueness is the key here.

I like the tie-breaker sessions where the singers are tested on how fast and well they are able to imitate a phrase of melody. In this era, where a singer is supposed to record a song is few hours and sometimes few minutes, it is important to have high absorbing power and that comes only to those who have done enough practice and who have got enough training in music. That was clearly evident in the tie-breaker session between Vijay and Prasanna. And finally now Ragini Sri, Ranjani, Renu, Ravi, Ajeesh and Vijay are super six contestants.

Ragini Sri – She has turned completely different after re-entering the show through wild card round. As Srinivas said, she is versatile but there are far too many limitations in her voice, singing and in general her attitude. She is totally unfit for light film music. The smoothness in singing a melody and the dynamics are totally missing in her singing. Her rendition of ‘Kaatrin Mozhi’ just shouts out the weaknesses that are there in her voice and singing. But she performed ‘Magic journey’ beautifully in the last round. In the western round there was nothing great about her ‘Unakkena naan’ performance, though I was amazed by her attempt at being a soprano by singing a classic western piece. Though definitely she has a career in music, how far she would be successful in a film music career is a big question mark. I guess she will be out in next one or two rounds.

Renu – She is Ms.Lack of Confidene. She has got a beautiful voice, but for her voice, there wasn’t a single performance of her which made me to say ‘Wow’ (But oh, I admired her ‘Entha poovilum vaasam undu’ performance). She just passes through with her sugar sweet voice. She has a lot to learn. Her breath control or breath management is pathetic and that greatly affects the flow of the melodies that she sings. Though Srinivas has been warning her and asking her to liberate and try different styles of singing, she just plays it safe with singing songs that she is very comfortable with. This strategy is not going to work for long as the competition is very tough now. She will also be leaving the competition in next few rounds, but Srinivas shouldn’t try too hard to retain her just because her voice is sweet. And I still can’t believe that Srinivas told that Renu could be next Shreya Ghosal, which was really too much. Shreya Ghosal is what she is today not just because of her sweet voice. If that is the only factor then Bela shende should be singing as many songs as Shreya Ghosal.

Vijay – I am not a big fan of Vijay’s voice. The quality of his singing depends on the type of song he sings. Vijay’s performance has become as inconsistent as that of Ragini Sri. I feel he is probably the next one to be out of the competition, though his ‘Strawberry kannae’ rendition seems to be quite interesting in the next live orchestra round (It is interesting to note that for a live orchestra round, most of the songs chosen were that of A.R.Rahman).

Ranjani is one singer whom I am expecting to be singing in films soon, irrespective of whether she wins the title or not. She has got a very unique and bold voice and she is the most confident singer in the show. In last few rounds, she proved how versatile she is. Right from the folk round, in which she sang a non-film folk song before Anuradha Sriram. It was such a brilliant rendition, that I nodded my head when Anuradha Sriram told that with this singing, she could be the Airtel Super Singer. In the classical round, though she was not spot selected on day one, she was brilliant in non-film classical round; she was the only singer who sounded thoroughly professional in that round. She followed that with a bombastic performance in western round with pure jazz title song from ‘Jillendru oru Kaadhal’ and the most recent ‘Yaaro yaarodi’ in relationship round shows how well she studies each song that she attempts to sing. Ranjani is definitely in my top 3 list.

Ajeesh has finally opened up his voice and is truly brilliant when it comes to classical based songs. His ‘Amma yendralaikaatha’ rendition was truly divine. Even ‘Kaatukuiyilu manasukkulae’ was good with apt expressions, attitude and throw in the voice. Among the male contestants, I like his voice the most. He also tires to improvise a lot on the spot, which is a good quality to be a playback singer. But sadly, Ajeesh is not so comfortable with western songs and that was evident when he sang the ‘Girl friend’ song. Ajeesh also has the chance to win the title, if he doesn’t repeat the mistakes he did in western round. He can definitely give a tough competition to Ravi.

