Archive for July, 2008

Sathyam- An eclectic musical treat!

Album name: Sathyam

Release date: 20.07.08

Music Director: Harris Jeyaraj

Number of Tracks: 5
Male harmony:
Hariharan, Premji, Naveen, Benny Dayal,
Female harmony:
Bombay Jeyashree, Sadhana Sargam, Mahathi, Sunitha Sarathy

After Dhaam Dhoom, Harris is back with his five classy decent songs for Sathyam. Being accused for repeated usage of beats in Bheema, harris has tried to evolve himself out of his old styles and come up with music anew.

1. Ivan udaiyum (Aaradi Kaathe)***
Singer: HariHaran
A hero worship song as well as an introduction number for another police officer. This song comes in the tradition of ‘Karka Karka’ from ‘vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu’ and ‘Oru mugamo’ from ‘Bheema’. At the beginning of this number we don’t hear many instruments save the rhythm beat. But when once the song crosses its crisis, many instruments join hands. particularly the traditional Kerala instruments and drum rolls in the second half add more spice. Hariharan establishes the supremacy of the hero very casually with his
melodic voice, Amazing! But the tune appears cliched and makes us feel, ‘after all another hero worship song’. The lyricist has tried his level best to do what the director has asked him to. Totally, this song gives us a ‘Trance effect’. May produce great results while being watched in the theatres. A wonderful song for rough and tough visualisation.

2. Ada gada****
Singer: Premji Amaran
A peppy rap song with a comic touch. The song opens with a mind blowing ‘shababarababambam’ which becomes a refrain of this song. This song is full of special effects(The echoing effects, distorted old sounds) and haunted by western instruments. May become the favourite number of youth and kids. Premji’s voice is so much in line with the music that it sounds like another instrument! Howsoever at the simplest level, the song has a very good melody, which reminds us Ilayaraja’s 80s. At times this song gives us the feel of Pudhu pudhu from Dhaam Dhoom and adhiradikkaran from Sivaji. The lyrics which are fabulously written in ‘Tanglish’ are funny and interesting!(Nee pazhaiya kaalathu lu(oo)na!). At the end of the story, a jolly good song, which we may listen to in repeat mode!

3. Chellame****
Singers: Bombay Jeyashree, Balram, Sunitha Sarathi
A Harris hallmark, in the traits of vaseegara from minnale, Unakkul Naane from PKMC and Saghiye from Dhaam Dhoom. Erotic as usual. Bombay jeyashree’s voice is a sweet poison which puts us in a heavenly trance. Once again the tune is a bit old and may not be cherished by a particular sect of
music connoisseurs( It reminds us ‘Idhu kaadhal kaadhal’ song). Among the instruments Violin and drums dominate. We could hear Harris’s musical talents unrolling with his perfect choice of instruments(Drums, violin, piano, flute and what not in this song?!) The strange chant which comes in the middle and ends with ‘vetkam vetkam’ ‘Nitham Nitham’ is excellent. This is a perfect song with romantic lyrics suitable for listening on a rainy day’s night after turning our lights off!

4. En anbe****
Singers: Sadhana Sargam, Benny Dayal
A heroine solo song. Takes a soft middle stand between Indian classical music and western music. A soft number with a ‘Iyengaaru veettu’ touch(but the tune is completely different). Similar to Chellame the Instrumental accompaniment is out of the ordinary. Sadhana Sargam sings our brains out! The chorus does a great job too. The sarod-tabla interlude of this song is notable. The lines and the music go hand in hand with each other. The unrecognised voices heard in the later half of the song takes us to a mystic wonderland. The tune of this pianissimotic number reminds us a few old songs. But not a bad song at all. Romance and romance all over again!

5. Paal Pappali***
Singers: Naveen Madhav, Mahathi
A kuthu song for the commercial fans. This song introduces itself with the indomitable ‘saavu melam’, but definitely not of the dirty ‘Srikanth Deva’ genre. The essence of this song is similar to jaari singaari from Thotti Jeya. There are a lot of speaking silences (or pauses) in this song which make it
different. This is a folkish ghaana song like ‘suppamma’ from ‘Rojakootam’. Heretoo we find violin pieces strewn here and there which increase the quality of this ordinary song. Both the singers add life to the native lyrics which takes us to a village-fest. “Style, class and elegance” seem to be the livewire of this album.


