Thursday, November 27, 2008


It was gripping to see pictures of hotels, streets, railway stations in a state of mayhem. Terrorists have intruded very comfortably these days. It's clear. Anyone of us is a potential terror target in our country these days. It stuns me when I think about the mind setup of the terrorists who decide to bomb people whom they don't even know and who are not even remotely related to the supposed cause they are fighting for. What do they really want? Nobody can tell. But they, for sure are creating big inroads in the society.

Entering railway stations armed with Ak-47 and shooting people as they like is a very sorry state of affairs in the country. Innocent people, people who had no idea what would befall upon them the next minute are getting horrendously inflicted with pain and death.

I am speechless literally. This year has been on top of the disaster chart in terms of terror attacks and all big talk from the government after each and every attack is highly unconvincing. It's is not possible to exterminate terror attacks at all places. But some action from the government is necessary.

In the end, all the lost lives hurt.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A thousand elephants and not a thousand colors

Just in my previous post, I had mentioned that Harris needs to come out of the Karaharapriya, Natabhairavi closet. And I see traces of Charukeshi in the charanam of "Ava Enna..." (Vaaranam AAyiram), Karthik in the vocals. Nice to hear him sing a beautiful song after a pretty decent gap in tamil. The song is kind of a sequel to Minnale's "Venmathiye...", the feel being the same. The interesting thing about the song is that, it is expected to be set for the dappankuthu genre when it opens. But Harris rarely gives you an outright dappankuthu. There is always a feel of a class in his songs, purely because of his chord exploits.

Since the Minnale and Majnu days, Harris has proved to be an outright melodist. At present, I think he is the king of melodies in tamil movies. Even otherwise, Harris doesnt experiment much with the range of his songs. The experimentation that he does is primarily on ways to innovate his own numbers!

As expected, all songs are good in VA. My favorites are Ava enna, Anal Mele, Adiye Kolluthey. The rest remind you of a Oru Maalai, Mudhal naal Indru- his earlier hit compositions. Anal Mele is no different from Munbe Va, Vassegara or Enadhuyire. It's Natabhairavi alright! But I primarily like the song since I happened to hear and see it the first time while watching the movie. You can call this song as one of the most fitting and relevant numbers to the feel of the movie. So even though the tune is a rehash, Sudha along with the picturisation of the song have had a good influence on me. A kind of song that you would want to listen to reclining on a cushion sofa with your headphones on a late night sojourn.

And on a subject totally unrelated, I coined this saying today morning - felt good about it.

"For today's middle class, luxury is a mundane affair and the ordinary is an elusive retreat"

Monday, November 3, 2008

Harris! Please leave Karaharapriya alone

Mr. Harris Jayaraj! This is a sincere request from me to leave Karaharapriya and her cousin Natabhairavi alone for sometime. You have other zillions of swaram combinations to explore. Agreed that you have given us wonderful melodies using these 2 ragams. But it's time to move on sir. Its been too much of late. And you are trying to make the same note sound different each time using different rhythm patterns and some interesting interludes. But, yeah, after a point, it has become so repetitive that I might lose interest. You are capable of giving us great songs. So, next time let us not hear the same set of swarams set to different beats. My petition is that since you are the sole melody king in the tamil film world now, please provide some quality music to live up to your name.

Some suggestions:
- The Bombay Jayashree-adi thondai-natabhairavi genre could be put to rest for sometime
- Explore swara patterns other than SR2PM1R2S, R2PM1G2R2S, M1PN2PM1R2S (surfeited karaharapriya and janyas)
- Try something in a Prathi Madhyama ragam. I think, the only prathi madhyamam that I have heard is your "Mudhar Kanave", that too only as a baashanga in Natabhairavi, your favorite.
- Retain the melodious interludes but again, in different ragams.
- Compose something in Sindhu Bhairavi, Mayamalavagowla, keeravaani, charukeshi. Expand your repertoire.
- How come you have not composed anything in Hindolam, Mohanam or a Kalyani(atleast to my recollection). These are music director's all time favorites. I want to hear your techno blend with ragams like these.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

rock on - again

I am coming back to the wonderfully crafted album by SEL - Rock on!

