Tag Archives: vidyasagar

Madhu Balakrishnan: One of my current favourites!

27 Jan

I am sure you must have heard about Madhu Balakrishnan, who I feel is one of the best among the current singers. Madhu is the brother-in-law of Indian pace ace Sreesanth. Madhu nowadays is a frequent singer in almost all the South Indian languages, though he is from Kerala. He has some wonderful songs in Malayalam & Tamil. Most of his Tamil songs have been under Ilaiyaraja & Vidyasagar who have wonderfully tapped his potential of singing melodies/semi-classical songs. Madhu has a stunning base and is excellent at giving appropriate sangathis/variations to a song. Here are some of my favourite Madhu Balakrishnan songs, don’t miss these 🙂 I have written some of these songs in my earlier post on Vidyasagar! Pardon my repetition here!

  1. Edhilum Ingu-Bharathi-Ilaiyaraja-a brilliant song in rare Rasikaranjini raaga.
  2. Kandaen Kandaen-Madhurey-Vidyasagar-a dulcet duet with Sadhna Sargam.
  3. Ding Dong-Ji-Vidyasagar-the same musical team as above and the same magic!
  4. Kanaa Kandaenadi-Parthiban Kanavu-Vidyasagar-a masterpiece in Anandabhairavi raaga.
  5. Pirayae Pirayae-Pithamagan-Ilaiyaraja-haunting song, haunting music, superb lyrics!
  6. Guruvayur Unnikannan-Aanachandham-Jaison J Nair-a wonderful tune in Vasantha raaga.
  7. Pesa Madandhaiye-Mozhi-Vidyasagar-a gem of a song!
  8. Vasantha Nilaavin-Sooryan-Ilaiyaraja-What a song in Sriranjini raaga, only Madhu could have sung this! The modulations he gives in the first charanam is just amazing!
  9. Vizhiyum Vizhiyum-Chathurangam-Vidyasagar-A duet with Harini, splendid song.
  10. Ippavae Ippavae-Raman Thediya Seethai-the Vidyasagar/Madhu combo rarely disappoints.
  11. Raaverayay Poove-Rock n Roll-Vidyasagar-nice song.
  12. Chentharmizhi-Perummazhakalam-M.Jayachandran-A must-listen duet with Chitra set in the soothing Neelambari raaga.
  13. Konja Neram-Chandramukhi-Vidyasagar-A duet with Asha Bhosle set in Bageshri raaga.
  14. Yen Swaasathil-Jerry-Ramesh Vinayakam-An unnoticed brilliant song, a duet with Kalyani. Ramesh Vinayakam (the unsung talent) shows his class here!
  15. Pichaipaathiram-Naan Kadavul-Ilaiyaraja-another great song in the “Pirayae Pirayae” league. I am hooked to this now!

Vidyasagar—Versatility is his forte

23 Dec

To compose in a music industry where you have stalwarts like M.S.Vishwanathan, Ilaiyaraja and A.R.Rahman is not an easy job. You have a great legacy to maintain! Vidyasagar is one such music director, whom I would like to write about today. What I like about him is that he has the ability to make even fast songs sound melodious. His melodies are one of the best I have heard as they have intricate tunes backed by soothing orchestration. His music has many qualities of his predecessors- great tunes, multilayered charanam, amazing orchestration, bass guitar usage, use of a variety of raagas, great background scores (an often ignored yardstick to measure talent) etc. The fact that he is compared to these stalwarts in it itself shows he has great talent. Moreover apart from Tamil, Vidyasagar has composed many great tunes even in Malayalam & Telugu (his mother tongue). I personally feel Vidyasagar has not been given his due at all. Many a time, his soundtracks have been dismissed as below par even when there were one or two fantastic tunes in them. Like most other music composers, Vidyasagar too has his share of terrible tunes but they are much less as compared to Srikanth Deva, Imaan, Deva, S.A.Rajkumar, Sirpy etc.

Many of his melodies are as good as the ones we have ever heard. A true test for any music director are the classical tunes (both Indian & Western styles) and even here Vidyasagar has shown his class. If he has got a good script, Vidyasagar has done great justice to it. Here is a list of my favourite Vidyasagar songs in Tamil. I will write another post on his Malayalam melodies soon.


