Sunday, November 20, 2005

Don't you find Rahman's music repititive?

Do you? Well if you do, you're not listening to his music properly. How come you don't find remixes repititive, or stale. How is it that the same old bhangra beats of the Salaam Namastes and the Duses of Bollywood don't bore you out of your mind? Haven't you had enough of that same old pop-bhangra sound? Remixes are by far one of the most boring pieces of music I have encountered in recent times. With the exception of Instant Karma ( who sometimes make the original sound less robust), I don't care too much for remixed music. What I do see are scantily clad women with paw marks (which in itself is not original) on body parts, and butt-squeezing, that lil kids in India are watching even though it should not be allowed. I wonder how the censor board doesn't catch this stuff, but comes down hard on Shekhar Kapur?

Sure, you can tell that it's an ARR number almost right off. That's due to his style. I mean, I can tell it's a Nickelback, or a Nirvana song as soon as I hear the opening notes. Does that mean that they're repititive? Everybody has a certain style. ARR has a very distinctive one, and his music has so much variety. Okay, the reason he himself gave to his sounding 'repititive' was that he'd been doing so many period films off late. Well lets take a look at them period movies. Besides the fact that they were all productions in Hindi following the wildly successful period-pioneer: Lagaan, I don't see anything similar in their music. Also Meenaxi was completely written off. I had to look up the internet to even find out when it was released. I also listened to Chinnamma Chilakkamma because ARR obviously thinks( and I wholeheartedly agree) that the song is good enough to play in his live concerts. Reena Bharadwaj in Yeh Rishta was...I can't think of any other word it, stupendous. The sheer beauty of that song....leaves me 'word'less. I loved the Bicycle Song too.

I digress..I'm really good at that!

The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey (2005) ... aka Mangal Pandey (India: Hindi title)
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005)
Kisna: The Warrior Poet (2005)

I think the above stated movies released in quick succession within the same year, have led to this misconception that ARR is getting stale. To begin with, he only did a couple of songs and three instrumentals in Kisna. Both the songs were beautiful in themselves. The piano-flute duet had me wanting to look up the internet for it's sheet music. The best part, is that I don't have a clue how to read the notes and make any sense of it. But I want to learn how to play that piece. And come hell or high water, I'm going to learn it. Incidently, I saw a really bad quality version of the movie, devoid of any of the songs, and thought that the movie stank up to high heaven. Well, after Company, lets just say Oberoi's ratings slipped after I saw that one. I don't think he did a great job in Saathiya or Yuva. He hasn't got what it takes I guess. Just not a Maddy. Oh wait, not a Maddy in Alaipayuthe. Didn't really like him in anything else since. Siddharth did a much better job than Oberoi did in AE.

Before I go on to extol Ghai's work ( being sarcastic here), Bose's music was wonderful. I didn't see any similarities between any of his songs and any others in Mangal Pandey or Kisna. From his Aazaadi, to all the instrumentals and the Des ki mittis. I thought it was very novel. I' m just waiting for when I make my annual visit back home so I can buy the CD. Even to my partially untrained ears, they seems to stand out. Mangal come on! None of the songs in this movie are even vaguely similar to any of the songs in the aforementioned movies!

I don't know if other people feel the same way, but I've always found that some of ARR's music does not appeal to me the first time I listen to it. Examples? Believe me or not, I didn't like Chaiyya Chaiyya when I first heard it. Thanks to the Ethi van driver, I was addicted to it soon enough. Anbe Aaruyire didn't strike me as great until I listened to it for the 3rd or 4th time and then...I was hooked, and still am. There are plenty more of these.

He's coming to the USA early next year. I'm hoping and praying that he comes down to Houston too. It would be great to listen to him live. I was in Chennai when he had his concert there, but given that it was at night and I wasn't going to get the permission to go, I never even tried. I was of course glued to the telly when they aired it.

There are some other people out there who don't consider him to be as great as others. The title of this blog is 'True Blue Rahmanaic'. It's obvious from the very title that it's going to primarily consist of my feelings about ARR. If I felt that someone else was great, I'd have named it accordingly. Attempting to convince me of someone else being better when he/she has blatently lifted tunes just won't wash with me. You may be a music pundit and I won't accept it. I be that way.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I practically grew up on ARR. Well ,close to it anyways. You have to admit that he was more than just a breathe of fresh air. He revolutionized the whole Tamil film music industry and then went on to do the same with Bollywood. While we're discussing this....why would they call it Bollywood? For that matter why is there a Kollywood or a Tollywood?? That is just so asinine. Be original! It amazes me how they change the names of cities in India because they were anglicized, yet the name of our film industries are an obvious lift off tinsel town aka Hollywood?