The songs in the album religiously maintain the construction of any typical rock song - i.e. the song has only a pallavi, which is repeated over and over again with distinct lyrics ofcourse, the tune being the same. Typically, there are no charanams. The pallavis are separated by guitar, keyboard interludes. The song gets its variation purely because of the variety in the orchestration employed.

This is something new that we haven't seen in Indian film songs. Infact,here, all songs fit the above description. Having said that, is there variety that is in offer?
Yeah. Sure.

'Socha Hai' is a wonderfully paced, would-make-you-dance song. I especially like the song's lyrics and the way Farhaan has sung it. He seems to ease through the song with a natural flair. Also, I feel this song is more peppier than 'Rock on', the title song. The two probably could have interchanged their places.

'Rock on', again by Farhaan is pretty good throughout. But a defnite zing is missing here when compared with Socha Hai.

'Ye Tumhari Meri', sung by Dominique Cerejo is easily the pick among the slow songs. The whole song has the chord Ri-Pa-Ma-Ri-Sa-Ri-Ma-Pa(all major notes) consistently flowing through. Again, the keyboard, guitar's prowess come to the fore. Accompanied by a wonderful voice, this song has already made me addictive.

'Pichle Saath Dinon' is easily bolstered by the electric guitar and Farhaan. The song's, 'Kaise Boloon...' phrase is very catchy, departing from the rock feel of the overall song.

'Tum Ho Toh', is good for its interludes(esp. the ones with the organ), not so much for the voice as Farhaan lack of proper training shows. Nevertheless, yet another good song.

The freshness in this album is probably comparable to DCH, RDB. No wonder they were chartbusters. Music of a movie reflects the thought process of the director and his penchant for the kind of songs he wants to have. The best of songs seem to come inextricably from the best of the movies. No wonder then, the director has a major role to play in the selection of songs that a music composer offers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rock on!! - The album does

Hindi film music has probably not, until now, been accustomed to this genre. The genre is rock and if you thought it was a misfit in our cinemas, this album might make you rethink. No music director has dared to explore this variety of music to my recollection. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Farhaan have given us some magical music in their previous unions. Farhaan was a director then. Here he is the prime propagator of the trio's music being the lead singer of the rock band. I always feel the best director would bring out the best of a good music director. Farhaan and SEL are no doubt one of the best combos that we have seen.

Its not the screaming, stentorian vocals or the blazing guitars of the rock rich western world that you hear in this album. This is the "desi" version of the Rock Music, with a feel fresh flavour to it. The album comes alive purely because of the instrumental arrangements, a novel orchestration compared to the mundane music that are dished out often in our films. Now, you can't classify an album as pure Rock if it has a couple of really good melodious numbers with minimal screeching and drums.
The album is fresh with Farhaan as a fresh singer and a host of other new names . All of them prove to an extent that they are novices and yet their singing shows experience. Except 'Zehreley', there is nothing "rocky" about any the numbers. Farhan has sung most of them. With a voice resembling Lucky Ali a touch, he actually eases through the fast paced numbers. He needs to work more on the slow numbers though.

On hearing the songs, I was transported to my college days where we used to have cultural festivals with independent rock bands performing on stage. Many used to display loads of attitude, the lack of commensurate content only too obvious. If this band had turned up then, I am sure they would have won the competition hands down.

I didn't end up disappointed the first time I heard the album because I already knew what to expect from a movie which has rock music as its soul. Any music album isn't first time impressive these days and the same applies here. This album has grown on me over the past week after repeated hearings. I can't seem to not hum the songs.

The irony is that the film is about an incipient band though the music is a far cry from being amateurish. After a couple of recent albums from Harris Jayaraj disppointing me, this one has managed to persist and from the looks of it, atleast for a few weeks from now, it will.

Rock on!!

Monday, August 11, 2008


And happens!

The elusive 'GOLD' is here finally. Though I am not a big fan of the Olympics nor am I following it, this very piece of news has got me highly excited. It remains to be seen though how this will CHANGE the face of the Indian indifferent attitude to sports in general except ofcourse cricket. Will this encourage people to take up sports as a career? Will the various state governments and the Centre care enough to promote sport as a profession?

Questions remain...Nevertheless, Abhinav Bindra has made us proud today!