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Noteworthy Songs of Assorted Composers-I

31 Jul

Apart from the mainstream composers like Ilaiyaraja, ARR, Vidyasagar, there have some fantastic songs from other composers who composed for a fewer number of movies. I will list some songs from these unsung ones as they might not have been noticed owing to the sheer number of albums coming out from the other more-popular composers. Another reason these are not so famous could that the movie might have flopped badly. Read it as Song (s)-Composer-Movie.

  1. Oru Kadhal/Kanne Kanavu: Shankar-Ganesh: Idhaya Thamarai (almost all the songs of this album are good but these two stand out)
  2. Kannukul Nooru/Sandhikka Thudithen: Devendran: Vedham Pudhidhu (the former is a beautiful composition in Shanmukhapriya and the latter is in the Hamsanandi scale)
  3. Kadhal Kavidhai: Devendran: Ganam Courtar Avargale: I found this recently and to my pleasant surprise this is a song in one of the rarely used Bhupalam/Bowli scale, a fantastic composition sung so well by the evergreen SPB-Chitra pair.
  4. Pongiyathey/Idhazhodu: Devendran: Mannukul Vairam: Both these songs are excellent compositions in Hindolam raga and yet they sound pretty refreshing and different. Devendran seems like a good talent, he should have got more opportunities.
  5. Sutti Poove: Dhina: Kai Vandha Kalai: A nice composition in Sree ragam.
  6. Yaaridam: Manu Ramesan: Pidichirukku
  7. Mudhal Murai/Adhu Oru: Premji Amaran: Adhey Neram Adhe Idam: Premji Amaran is another under-rated composer who composes for 1-2 movies a year. These 2 compositions are as good as any!
  8. Ragasiyamanadhu: Sirpy: Kodambakkam: A very soothing composition
  9. Rameshwaram album by Niru: This entire album has very good songs, again the movie vanished soon, so the album was not noticed.
  10. Raga Raga/Kannadi Poopole: Arul Murugan: Anba Azhaga: Arul Murugan made his debut with this movie and he now composes under the pen name Arrol Correli. This debut album was decent and these two songs were very nice with a Hindustani feel.

I think this list a good start and I will get back with another list in this series soon, until then happy listening!

 

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Bose:Grand music by A.R.Rahman

3 May

Bose-The Forgotten Hero was a movie directed by veteran director Shyam Benegal. During that time, Rahman was composing music for most of the period-based movies like Legend of Bhagat Singh, Mangal Pandey etc. Rahman gave a scintillating music score for Bose but sadly the movie did not do as expected and the music too sank along with it! Rahman expressed his disappointment in many interviews conceding that the music was not promoted well by the producers. One of the unique aspects about the music of Bose was that Rahman collaborated with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra of Czechoslovakia and that made the songs an aural treat. The OST of Bose had 7 tracks and 13 instrumental pieces and all of them were good. But the outstanding songs of the movie were these:

  1. Desh Ki Mitti-If you listen to this song, you will fell proud to be an Indian. Such is the tune, the lyrics and the singing by Sonu Nigam. The icing on the cake are the symphonic interludes which transport you to another world.
  2. Ekla Chalo-It is difficult to say whether the former song is better or this one. It has the same characteristics as the previous song and its a double treat by Rahman.
  3. Aazaadi-This is an anthemic song about the freedom struggle and it cannot get better than this. Its sung by Rahman himself.
  4. Instrumental Pieces-Almost all the instrumental pieces showcase the beauty of the symphonic arrangements.

Margazhiyil Kulichi Paaru…..

17 Apr

You must be surprised on seeing the title of this post, this is the first line of a soothing tune composed by another talented-but-ignored composer Bharadwaj. This song comes in the movie Onbathu Roopai Nottu, where almost all the songs were melodious, folk-based rustic numbers. This song sung brilliantly by Sreenivas is the pick of the album. The chorus, the silent orchestration (means not intruding into the song by towering over the voice, which is the case in some songs!) and the mellow tune combine to give a healing experience. Listen to this when your chips are down, you will feel rejenuvated!

