31: Song of the Day: Naram Pookal

31 Jan

Song: Naram Pookal

Composer: Ranjit Barot


Singers: Hariharan, Nandini Srikar

Movie: Urchagam

Ranjit Barot is a famous drummer and works with fusion musicians and has also arranged music for some composers in Bollywood. He has composed in Bollywood and only for 2 movies in Tamil, one being this one and other being VIP. He is a niche composer and has given some good songs in all languages. This song is a beautiful song , it begins with a Hindustani-styled alaap and Shehnai which is played very differently and sounds grand (usually Shehnai pieces sound sad with exceptions like Humma from Bombay). The overall tune structure is really good and in the paragraphs the singers kind of extend the lines at the end which gives a different feel. The background percussion in the song is again very good and it’s played off-beat, its expected that the percssuion will be special in the song as Ranjit is a drummer. Overall, this is a song worth hearing many times for the fabulous tune and some great singing by Hariharan & Nandini.


30: Song of the Day: Ikkudhae

11 Jan

Song: Ikkudhae

Composer: Joshua Sridhar

Lyrics: R.Parthiban

Singers: Hariharan, Shreya Ghoshal

Joshua Sridhar belongs to the underrated composer club. I am not saying he is a legend but he has enough talent to warrant more chances. His style of orchestration is like the ARR of yore and he has refined it well over the years. He composes for 1-2 films a year and manages to give at least one excellent melody song. This is one of those songs from a movie which vanished faster than it arrived. It is based on the Kedharam/Neelambari scale, so it is brimming with melody and Joshua manages to create a fantastic song with some excellent orchestration, an all-round song worthy of repeat even after many years. Just like his other melody songs, the flute usage here is outstanding (Naveen I guess) and he uses a strings section and Veena too. Finally, the singing by Hariharan and Shreya exceeds expectations, I just love the way Hariharan joins the song in the first paragraph, it’s like a hero introduction! Listen to this and be in bliss…..

29: Song of the Day: Thavamindri Kidaitha

4 Jan

Song: Thavamindri Kidaitha

Composer: Vidyasagar

Lyrics: Thaamarai

Singer: Hariharan, Sadhna Sargam

The raga Dharmavathi is a poignant one which gives the flavour of pangs of separation and longing and it has been used by many composers to good effect. Vidyasagar has composed a wonderful song in this raga and strangely there are 2 version of this song, the only difference being the longer version has a longer prelude of a wonderful solo violin piece in the same raga (link below). Another highlight of the song is the first Veena interlude (could be Rajhesh Vaidya) which just gives a beautiful crash course on the raga. The second interlude has a silent flute piece followed by a keyboard strings piece. This is an easy song for the two veteran singers and they are as good as ever. Another feather in the cap of “Melody King” Vidyasagar.


Songs in the Competition Genre

3 Jan

It’s quite challenging for directors to come up with creative situations for their songs. It’s even more challenging when you have to explain situations to super-talented composers like Raja, because only when you challenge them will you get something special! The “Competition genre” is basically a situation where the actors in the song compete and are trying go one up on each other. This gives scope for innovation in the music and it also makes the lyricists work harder. Let’s look at some songs in these situations, this is just an indicative list and by no means exhaustive.

  • Ennama Kannu: This is like a slient conflict between Rajini and Sathyaraj in the movie Mr.Bharath and Raja cooks up a beautiful Sindhubhairavi tune (wonderful innovation indeed) and the lyrics by Kavinger Vaali are brilliant. SPB and Malaysia Vasudevan also up the ante through their spirited singing.
  • Mannar Mannane: A majestic song and oozing gambheeram in every note. The orchestration is amazing with some powerful lyrics. SPB and Janaki seem to be enjoying here and Raja uses a rare raga Kalasaveri here to great effect.
  • Minsara Kanna: ARR comes up with a beautiful song in a melodious and intense raga Vasantha and this is probably one of his best songs. Nithyashree starts the song with all gusto and in the second paragraph Srinivas takes over in a more mellow manner but his singing is excellent. The orchestration and the way it ends on an explosive fashion makes us visualize the whole scene.

28: Song of the Day: Siru Thoduthalile

1 Jan

Song: Siru Thoduthalile

Composer: Dharan

Lyrics: Yugabharathi

Singer: Haricharan, Bombay Jayashree

Dharan is a talented composer and he made a decent debut with Paarijatham and has given some memorable songs. Laadam as a movie was a dud but this song was simply outstanding. It has beautiful guitar and piano riffs and the highlight of the song is the flute by Naveen Iyer. The song also has an instrumental version which is lead by the flute. Another strength for this song is the fabulous singing by Haricharan and Bombay Jayashree, Hari excels in the higher octaves and Jayashri sounds great in her lower octaves which is her forte. I would probably rate this as among the top 5 best songs of Dharan.


27: Song of the Day: Megam Vandhu Pogum

25 Dec

Song: Megam Vandhu Pogum

Composer: Vidyasagar

Lyrics: Arivumadhi

Singer: Anwesha Dutta, Madhu Balakrishnan

Karu Palaniappan (like Cheran) has the trend of having good songs in his movies and this is a movie where he himself played the role of the protagonist. “Melody King” Vidyasagar has scored for some of his other movies and this movie is by far their best in terms of the quality of the output. This song based on Bageshri raga is a cracker of a tune and it is the debut song of the talented singer Anwesha Dutta. Madhu Balakrishnan just sings a very small portion in the middle otherwise it is Anwesha shining all the way. Her rendition is fantastic and she takes the already-fantastic tune to another level. I guess she has not got many chances yet (she sings in live shows) but this might still be her best song. The orchetration is a little techno except for the ocassional violin and a bit of Veena and the good thing is Vidyasagar allows Anwesha’s voice to be displayed in all its glory. This is a must-listen song and if you compile a Vidyasagar melody playlist it is sure to be there!


26: Song of the Day: Aa Ragam

17 Dec

Song: Aa Ragam

Composer: Sharreth

Lyrics: Kaithapram

Singer: K.J.Yesudas

Movie: Kshanakathu

Sharreth is one of the toughest composers for any singers because, many of his compositions will be quite complex. He is a trained Carnatic singer (under late Sri.Balamuralikrishna) and he intelligently fuses his Carnatic knowledge with western styles and other genres. This song is a nice example of a fusion song, based on Hamsadhwani raga. Sharreth uses a strings section, Saxophone, Flute and backing vocals to great effect. The tune is quite complex with a lot of variations and a classically trained Yesudas does complete justice to it. This song is considered one of the best compositions of Sharreth and is very popular.