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Sakkarakatti- Electrifying youth vibrancy!

Album name : Sakkarakatti
Release date : 11.7.08
Music Director : ARRahman
Number of Tracks : 6

Male harmony

Benny Dayal, Blaaze, ,Javed Ali, A R Rahman, Henry, Krish and Naresh Iyer

Female harmony

Chinmayi, Madhushree, Viviane Chaix and Indai Haza

The long awaited soundtrack of the movie Sakkarakatti has hit the stores yesterday. Rahman has scored half a dozen bright and colorful songs for this ‘Shanthanu’ starrer.

1. Taxi Taxi*****
Singers: Benny Dayal, Blaaze, Viviane Chaix and Javed Ali
Lyrics: Blaaze, Na Muthukumar, Viviane Chaix
Basically a friendship song like Mustafa, full of Blaaze’s Rap interludes, Vivian’s ooh laas and french chants. The rhythm of this song is pretty ordinary but the vocals and other additions take it to the next level. This song gives us the feel of a ‘Bollywood’ number. Lyrics bringout this ‘ipod’ age’s friends and their relationships with a bit of slapstick humour. Pals dont miss this!

2. Marudhani****
Singers: Madhushree, A R Rahman, Henry
Lyrics  : Vaali
Probably a heroine solo melody, with soft beats and chorus. Pleasant interludes and Rahman’s hummings complete this soft but quick number. This is the only song which contains ARR’s voice in this album. Dynamic Vaali’s lyrics are spoiled by Madhushree’s poor Tamil accent. So a kind request to Madhushree:’Please find a good tamil teacher before commiting your next Tamil song’.

3. I Miss You Da*****

Singers: Chinmayi, Indai Haza
Lyrics  : Na Muthukumar
Another solo female song in which ARR has experimented with converting different ordinary sounds into one sweet melody. Appears to be a fusion of pop music and dubstep genre. Chinmayi’s versatile voice realises ARR’s dream. Also the song progresses with ‘Adhiradikkaran’ kind of beats now and then. The chorus and beats are avant-garde. May demand a lot of listening before you love it. Muthukumar’s lyrics are very ordinary and fails to impress. The feel produced by this song is similar to the effect produced by ‘Maja Maja'(SOK) and ‘Kettena'(Desam). A song for the world!

Singers: Benny Dayal, Chinmayi
Lyrics  : Pa Vijay
A Tamil version of the song ‘Chinnamma Chilakkamma’ from Rahman’s soundtrack for the Hindi movie Meenaxi(2004). Though a repetitive seranade from ARR, not disappointing. Benny sings very similar to Sukhwinder, the singer of the original Chinnamma. But Benny beats Sukhwinder with his proper Tamil pronounciation. We could hear Sukhwinder’s humming at the end point of this song!. Benny’s adaptable voice eeks out his best at the high pitch areas. Chinmayi in this song sounds very different from ‘I miss you da’. Both the singers have given their maximum effort in this song. Pa Vijay’s lyrics have perfectly fit this Andhra folk song. The song begins like an old Telugu song played in an old philips radio. Fantastic! One of ARR’s best folk numbers. The Andhra feel reminds us ‘Errani Kurrani'(Kadhalan) song. With the usage of folk instruments and a few western equipment Rahman has challenged the kuthu song world!


Singers: Krish ,Naresh Iyer
Lyrics  : Na Muthukumar
Seems to be the ‘soul’ song of this movie. Full of guitar sounds, violin pieces and quick beats. Though the music is of the Rock genre, the lyrics and violin gives us ‘at home’ feeling. A positive and pleasant song which bridges east and west. Though a number of instruments are used, nothing goes haywire. Wonderful orchestration and coordination by ARR. In this song Muthukumar gains what he lost in ‘I Miss you da’ song. The song ends by providing us a jazz feel. Krish and Naresh sing exactly with the feel of south Indian boys. At times this song reminds us ‘Roobaaroo'(Rang De Basanti). But the utilisation of other instruments makes this song different.