Why is it so hard for Indians as a rule to be original? I think I mentioned this in my last post too. This applies most directly to Indian film music. There are plenty of copycat music directors in India. The first person whose name leaps into my mind when I think the word copycat is Anu Malik. Man, that guy lifts tunes like nobody's business. It amazes me that he still has offers to make music for movies. Especially when this is the internet age where information is never hard to find. As I've mentioned before it was only because of Patti that I listened to all of ARR's music and realised the absolute genius that is this man. I've always been a big RD fan. Loved his music. My all time fav was 'Chura Liya'. I did know that he was a bit of a copycat from the 'Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin' where he ripped off ABBA with his 'Mil gaya..' But I figured that he was still pretty awesome. Little did I know that even my fav was a copy. All of his and other music directors' copycat info I found on I was surprised to see that Anu Mallik only had 55 copies. More surprising was that RD wasn't far behind at 37. I mean not all of them were total rip offs, there were a few which were inspired, not outright copies.

The Webmaster of the site, a Mr. Karthik (Thx for enlightening me suh!) has also entered the following text on the main page in case you jump to your fav MD's copy page and wonder what the
TC is next to most of the songs is.

Another key aspect is the difference between getting inspired to create the tune itself and using bass/ beats/ rythm loops from foreign sources. Those songs listed which have their basic tunes inspired would have a prominent TC mark adjacent to them to denote a tune copy. Those without the TC mark signify use of rythm loops, beats/ bass and so on. One cannot judge the intentions of the composer in both cases but yes, when a composer copies a tune, its generally assumed that his imagination is dry! This, notwithstanding the kind of excuses they give - "the producer came to me with the CD and said use this" and so on.

Look up ARR's page. None of his songs have a TC next to any of the songs. He might have been inspired by the original, mostly only the background beats, but his tunes are always original. I remember telling another person who proclaimed that RD was a better MD than ARR and when I pointed out the fact that he(RD) had lifted a total of 37 songs, he(my friend, also part of the Patti ilk) actually told me that they were just 37 right? What's the big deal? I was astounded at this. How can they be so blind?? How can they not see and realise that ARR is one of the very best. Originality and excellence in one person. Talking about originality, I checked out his imdb page. He has some 25 odd projects that he's working on or will be released by the end of 2006. I don't know how original his work would be if he had so many projects going at the very same time. I hope he keeps his mind-blowing original music goin.

There was Ismail Darbar running ARR down, saying he's way more talented than ARR. Believe me, before I read this interview, I had no clue who this guy was. The interview came out on ( Check this one out.

Ai ajnabee [Deewangi (2002)]
Composer: Ismail Darbar
Lifted from Portugese 'Fado' singer, Dulce Pontes' song, 'Cancao do mar'!
Listen to Ai Ajnabee Cancao Do Mar
Two interesting things to note here....'Cancao do mar' was part of the soundtrack of 'Primal fear' from whose plot Deewangi has been inspired. And second, 'cancao do mar' has already been lifted as-is in Tamil, for the movie Kushi, with music by Deva! This is probably Ismail Darbar's first blatant lift...I can almost see Director Anees Bazmee and Producer Nitin Manmohan compelling Ismail to lift this number...but you never know...!Also listen to the Tamil version Oh Vennila [Kushi]

He's come out with music for what.. 7 movies? Very original. Keep it up Darbar. He insists that Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was better than Taal and Devdas was better than Saathiya. HA! His infamous Nimbuda Nimbuda was also a lift. Makes me wanna break out in one of those over exaggerated villain laughs.

Nimbuda Nimbuda [Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)]
Composer: Ismail Darbar
Inspired by Ghazni Khan Manganiyar's Rajasthani Folk song, 'Nimbuda'
Listen to Nimbuda [Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam] Nimbuda [Original]
If you'd like to listen to the full version of the folk song, click here (check out 'Nimbuda Nimbuda'!) Take a look at these 2 (out of many other sites) sites that talk of this song being a lift from a Rajasthani Manganiyar folk song!Diverse Strains Sunday Tribune I completely agree with Shuba Mudgal (who has penned the write-up in Diverse Strains) when she asks, "If we can listen to a folk song in a blockbuster movie, why can we not give an occasional patient hearing to the original?" Ismail Darbar had a wonderful chance to handle this in the right way, but I wonder why he messed it up and ended with a 'plagiarist' tag - that too in his much-celebrated debut. All he had to do was to add a note of credit to the original composer of the song, Rajasthani folk singer Ghazni Khan Manganiyar, so that people can differentiate between the original and the Bollywood version - when you listen to the two you'd understand the kind of work that Ismail has put in, in his version and made a simple, 'otherwise-restricted-to-a-few-discerning-listeners' track into an ultra-catchy dance number! Its a pity that decided to pass it as his original composition.

Plagiarism at its best. Oh wait, there's more! (buahahahahaha)

Chaand chupa [Hum dil de chuke sanam]
Composer: Ismail Darbar
Inspired by the Love story theme by Francis Lai
Listen to Francis Lai's theme from Love Story Chaand chupa

Keeps getting better doesn't it? I mean, it's just so stupid to call attention to yourself like this. Induce the ire of all ARR's fans so they go digging the dirt on ya. Stupid stupid stupid! Anyone else wanna get shot down? I'm on a roll! This guy is so full of a whole lot of hooey.

All text in pink finds its source in the site.