8.04.2010

I am a Fool. My Endhiran Music Review is Stupid.


This post is inspired by Milliblog’s recent post, which he wrote as a reply to one of the derogatory comments he got for his Endhiran Music Review. I got a similar comment from an anonymous person for my Endhiran Music review. He or She says, “stupid review, don’t make a fool of yourself”. I usually stay away from replying to such anonymous comments. I was in a dilemma for past 2 days whether to reply or not to reply. Finally came to a conclusion that sometimes things have to be said.

I absolutely have no problem if you don’t like Endhiran music. You have all the rights to say that you don’t like music and all the more welcome to say “In my Opinion, Endhiran music is bad”, because you genuinely don’t like it. My arguments with fellow music listeners were never about why YOU don’t like Endhiran music; it has always been about WHY you don’t like Endhiran music. I only want to understand why a particular piece of music doesn’t work for some, how their mind approach and process it. Even to that commenter, please explain what was stupid in that review and why I am fool. If it is convincing enough, I will try to understand why I process the music in the way I do.

Most of the times, such conversations have reached a dead end or with a closing remark from the other side that I am a die-hard A.R.Rahman fan and that I can’t understand. I am really interested in knowing and understanding their reasons. The Reasons – something I don’t get to read. I am yet to read a review, where there is a clear reasoning for not liking Endhiran music (Please forward it to me if you have read one). It is not mandatory for everyone to explain and justify their stand, but just for the sake of my understanding – Please. I guess I gave fairly good number of reasons why some parts of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya music didn’t work for me and why I immensely enjoy listening to Endhiran music in the respective reviews.

Anonymous - if you are someone, who is engulfed by “I am too intelligent to like Endhiran Music” air of thought, I am sorry but I must say that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

21 comments:

Ramesh said...

Suresh,

I did not comment on your earlier blog post on endhiran review, but will comment on this one.

My opinion about Endhiran: I like it. It is not exceptional as VTV, but it is not disappointing either. I have listened to it for about 5-6 times (original CD).

One track I totally don't like is "Boom Boom". Why? The 'boom boom' signature phrase is really irritating. And to me, the song seems to wander aimlessly.

'Kadhal Anukkal' - though it was good initially, I am not liking it that much. Can't pin point the reason, but it looks as if it is getting stale soon.

I have not been a fan of Shankar-ARR combinations. The songs become stale very quickly. Examples include Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, and Sivaji.

VijayGanesh. S said...

Suresh., everyone's taste differs and people get hooked to diff kind of genres. There is no right or wrong in this topic.

I went thru the same dilemma, when i loved VTV and my blog visitors didnt like it.

So relax. It keeps happening and it will keep happening :)

Suresh Kumar said...

Ramesh - Even I don't claim it to be a Masterpiece. It is super fun music made to match with the film's theme.

VijayGanesh.S - Exactly, that is the point. There is no right or wrong. But I only want to understand others' perspective a litte more.

Suresh S said...

Suresh,

My perspective. I wouldn't mind if people took this with a bit of salt because I am huge fan of Raja's music. Anyway here is my take on 'Endhiran' and why I am not enamoured by it:

- First and foremost, the 'robotic' sounds used are pretty old. It reminds me of the German based Techno sound groups of the 80s like Kraftwerk. I have never been a lover of those sounds and it irritates me to hear it in a 2010 movie. If it was bad in 1980 it is worse in 2010 (@milliblog was right when he said Rahman has taken the Robot part of the theme in a very literal sense.)

- Second reason why the two decent songs, 'Arima Arima' and 'Kadhal Anukkal' didn't bowl me over were the 'heard before' feeling. The phrasings remain the same. During the start of 'Arima' you can clearly see that the phrasings are exactly the same as 'ek aandhi aayi thi' of 'Dil Se'. Lot of people have also found similarity with the 'mayilirage' song.

- Never been a big fan of Rahman's usage of strings. Here too the strings are used in a very similar 'vengalique' way. I have heard the same sort of usage in Yuvraaj, Blue etc etc

- Last but not the least, absolutely no emotional connect with any of the songs. We can argue that this movie does not allow for emotional connect but there is a possibility when a robot falls in love. Emotional connect does not mean emotional songs!!! What I mean is, when you hear 'puli urumudu puli urmudu' from 'Vettaikaran, people can instantly connect with the anger / power in that song. In Endhiran, nothing of that sort happened to me

- I know the argument about Rahman songs growing slowly but somehow it doesn't grow on me and believe me I give it a decent listen. Either I can immediately get hold of the melodic structure, the song structure and the emotional connect immediately or I never connect with it again. For example, however much I tried the songs of 'Yuvraaj', 'Couples Retreat', 'Blue', 'VTV', 'Raavanan' never took my fancy for various reasons and I still can't connect with them.