Ravi is all-in-all Azhaghu raja of the contest. Give him any song, any genre he would study the song and sing it with utmost sincerity and bring out the song perfect to the last detail. His only problem is that he seems to be little over-confident now and also as Unnikrishnan keeps telling him, he has an annoying ‘Yae’ sound where he has to have more of ‘Aaa’ sound in his singing. Ranjani and Ajeesh will give a tough competition to him and he shouldn’t take them lightly anymore.

I would be deeply disappointed if Ranjani, Ajeesh or Ravi gets eliminated before Renu or Ragini Sri or Vijay. I wish to see a round where all the six contestants are taken to a recording studio, taught a new composition (could be done by Srinivas himself) and record the song with all the three judges being around and judging their performances. As it is very clear, that we are in search of a good playback singer, it is important to see how they perform in a studio, recording a new song that they have never heard before.

14 comments:

Sivaramkumar said...

Though i hate vijay... his rendering of summer of 69 during initial rounds came as a shocker.

Renu has a divine voice (a very rare south indian voice) and i want her to put up some guts and hardwork and win the SS.

As u said Ravi is the hot favourite....as of now.

Sivaramkumar said...

Moreover, do u watch Star Singer in Asianet?

I think those participants are far better singers that our super singers.

Suresh Kumar said...

Sivaramkumar - Not regularly. Yes generally people from Kerala have a great voice and singing ability

Vinith said...

I like each one of them. Prasanna's elimination was a big shock to me. Imitating could be a minus point. But the Gauging method used by Unni Menon was unfair. Prasanna was eliminated with the reason that "grasping power wasn't so good". This is absolutely a bullsh*t. He could have used some other method to gauge them. IMHO, Prasi was n times better than Vijay (except for the Carnatic Base).

akshi said...

Hi suresh, i was going ditto ditto to each of your comments except Ravi. I somehow dont seem him as a gripping playback singer. some x factor is missing. he delivers every song, every type of music with excellent precision. but i can never feel it. what has always been special about play back music is how you are able to visualise the "padakkaatichi" and imagine the sequence. you feel like you are part of the set. sometimes you hear the music and build it up in your head. when you watch the movie, you get disappointed.. but u get what i mean.

i really enjoy ranjani's and ajeesh's voice. renu and ravi actually have the most tools at hand, but they are both staying in their comfort zone. renu as u said, plays safe and its almost painful watching her sometimes. she has a good voice.. but she doesnt appear to enjoy herself so its difficult to enjoy her music. even the closing of eyes.. its not the closing of eyes that's a problem, its the "i am so stressed" look. i really hope renu gives herself a real shot before the season ends.

ravi has to stop treating music like a maths problem. and at some point, he will have to stop tilting his neck up. they have already told him to try. i dont see it happening.

ranjani and ajeesh are picking up very well very fast. ajeesh is a little young and it shows. but either way, something very sweet about his voice. abit like when unni first came on the scene with ennavale. i still think its his best song ever. and i do go to his katcheri's also.

i dont know if you know maharajapuram santhanam. he is a carnatic singer. there is so much bhava to his music. when he sings vaa velavaa vadivelavaa.. you really feel like he is calling out. if music doesnt touch the soul i dont see its purpose. its like words without meaning. the contact is important, i believe.

as for raagini sri and vijay, ditto. though i actually do think they can pull it of if they strategise differently. they have to prove that they can singing normal duets. then they can do the show off songs over time.

anyway it was nice to be able to share.

Suresh Kumar said...

Vinith - That is the apt way to test a singers ability and that too a singer who aspires to sing for movies, it is very important. I am sure you would have heard Unni menon explained how strict Raaja is when it comes to getting what he wants from the singer... In such situations, singers like Prasanna will have a tough time...

Suresh Kumar said...

Akshi - To some extent, yes Ravi's emotions are so deliberate (as srini told for his Uyirum neeyae performance)... but often I find his singing soulful... the medley round, the malayalam song he sang in other language round, Udaya Udaya song, 'Oru naal podhuma' all were very good...

