Rebirth of a Song

5 Nov

Sometimes composers recreate their own song by adding a different orchestration and in some cases the new version sounds even better than the original. A few such examples are:

Prathidhinam Nee Darsanam (Anumanaspadham): This is a recreation of the Tamil song Mayanginen Solla Thayanginen and was used in the Telugu movie Anumanaspadham by Ilaiyaraja. The newer version sounds better owing to the updated orchestration, another worthy addition being the nice alaap after the first paragraph by Shreya Ghoshal. Unnikrishnan and Shreya do a very good job with the singing.

Saara Yeh Aalam (Shiva): This is the recreation of the famous Tamil song Aanandha Raagam Ketkum Neram from Panneer Pushpangal, sung by Uma Ramanan. The Hindi version becomes a duet song and is sung very well by Roop Kumar Rathod and Shreya Ghoshal. The strings-based orchestration sounds more grand and powerful.


45: Song of the Day: Azhaga Azhaga

9 Oct

Song: Azhaga Azhaga

Composer: Vijay Antony

Singer: Hariharan, Sadhna Sargam

Lyrics: Vairamuthu Ramasamy

Movie: By 2

Brindavanasaranga is a raga which evokes a feeling of happiness and auspiciousness. It is a sister raga of Madhyamavathy but that one note difference is very evident between both the ragas. Vijay Antony has composed this very unique song in this raga and the tune, orchestration and singing are all top notch. The composer uses the strings and flute in ample measure to support the unpredictable tune and comes out a winner.


44: Song of the Day: En Maname

1 Oct

Song: En Maname

Composer: MSV-Ilaiyaraja

Singer: Tippu, Poornima

Lyrics: Ilaiyaraja

Movie: Vishwathulasi

It is very rare in cine music that competing composers get together to compoase music for films but in Tamil music, we have two legends, MSV and Ilaiyaraja who have composed music for over 5 different movies and all of them are fantastic albums. This song is from their last collaboration and it is set in Thilang raga. The orchestration by Raja is little synth-based but when the live instruments like flute and Veena take over in the interludes, it reaches its full potential. The singing by Tippu is fantastic and the depth of his voice add lustre to the tune. This whole album has melodious songs and is worth a listen.

43: Song of the Day: Chantham Thelinju

24 Sep

Song: Chantham Thelinju

Composer: Ouseppachan

Singer: Rahul Nath, Mridula Warrier

Lyrics: PS Rafeeque

Movie: Utopiayile Rajavu

Nalinakanthi is a very beautiful raga with  not too many songs composed in films. We have a couple of songs in Tamil/Malayalam and this song is my favourite in this raga. Ouseppachan, the legendary composer has created a very beautiful song, exploring the different contours of this raga. The singing by Rahul Nath (never heard of him much, he seems to be a Carnatic singer) and Mridula Warrier is fantastic. This is one of the best melodies you will hear for sure!

The Composer Bible Series: An Introduction

23 Aug

I will be starting a new series of posts on the best, handpicked songs of different composers. Some composers have a very large body of work, so we will go 10 songs at a time to build a series and for other smaller composers it might be covered in just a single post. If you want to know which are the best songs of a composer, it will be very useful for you. I am curating this list because in many cases all the songs in a movie/album are not always good, so I will select the best songs from the major composers starting with the Ilaiyaraja era. The obvious list for this would cover ARR, Vidyasagar, Bharadwaj, Yuvan, Deva etc. If you notice some of these composers hardly compose these days but the songs always outlive the composer and so I will also be covering niche composers like Sabesh-Murali, Srinivas (the singer, he is a damn good composer) etc.

Composers as Singers

14 Aug

A big trend now that is seen is that almost every composer is jumping into the singing bandwagon. In most cases composers are never as good as professional singers but they are tolerated owing to their composing talent. Let’s look at some composer singers:

  1. M.S.Viswanathan: He was a decent singer, he had a high pitched voice and a slight nasal twang. He did not sing too many songs unlike other composers.
  2. Ilaiyaraja: He is a great composer but an incredibly overrated singer. He is almost as nasal as Kumar Sanu and has sung so many songs. If they had been sung by a professional singer it would have been so much better! Examples being Undhan Raajiyathil/Kadhal Oviyam/Ye Jagaala Sangamamo…the list goes on & on.
  3. A.R.Rahman: He started singing a few numbers here and there but over time his singing also increased. His voice sounds very laboured and screechy as he sings very high-pitched.
  4. Yuvanshankar Raja: The second worst singer among all…..the worst one is at No 5 below.
  5. Deva: The worst composer singer in Tamil cinema….period.
  6. Anirudh: The best composer singer, relatively speaking, at least he sings in the correct pitch unlike most others.
  7. Ramesh Vinayagam: Almost as good as Anirudh, the good thing is he rarely sings his own compositions knowing his limitations.
  8. Sean Roldan: A pretty good singer with a husky voice, he has sung a lot of songs for many composers.
  9. Imman: He has improved over time but not the best singer.



42: Song of the Day: Uruginen

31 Jul

Song: Uruginen

Composer: Ilaiyaraja

Singer: SPB, Janaki

Lyrics: Vaalee

Movie: Anney Anney

Ilaiyaraja has composed for over 1000 films, which ensures that there are always ” rare Songs” for fans to dig into. One such rare song is Uruginen. It is a fantastic tune which is as good as his well known ones. I am not a huge fan of the voice of S. Janaki but this is one of those songs where she sounds pretty good. SPB is as great as always. The orchestration is vintage Raja with trumpets, the strings section, flute etc. The uniqueness in the song is that it changes form in the second charanam adopting a more hip ,western form. Even the song delivery by both the singers is very different and interesting. I can imagine the fun SPB (Janaki would have had along with the live orchestra. This song is one of the rarest gems of Raja and it deserves to be universally known.