Tag Archives: Malayalam Music

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  🙂

Laptop:Music Review

3 Nov

Laptop is a Malayalam movie which released about 2 months back. The movie sank at the box office but the music of the movie by acclaimed Carnatic vocalist, Sreevalsan Menon, was fantastic! The album had all soft, ghazal-like numbers, which is quite common in Malayalam films. Almost all the numbers are very soothing but there are 2 melodies which were outstanding- Etho Jalashankkil and Maymassame. The first one is a duet sung by Amal Antony/Sonia and the second one is sung by Amal alone. The tunes are so celestial that I am addicted to them and listen to them almost everyday, atleast once. Its pure bliss!
Sreevalsan Menon has already released many carnatic-based albums-the best one that I have heard is Monsoon Anuraaga(compositions in all rain raagaas) which is a brilliant album. I really appreciate Sreevalsan in Laptop because, being a great singer himself, he has not sung all the songs but has given an opportunity to Amal Antony (winner of Gandharva Sangeetham 2006), whose singing is fabulous. I hope and pray that Sreevalsan Menon gets more such chances to compose and Amal gets to sing more. The varnachitram blog has a great detailed review here of Laptop’s music.

Music Review of Guru-Malayalam movie-Ilaiyaraja

20 Feb

In 1997, Maestro Ilaiyaraja composed music for a malayalam film called “Guru.” It had malayalam superstar Mohanlal in the lead role. The music of this movie was simply scintillating to say the least. The unique thing about this movie was that the orchestration was played by the famous Budapest Symphony Orchestra. So most of the songs were recorded in Hungary. This made the music even more magical. It had the following 5 songs:
1. Thatharam-This is my favourite song from this movie. It is sung by M.G.Sreekumar & Chorus. It starts with a beat sound created by a unique instrument and gradually becomes a full-fledged symphony song. the tune and the background music are just what a genius like Ilaiyaraja would compose.
2. Aruna Kirana Deepam-This song is considered to be one of the best songs ever in Indian cinema in terms of it’s mind boggling orchestration. It is sung by Padmashree K.J. Yesudas. Ilaiyaraja has used so many instruments in this song that when you hear them in unison, you will be transported to some other world.
3. Guru Sharanam-This is a classical based chorus song which is very melodious and it grows on you after continuous listening. It is sung by Venugopal & Chorus.
4. Devasangeetham-This song is another masterpiece composed like a symphony. It is sung by Yesudas & Jyotsna.
5. Minnaram Maanathu-This is a very melodious song sung by Sujatha. It has excellent violin pieces.
The best thing about this album is that each song is very different and covers almost all the genres like western classical, classical, light music etc. Though Ilaiyaraja has composed 3 songs in Western classical orchestration, each of them is different and great to hear. Any fan of music should not miss this soundtrack, after all it is composed by Ilaiyaraja.