Hope I have given you enough to mull on for a few days :)

Suresh Kumar said...

Suresh S - Super. This is what I wanted. Will think of all these points and reply.

Anonymous said...

I dont like both-your opinion and also that over rated milliblog. But respect both your opinions.

and too the person who commented nasty on your blog..he was really funny...lols

Anonymous said...

isnt the rhythm of puthiya manitha sound like mounam pesiyathe....nanannanananana

Suresh Kumar said...

Suresh S - I can only tell you why the reasons you mentioned for not liking Endhiran music, didn't stop me from enjoying it. First of all, I respect a film soundtrack as a "film soundtrack". My job is not to tell the composer what he should have done. I can only say whether I like or don't like what he has done. Infact, just a day before the release of Endhiran music, I wrote in backgroundscore.com

"Amidst so many romantic duets, I know that Endhiran – The Robot wouldn’t be a Science fiction film in the true sense of the word. However, I am curious about the background of the film. I am expecting a lot of electronica in the score, though I prefer to listen to more of a choral-orchestral score. John Williams, long time back, proved that flickering laser lights don’t need flanging and phasing synthesizers in the background to create an impact."

I truly believe a film with Robots can have live Orchestral music, but just because "I" thought so and because he didn't tread the same path in his music, I wouldn't ignore the composer's work.

I have not heard German based Techno sound groups. It doesn't matter whether a sound is old or new. Infact, there is nothing new or ground breaking in the overall sound of Endhiran music.

"Rahman taking Robot Part of the theme in a very literal sense" - :-) No Comments.

I don't care much about similar phrasings, either. 'Rehna Tu' from Delhi-6 has a major Guitar theme running throughout the song, which is exactly the same piece as the interlude of 'Chithirai Nilavu' from Vandicholai Chinnaraasu. 'Suththi Suththi Vandheega' is same as 'Pachaikilighal Thozhodu'. 'Sahaana' is same as Dil se theme. There are many more instances when Rahman's BGMs have become songs. I don't care about them, if certain amount of intergrity is maintained in the presentation and packaging while a tune is being re-used. This, in no way, can stop me from listening and enjoying the songs with just a phrase of melody, sounding like that of an old song of the same composer.

Strings - I like them.

Emotional Connect - Hmm. I would have to retype my entire Endhiran review again for this. You may read it, if you haven't. I absolutely connected with the feel, mood and emotions in each of the song.

However, I can say one that emotional connection with a song is also based on how much we open our heart to it, without prejudgement in mind. When you are wondering in your mind, about all other problems you that mentioned have with the music, I can understand how difficult it is not to emotionally connect with the melody. So, I can perfectly understand why you can never emotionally connect with Endhiran music.

"Puli Urumudhu" has nice acoustic percussions, familiar melodic structure and the force in the orchestration and hence the connect. Endhiran music has none of them.

"Either I can immediately get hold of the melodic structure, the song structure and the emotional connect immediately or I never connect with it again." - Same here. It happened to me. I instantly connected with all Endhiran songs.

I am not saying Endhiran music is a masterpiece or that it is a classic score that would break new grounds in Indian film music. I am just saying, these are very good, listenable, hummable songs, I can immensely enjoy. While I am overtly exuberant and positive about the music being fun, sensible and listenable, there are people who are worried because the music is just fun, sensible and listenable, but nothing more.

Come On. This music is not given to a Shankaraabharanam or a Satyajitray film. It is a Shankar film.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suresh,

I must appreciate the time and energy you devote to the blog and responses to the comments you post. I also think that you level of understanding into the the complexities of tunes etc far surpass mine .. but here goes ..

Before i start i must declare my loyalties as being a Rajni Fan ( inspite of people awkwardly trying to make him look bout 20years younger with his clothes and make up !)and YSR( love his awesome tunes in sarvam ,paiyaa,etc ) fan.