Vinith said...

Heard vamanan? Songs are good. Yuvan is in fine form.

Suresh Kumar said...

Yet to listen Vamanan.. having said that i doubt about Yuvan being in form, last time i heard yuvan completely in form was in 2007 in Tamizh MA

VR said...

LOL...
yes. tamil m.a was an extraordinary album. but we hav to consider the point that it was a movie with heavy script. offbeat. script demanded such tunes. Yuvan gave his best. but now, all the movies he has been doing are pretty ordinary movies with commercial elements. so we cannot expect the same yuvan in all the movies. :)
but he was very good in sarvam except for singer selection. if you take vamanan, three tunes hav come out so well. Two of them have been spoiled by singers. I don't know why yuvan prefers non-tamil singers to sing (kill) tamil songs.
His tunes will reach newer heights if he strikes the right chord in choosing singers. I lost hopes on him in this. When the hell will he realize that he is commiting a blunder in choosing such singers.
sarvam and vamanan are two clear examples.
To be frank, i'm avoiding that Siragugal song mainly coz i'm not able to stand their voice. Its an excellent composition.
listen to vamanan. You'll like it :)
Personally, i request you to write review for atleast one of his albums. Its been more than a year since you reviewed his album. YNM was the last i think. :(

VR said...

I have to pass another info here. Yogi is another such offbeat movie. I'm sure we may see KT yuvan in this album. Album releases in few weeks.
The saddest part is, two songs are rendered by Ameer and lyricist Snehan.
Just imagine. rotfl. I cant pass any comment now without listening to their voice. irundhalum, nalla irukkum nu enakku nambikkai illa.
I lost hopes on this album after i heard that they've rendered voice.
enna koduma suresh idhu :'(

Vinith

EnvyRam said...

Suresh,

Little late on your post.

Have been following super singer to the extent I got obsessed ...

My views:

As I type this, Ravi, Renu and Ajeesh are into the finals. There is a wildcard where invariably Prasanna will get in (I guess). Heard the shoot is yet to happen and they are boring with some nonsense.

Looks like its all fixed. Ravi is undoubtedly a more professional singer. But cannot accept that he is versatile.He is best when the song is carnatic based. You have said he is overconfident. To put another perspective to it, he has a little head-weight as we call it. When he gets rid of it and truly enjoys singing, the outcome is divine as in his 'isai kaettal puvi asaindhaadum'

Renu can create magic. Yes, she is totally low when it comes to confidence. I can pick couple where she left ppl stunned - Ninaithu ninaithu paarthaal and unnavida indha ulagathil ...

Ajeesh has good voice. But not versatile. sometimes his voice never shows up (for instance when he sang a duet with ranjani). He mostly picks yesudas songs, which he performs well. His 'machaan peru madurai' was horrendous when he was about to be eliminated and is still lucky to be there.

Overall, looks like there is favorism. My picks are Ravi, Ranjani and Renu ... Renu because Ajeesh is not better than her.

And a note on Vijay. His improvisations are brilliant. And the most versatile. Nothing special in his voice though and that makes him easily the last ranked amongst the six. As someone said, his summer of 69 is one of my favorites of the show.

Wish there is no bias and hope the deserved gets the title.

Smiles,
Vinayak

Suresh Kumar said...

Vinayak - Glad that you are following SS so closely... I accept Ajeesh is not versatile.. because his voice range and tone doesn't allow him to be..But he is still young.. when he is around 20+ I am sure his voice will be more mature and complete... He definitely has the musicality and talent to improve...

I don't agree with Renu being better than Ajeesh... Renu is equally not so versatile and her only plus is her voice...

I hope Ranjaji gets into finals and not Prasanna...anyway from now on it is we who are going to judge them through SMS votes...

nive said...

all are saying ajeesh is liked only by girls it is 100% wrong.....and it is not so........all music lover likes ajeesh...............................................................