Saaz: Unique Music by Ustad Zakir Hussain

19 Mar

Saaz was a film OST which released around 1995.  It had music by multiple composers like Ustad Zakir Hussain, Raj Kamal and Vanraj Bhatia.  Ustad had composed 3 tracks for this movie and all 3 had a stamp of class written all over them. The other tracks were good too but these 3 were outstanding! The tracks composed by Ustad were:

  1. Kya Tumne Hai-Sung by Kavitha Subramaniam-It starts with beautiful hummings, finger sounds (thats Zakir for you!) with tabla bols and taals.  Besides having a merry tune, the song has great rock guitar pieces and use of multiple voice layerings for Kavithaji’s voice.
  2. Raat Dhalne Lagi-Sung by Kavitha Subramaniam-This song is what I call a vintage song because Ustad uses so many Indian sounds/instruments making it a must-listen.  Sarod is rarely heard in film music and this song has awesome Sarod interludes adding to the melody.
  3. Phir Bhor Bhaee-Sung by Devki Pandit-Another very melodious number based on Raag Bageshri characterized by soothing sitar interludes. Again very PURE Indian music.

I wish Ustad had composed for more Hindi movies, though he has composed for a few movies like Mr & Mrs. Iyer. I think Saaz is Ustad’s best film music album. I searched for this album in many music shops for almost 5 years but in vain. Recently, I found it on the net and had no option but to download it.

Seethakalyanam: An Extraordinary Soundtrack

11 Feb

I have started a new category called “Unnoticed Gems” where you can read about masterpiece OST’s (Original Soundtracks) which sank without a trace because they were not promoted well or the movie flopped or was never released. I have started this new category because these OST’s definitely deserved much more appreciation!!!

About 2 years back, a Malayalam OST  of the movie Seethakalyanam was released. It had a splendid music score by Sreenivas, the popular singer. Unfortunately, this OST was not noticed much at all because this movie has not yet been released.  Sreenivas has earlier scored a song in the Tamil movie, Hey! Nee Romba Azhagaairukke. It was again a brilliant song-Ini Naanum Naan Illai-sung by Sreenivas himself  & the bubbly Sujatha! It left me asking for more from Sreenivas.  So, when I saw that he has scored the music for Seethakalyanam I was quite excited as a music fan about hearing something different and the music exceeded my expectations.

Seethakalyanam has 7 tracks and each them are very good. Why I loved the album was that the music was very melodious and yet very lively! The 7 tracks are:

  1. Seetharaamam-A song featuring many singers Sharath, Anuradha Sriram, Madhu Balakrishnan & Karthik-A high -energy song with Sanskrit and Malayalam lyrics extolling the virtues of Lord Rama.
  2. Raagasudha-Sung by Mathangi-A lilting melody with a very soulful rendition by Mathangi, its exasperating to see such a talented singer with a silken voice getting very few chances these days.
  3. Kettille Vishesham-Sung by M.G.Sreekumar & Sujatha-A fast yet catchy song, which is not noisy unlike today’s fast songs. The percussion and backing vocals in this song are awesome.
  4. Dhoore Dhoore-Sung by Dinesh & Sujatha-Another wonderful melody. There are 2 versions of this song-one by the pair and another, a solo version by Sujatha. I liked the solo version more because Sujatha gives her characteristic touches to the song.
  5. Title Song-Sung by Timmy, Karthik & Mathangi-This is more like a theme music with backing vocals of “Seetha Kalyana Vaibhogame” sung nicely by Mathangi.
  6. Chandramadha-Sung by Chitra-This is a lullaby-like melodious song set in Neelambari raaga. As usual, Chitra does complete justice to the song. These kind of songs are tailor-made for her!
  7. Brova Baarama-Sung by Unnikrishnan-This is the Thyagaraja krithi set in a typical concert format with Mridangam. The sanctity of the original krithi is fully maintained and being his own turf, Unnikrishnan sings this very well.

Another unique aspect of the Seethakalyanam OST apart from the wonderful tunes are the backing vocals and fantastic orchestration. The OST has a fresh sound to it and even Sreenivas seemed very satisfied with his effort (as seen from his interviews). Seethakalyanam is an OST of the type which you will  “enjoy listening at night before sleep with the lights off”.

Sreenivas is composing music for another Malayalam movie called “the Ten Commandments”.  I am quite sure that it will be another soundtrack worth waiting for.  Don’t miss Seethakalyanam, you will thank me for recommending this gem of a soundtrack  🙂