But doing a straight comparison with VTV i felt that those songs affected me a lot more and were soo perfectly suited to the scenes in the movie. even though im well past the love stage of life I could feel the impact of these songson deeper level.. something that you wanted to stand up and sing to your loved one! I didnt get anythin to that level with Endhiran.

If you say that this is a Rajni movie and VTV like music wont work ..then alas it does not even stand up to Sivaji which had some really peppy beats and awesome melodies which raised expectaations as to how they would be filmed. Ive listened to Endhiran a few times but i dont seem to be getting a similar rush.

So high as my expectations were I felt a little disappointed and only wish the film does'nt end up following the same route. I some how feel a younger fresher guy like YSR who is much better at fusing western beats with tamil music would have done a better job .. or even sampled some metal guitar riffs to deliver a mind blowing treat for wat could be Thalaivar's swan song !!

Suresh Kumar said...

Hi Anon,

There are two duets, between Vaseegaran and Saana, which they could have used to put two semi-classical melodies like "Sahaana" or "Mannippaaya" or even a "Hosaana".

But again, if you have seen the pictures of "Kaadhal Anukkal" and "Kilimanjaro" on CD inlay covers, it would be easy to understand why the genre of the songs are choosen the way it is.

Thalaivar's Swan song - I guess they is no such song in this film.

About YSR doing 'Endhiran' - I couldn't actually imagine how that soundtrack would sound.

Anonymous said...

//Swan song means the "end of" and anon thinks Enthiran maybe the end of Rajinis acting career..
//

The songs are peppy yes and suits the movie and theme..But as i perceive just run of the mill and will get stale quicker than Komaram Puli which i think is better than enthiran.(Comparing Puli as they both are pucca commercial massy movies rather than say VTV which is massy in a 'Gauthamic' way)

Most of the songs carry the oft heard feel except kilimanjaro a gem..I guess ARR or Shankar took the easy route out rather than some experimentation like oru koodai sunlight(Picturisation and song)

Or they felt becos of the huge budget the songs shud be liked by all and sundry and did not want to displease mass fans..

With a ellapugazhum or oruvan oruvan ARR bought that class to those mass songs..but here though SPB adds his own magic to puthiya manidha from the start of the chant "enthira..enthira..oh oh enthira" till the end..it still is not the number1 opening song for me..But the way the SPB bit is added right after ARRs and Khatijas is mindblowing..the flow and the beats..

From the Shankar-ARR combo i would rate this the lowest..
From Rajini-ARR i would rate this better than Padayappa..

nice reviews btw...

Dhin said...

Suresh,

This is purely my opinion. Sometimes, I think A.R is overrated music director, but we all should be proud of him. He got Oscars for us.

Why I said overrated, here is the reason. Imagine his songs were done by someone else or some new comer. As soon as, the so called A.R fans heard the music, they will say not good and move on. But, for A.R songs, they will be keep listening 100 times and tells others to listen 10 times. In fact, first few lines of your VTV says that you have to listen 10 times. Would you do the same if it was done by someone else?. Hope you get my point.

To me, if you listen any songs that many times, it will grow on you. I hated Kandhasamy songs initially, for some reason, it was playing in my car lot of times since my kids loved them. It grew on me and I started liking them.
This goes same for Vijay Anthony, YSR, DSP and other musicians.
Other examples is Sexy lady song from Ninaithale Inikkum. I was amazed after listening few times, how the music director has used Urumi in Western arrangements.

Just my opinion.

Suresh Kumar said...

Ramesh - Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan and 3 songs of Sivaji haven't staled for me yet.

Sorry for the late reply. But it took time. I just sat and tried to recall a song from Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, which I haven't heard for years... Please believe me. I could recall almost every line of melody, lyrics and even most of the background instrumentation of 'Columbus' from Jeans, 'Shakalakka Baby' from Mudhalvan, 'Akkada' from Indian and 'Adhiradi' from Sivaji.

Suresh Kumar said...

Anonymous - the one who said "it still is not the number1 opening song for me"

first of all, I don't think this song was ever meant to be a typical Rajini Introduction song.

I must clarify this,

When I listen to a piece a music, I don't think about

1) Whether this music is better or worse than another piece of music
2) Whether this song is going to be a masterpiece or a classic
3) Whether it would reach masses or classes
4) Whether it is the way I wanted it to be

I try to keep my mind as free from all such questions, thoughts while listening to a piece of music.