6.Naan Epodhu****
Singers: Reena Bharadwaj
Lyrics  : Pa Vijay
Another reiteration from Meenaxi. The Same singer is called back. A wonderful North Indian style song, with a lovely tune and guitar interludes. Beautiful addition of effects at right times. Right choice of voice. Totally an awesome song. But, this awesome song is stained by the awkward pronounciation(Pen or pin??!!) of the singer. This is the third female solo song of this album and the shortest one. Pa Vijay’s romantic lyrics along with excellent instrumentation doesn’t fail to create the intended swooning effect. A sweet song!


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The shining- On the ‘axe’s’ edge!

Stanley Kubrick demonstrates how horror and terror can be carved on a screen, in his 1980 film The Shining. Based on a novel of the same name by Stephen King ‘The Shining’ proves to be a horror Avant-garde. At the same time it vividly states that blood and gore which are normally used by Horror
movie makers are not at all necessary to produce the ‘Horror’ effect but a plot which pounces on the psyche of the audience. An easy-peasy story, unique characterisation and an off-beat screenplay enable the director to execute a flawless horror program. With a few changes from the original novel, The Shining shines its way to set the cash registers ringing at the box office.

The plot is revealed when Jack Torrance {Jack Nicholson} takes up the job of care taking ‘The Overlook’ hotel which hibernates during the winter and moves to the hotel which is located on an isolated place in Colorado with his wife Wendy{Shelley Duvall} and son Danny{Danny Lloyd}. Jack’s employer tells him that in the winter of 1970, Charles Grady the previous care-taker who stayed in the hotel with his wife and two daughters,

“…ran amok and eh… killed his family with an axe, stacked them neatly in one of the rooms in the West Wing, and then heum… then he put eh both barrels of his shotgun in his mouth.”

But Jack is unperturbed by these words and he replies him that 5 months of peace is what he wants to write a novel. So it goes. The trio takes up the solitude. During the first month the hotel stays as a picture-perfect holiday spot and the family live like a ‘happily ever after family’ in a fairy land. After
a month things start to metamorphasise quickly and the beautiful place turns out to be a butcher’s bungalow when Jack meets new friends in the isolated hotel. The same fate of that of the previous are-taker comes his way. To know what jack thinks and feels, just ‘Shine’!

The ambiguity. The ambiguity of reasons lay the foundation for the enormous fear producing capabilities of this movie. The movie can be interpreted in numerous ways. From Jack’s point of view, a ghost story. From Wendy’s point of view, an expressionistic film. From Danny’s perspective, a
phenomena that cant be explained, may be a hallucination. So the movie reacts on the mind of the audience and refuses them a comfortable seat. Similarly the positioning of the camera itself spells out the word ‘fear’ in this movie. Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd breath life into the characters aptly. But Jack Nicholson dramatic acting and Danny Lloyd’s ‘twin’ performance come on par with each other. The grandeur of the sets and choice of the colors add more terror to this film. The greatness of the movie lies mostly in parts which cant be discussed, because of their ‘suspense’ content. Commendations to the Director and screenwriters{Diane Johnson and Stanley Kubrick}!

The ambiguity. The ambiguity which becomes the biggest forte of the becomes its biggest folly as well. Certain important factor’s such as Jack’s alcoholism and Danny’s ‘Shining’ instinct could have been explained better. In a ‘Poesque’ world a character’s background should be revealed if its a character of the human world while the character’s mind and background should be concealed if he is from the blood mongering animal realm. The movie is stuck inbetween. This may be the reason for Stephen King to say that this movie is not a good adaptation of his novel. But these factors intrude only when we think critically. Otherwise, ‘The Shining’, shines well.

As said earlier, John Alcott’s camera makes the scenes more terrific, especially in the long shots and Helicopter shots. Ray Lovejoy’s editing, which successfully sustains the up tightness is an inevitable aspect of this movie which brings the audience to the edge of their seats. Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind’s music which is used well along with the blowing of the cold winds in Colorado goes in rhythm with the pulse of the audience. So on the whole, this horror film says, ‘They guide me in the dark, reminding my responsibilities. But dark is light and responsibility is REDRUM in their book!’


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