9.03.2010

Eluthundru from Gaayam-2

When I was listening to the song “Eluthundru” from Gaayam-2, my room mate, who is a very casual film-music listener, called me with some unparlimentary words and asked me to stop the song. It made me think for a while about, what in the song evoked such a response from him. When a listener is not able to identify with the very basic emotion that the song wants to invoke in a listener, he cannot go any further in searching for and appreciating the musical aspects of the song. The anger against corruption, system and the politicians is something that not many identify with these days, or atleast not with the level of intensity and rigor that comes out of these songs. The melody in “Eluthundru” is soaked in such an intense anger and helplessness that the voices hit every note in the melody hard like how an arrow hits a dartboard.

Even film makers don’t prefer to make such films or show such loud anger against politicians in their films. Even if such a situation arises in the film, they don’t usually put a song to push it. The angry young man of 80s and early 90s is obsolete in Indian cinema now. Even the people who I know from rural villages around Salem are either grooving to filmy-folk songs or melodies of Asili-Pisili types. Our radio stations and music channels continuously play only these types of songs. The pathos songs that occasionally turn out to be chartbusters are all about nostalgia or romance, but not about politics, politicians or society. Songs like “Eluthundru” are not something you hum in the bath room, sing along or feel happy about while listening to and it definitely is not meant for that. It is made for a specific situation in the film that is made with certain sensibilities.

Even if some could connect and identify with such emotions in a film song, there is still the factor of Ilaiyaraaja using abundant Synth that stops them from completely embracing and enjoying the music. Even though Ilaiyaraaja uses Synth, he has a very unique way of using it. It took sometime for me to understand and get used to this new Ilaiyaraaja sound. Every single layer of even the so-called synth-ful Raaja songs can still be notated on paper and given to a live orchestra to perform. However, I must admit that Raaja’s usage of Pad rhythms in songs like “Kalaganae” certainly spoils mood of the song for me.

Even if someone is fine with Raaja’s Synth there is this tendency of comparing the new song and old classic and worrying why the new song is not as great as the classic. “Eluthundru” took me back to the magnificent “Ulagamae Nee” from Ivan, but I am not comparing or complaining here. Both “Eluthundru” and “Ulagamae Nee” are on loop in my playlist since yesterday.

12 comments:

Suresh S said...

Yup. Not many want such songs nowadays. It is the 'India Shining' syndrome I guess.

And yes again. It is the 'ulagame' song which comes to your mind immediately becoz both of them try to achieve the revolutionary effect using the synth. I have been listening to both 'Eluthundru' and 'Ramarajyam' for the last few days. Will post my views on these songs soon.

Aakarsh said...

I somehow can connect more with Ulagame song more than Eluthundru or Rama Rajyam! Nothing to do with lyrics or India Shining, just that my ears/mind are more affable to Ulagame. :-)

But looking forward to your review of the whole album!

Ganapathy Ram said...

Hi just heard the song after reading ur post. I liked the song as well . And I haven't heard that IVAN song yet will hear it. Generally i love these kinda Revolutionary songs

I love another one of Raja , where he had used Real Orchestra which is my most favorite in these types of song

the Song is MANITHA MANITHA from Kan sivanthal man sivakum

Aakarsh said...

I wanted to mention Manidha Manidha as well,because it is just a phenomenal composition. But then, the context has become different now. That was Ilaiyaraaja with Live Orchestra and in this song, it is more of synth.Manidha Manidha is, any day, notches above Eluthundru song,for me atleast.

Suresh Kumar said...

Suresh S - Oh, Yes. Everything I wrote for "Eluthundru" holds true for "Ramarajyam" too.

Looking forward to read your post on these two songs.

Suresh Kumar said...

Aakarsh - I can understand why you are feeling so. The melody in "Eluthundru" is very raw with sharp turn of phrases, but "Ulagamae" has a very fluid melody that seamlessly flows.

And "Manitha Manitha". Synth arrangements cannot give an impact as strong as live orchestra in such songs. There is nothing we can do, if Raaja chooses to go for synth. Even "Ulagamae" has grand choir and live strings in it and so the impact.

I don't know why Raaja prefers Synth now. That sound of 80s, the live orchestration is very much possible even now. I heard it live, in Music Academy, when Raaja's orchestra played 80s classics live.

Suresh Kumar said...

Ganapathy Ram - Manitha Manitha is a mini Western classical symphony.

Ganapathy Ram said...

Yeah of course. I think that shouls be in the list u made in ur post Ilayaraja with CBSO

Suresh Kumar said...

Ganapathy Ram - Yes. I hope someday, a Ilaiyaraaja concert with a real symphony orchestra happens.

Ganapathy Ram said...

I'm hoping for that as well

Shankar Thanushkodi said...

I had the same feeling, it took me back to the days of watching those S.A.Chandrasekar moves from back in 80s. movies like "sivappu manidhan" and telugu dubbing movies like "poo ondru puyalagirathu". Can not say I enjoyed it, can't relate to it.

Anonymous said...

i can say that in this elunthundru and ramarajyam songs we are a hearing a completely techno-synth illayaraja.i think this is for the modern youth who listen to nothing other than the same regurgiated loops and those who have trouble relating to rany other emotion other than love and drugs..itz like waking them up with a hammer but still the rhythm appeals to them(listen to the foot tapping rhythm in the beginning and from evaadainna)..illayaraja is not only a god but also very flexible like satan(lucifer..thats why lucifer takes the form of snake)..the new illayaraja scares the shit outta me...but i still love this demonized illayaraja