These thoughts and analysis happens much later.

Frankly, though I myself have done it many times before, I don't see a point in comparing one "film soundtrack" with the other, if you know what i mean.

Suresh S said...

"However, I can say one that emotional connection with a song is also based on how much we open our heart to it, without prejudgement in mind. When you are wondering in your mind, about all other problems you that mentioned have with the music, I can understand how difficult it is not to emotionally connect with the melody"

I don't buy this argument. To paraphrase what is says is, "If you liked the song, you had no preconceived notions. If you didn't like it, you have problems in getting new ideas or you have prejudged the music" :) You can't win against this circular logic.

No listening or seeing experience can be divested of our past listening and seeing experience. Infact we build our aesthetics based on listening to a lot of music. That aesthetics that I have built tell me that the music of 'Endhiran' is in the mediocre range, if not in the not so good range. If someone else's aesthetics tell him / her that 'Endhiran' is a thoroughly enjoyable album, that is fair enough.

" "Puli Urumudhu" has nice acoustic percussions, familiar melodic structure and the force in the orchestration and hence the connect. Endhiran music has none of them."

Oh no. 'Endhiran' has all of them as I listed and you agreed. The familiar melodic structures, the familiar violins, force of orchestration. Except that it is not as commercial or as catchy as 'Vetaikaran' :) Sometimes I fee you are too enamoured with Rahman that you see lot of things which aren't there :)

Anyway I guess 'Endhiran' music per se does not deserve too much of analysis. So I agree to disagree with you. While you enjoy "Endhiran', I will go back to 'Vettaikaran' :)

Suresh Kumar said...

"Endhiran has all of them" - it is there, but I meant it isn't as in-your-face as it is in "Puli urumudhu".

I wasn't arguing in the first place, I was just curious to understand how you process the music. And I replied with my understanding of your way of processing. Neither of our explanations are going to affect each others opinion on the music and I am perfectly fine with it.

"Sometimes I fee you are too enamoured with Rahman that you see lot of things which aren't there :)" - I see things that aren't there!?? - Baradwaj Rangan has written so much on this topic. I can in no way explain it like him.

See, I told you. This is how a conversation always ends :-)))))

Suresh S said...

" I see things that aren't there!?? - Baradwaj Rangan has written so much on this topic. I can in no way explain it like him."

I have read his articles as well on this subject but I am not totally convinced with his arguments as well. But that is a different story and a totally different argument.

Sometimes when every argument ends the same way, maybe there is some truth in the conclusion :) :)

Shuffle Head said...

My opinion of Enthiran music.

http://mytalkingpoint.wordpress.com/

Hathim

Saran said...

Sakikkalai.... This would be one apt word that came to my mind after I heard Enthiran Songs. Athu enna, 100 thadavai kaetta thaan ARR paatu pidikkum-nu oru theory? I really cant understand. "Aalai illaatha oorukku iluppappoo sakkarai". When the music doesn't touch your soul for the first time, then what's the kind of shitty music it is? Onnume illaama, ithaye thirumba thirumba kettaa pidikkaama enna pannum? Ellaam thalaivithi!!! Veera, Ejamaan pola Enriched Music neranja paatukalai Rajini padatthula kaettu etthanai varusham aachu? Thalaivarum kooda, nadichu mudicha pinna, thaniyaa poi, thalaiyila adichuppaar... "aanadavaa, intha maathiri paatukkellaam enna vaaya asaikka vachuttiye" appidinnu!!!

Anonymous said...

first of all,endiran music is totally shit...suresh your are very generous about A.r.RAHMAN.when illayaraja uses western classical in symphonic orchestra in pazhassi raja you question him why he is using that.but when rahman uses it in this so called sci fi movie then you will say john williams has used it earlier in star wars so its all right.

you are talking about endiran being commercial thats why we cant expect any exceptional numbers, except these good peppy songs .but have you forgotton how illayaraja gave so much of gems in commercial kuppai movies e.g sagalakala vallavan,thangamahan etc.raja just approaches or creates music for music not for banner nor the scope of his name to be created as a brand.
but rahaman has proved himself like an corporate ass hole just by being part of a mega budget movie he can get away with whatever crap he think he can give and i cant digest the crap...just because crap comes out of jennifer lopez it wont smell sweet,it still tastes crap only..

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