  1. Malare Mounama (Karna)—One of the best songs you will ever hear in Darbari raaga.
  2. Nee Katru (Nilave Vaa)
  3. Yaar Yaar Shivam/Poovaasam/Mouname (Anbe Shivam)—A wonderful movie with wonderful music.
  4. Poi Solla Koodathu (Run)—Superb orchestration and great singing by Hariharan.
  5. Thavamindri (Anbu)—One of my favourite songs of Vidyasagar, this is in Gowrimanohari raaga.
  6. Azhagooril/Neeya Pesiyathu (Thirumalai)
  7. Un Samaiyal Araiyil (Dhill)—What a song!
  8. Orey Manam (Villan)—A fantastic tune.
  9. Gilli songs—Loved almost all the songs. This is intelligent music making, fast songs but with high repeat value, they make you tap your feet!
  10. Ding Dong (Ji)—A superb song in a rarely heard Rasikapriya raaga.
  11. Kandaen Kandaen (Madurey)—Splendid tune in Brindavanasaranga raaga. Stunning mandolin interludes!
  12. Konja Neram/Raa Raa (Chandramukhi)—The former is a great song in Baageshri raaga and the latter was a great classical composition though ONLY the first line was taken from a Kannada song.
  13. Kaalai Arumbi (Kana Kandaen)—What a song!
  14. Vennilaa (Ponniyin Selvan)
  15. Iruvar Vaazhum/Athiathikka (Aadhi)—The former is an amazing tune which was never was noticed.
  16. Kana Kandaenadi/Aalankuyil (Parthipan Kanavu)—The former is a beauty in Anandabhairavi raaga with amazing sax and bass guitar interludes!
  17. Chithiraiyil Yenna/Atrai Thingal (Sivapathigaaram)—The former is a great folk tune and the latter an amazing melody.
  18. Mozhi songs—Should I say something here? I even loved the bit songs which were pure melodies.
  19. Pirivom Sandippom songs—I loved ALL the songs, each melody is amazing with high repeat value.
  20. Vizhiyum Vizhiyum/Engaey (Chathurangam)—Unfortunately, this movie is not yet released. Vizhiyum is a masterpiece.
  21. Naan Varaindhu/Adai Mazhaikaalam (Jeyam Kondaan)
  22. Ippavae/Mazhai Nindra/Vaanathai (Raman Thediya Seethai)—Fantastic songs!
  23. Pallanadhu/Thaen Thaen (Kuruvi)—I loved Pallanadhu especially, it makes me dance!
  24. Vaa Vaa (Abiyum Naanum)—What a beautiful charanam!
  25. En Uyirukkul (Mahesh Saranya Matrum Palar)—A duet song in a supposedly sober Sindhubhairavi raaga!

Evolution of Tamil Music-Part 2

10 Jan
I am blogging again after a month owing to continuous travel. But its great to be back. Here I would like to speak about more music directors who have created memorable melodies in Tamil music.
1. A.R.Rahman-He is the obvious choice after the legendary Ilaiyaraja. Rahman burst into the Tamil music scene in 1992, composing for “Roja.” Man what an explosive debut it was!! He took the nation by storm. Until then, we had not heard such a sound that Rahman created for Roja. After that till today, Rahman has clearly shown that he is another maestro. When people compare Rahman & Ilaiyaraja, I just say Raja is like Bradman and Rahman is like Sachin. Both have their unique class. Besides being a fan of Raja, I am a fan of Rahman too. Some say that Rahman has lost his touch but I beg to disagree. He is much better than some 2nd rung composers who keep composing fast songs all the time, delivering nothing but trash. Rahman has created so many magical melodies that, we need another blog to discuss them. Besides his music, what I admire about him is his remarkable humility. If you go to www.rahmantimes.com, you can read his life story, which is so poignant and touching. He has faced so many difficulties to become what he is today. He definitely deserves this and more. I just pray that he keeps giving us great music all throughout his career.
2. Vidyasagar-I feel he is one of the most low-profile and underrated composers of today. His music is a wonderful combination of the orchestration of Ilaiyaraja and the techno-melody of Rahman. Vidyasagar has given amazing music not only in Tamil but also in Malayalam and Telugu. What I like about him is that his fast songs too are quite catchy and melodious unlike theother noisy ones. His melody songs are a class apart. I saw an interview of Vidyasagar in Asianet during Onam and was impressed with his simplicity. Many of his melodies are classical and they still appeal to the common man. Like Ilaiyaraja, he has also taken classical music to the masses. His Malayalam melodies are quite different from the Tamil ones and they show the other side of this great composer. He has the unique skill of having Carnatic keerthanas with wonderful orchestration in many of his movies. I still wait for every music release of Vidyasagar, as I feel he is another genius.