Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guru...Guru...Guru...Ho Ja Shuru!

Yep, it's been a while. Things have been REALLY crazy for a bit. The dust is still settling, but with the Guru music release I just had to post something. I just got my copy of the CD this Monday, so I think the ARR magic is still working it's charm on me. Right off, listening to ARR sing has been evoking a feeling of "coming home", so to speak. So I'm biased with this album, cos atleast 3 songs have ARR singing(WOO HOO!!!). I was really excited when I saw the cover and the number of songs he'd lent his voice to. I normally listen to ARR albums on Raaga when they release, but this time I wanted to listen to the "good" quality version and nothing less. And, initially I wasn't too happy with the songs. Now, lordy(!) I'm addicted! As usual, I'm getting something new on every hearing. Alright now, I'm going to dive in!!

Jaage Hain - my fav so far. This song is like the ULTIMATE! Simple, beautiful singing by Chitra, an amazing precursor to the orchestra and the Madras Chorale Group. The first time I heard ARR at almost a whisper, I was like w.t.h??? And then I heard the crescendo, and his higher pitched rendition, in TRUE ARR style. I can see him throwing his head back and giving it his all!!!! This part made me break out in goosebumps, and still does. The initial orchestra-chorus section, right after Chitra is done singing, reminded me a lot of the Bombay Theme. This is something you'd expect in a Western movie, and listening to it is sheer bliss. No doubt, Maniratnam will do a good job when picturising this song. He's always done an awesome job, which makes me want to see this movie as soon as it releases. This one I fell in love with on the very first listen. SO much soul in this song!

Barso Re : love this song. Sung with spunk, the versatility of the singer : Shreya Ghoshal shines through. Loved her rendition in Munbe Vaa too. When I listened to it initially, I wasn't too taken with it. I didn't hear the usual layers that ARR normally adds, it took me a while to get the layers, even when I was looking for them. This song is definitely a headphone piece, if you're looking to get all the little treats that ARR threw in. Makes me want to get up and dance. My body sways with the song naturally. This would probably fall into ARR's Rang De genre. Lots of verve in the song along with innocence. The loop reminds me of Ale Ale's underlying one as well as a part of Oh! Re Chori. The initial flute shadowing is just so beautiful. The Navin-ARR combo rocks! Especially after so long.

Tera Bina : Sufiyana comes to mind immediately, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan included. I know ARR is very much into this, so he musta had a ball making this one. I sure enjoyed this one, probably cos I love listening to ARR's voice. He keeps getting better. I still remember his shy, tentative singing for Mangta Hai Kya. His accent does need some teensy-weensy tweaking. Slower in tempo, lots to listen to, very likable, very hummable. Stays on my mind. Is it just Chinmayee singing? Is there someone else? Sounds like a more base, strong voice and a lighter, higher pitched voice. Didn't really like the heavier voice.

Ek Lo Ek Muft: like it....but HATE Bappi Lahiri's voice, and his total rendition. I find the lyrics funny, the song sounds like a fun song, like the music, but wish ARR had used someone else for the singing. The joyen..joyen..joyen reminded me of the way Ila Arun sang for Paas Aaja Baalam Re in Mr Romeo, when she sings the he-he-he-he part. Chitra (Shivaraman?)'s voice fits in rather well. The whole Gujju style for the underlying arrangement was enjoyable. Not much by way of an ARR number tho. Still wondering why ARR chose (the iffy) Bappi Lahiri.

Mayya Mayya: Just when I got over the Khalbali addiction, ARR dishes out another Arabian-style number. What ARR himself called Turkish. The lyrics booklet that comes with the CD also had pictures of Mallika Sherawat in her element. So I'm already picturising the video in my head. Lots going on in this song. Sounds like Maryem Toller couldn't quite get the hang of the language, and well who can blame her. On the first listen, this song sounds plain chaotic. LOTS AND LOTS of layers. Still finding new stuff every time I listen to it. There's supposedly the rip-off from Buddha Bar, still wondering if it's just a commercially available loop, or if it was an actual rip-off. I'm slowly, yet surely getting addicted to this one cos it's just plain catchy. This is probably a good headphone number too, there's some switching sides and stuff. Maryem Toller is an awesome singer, that's a given, I guess, or ARR wouldn't have gone out of his way to have her sing. Is it Chinmayee or Keerthi who's shadowing the singer with the ehe..ehe..ehe?? The male singer hasn't been identified in the CD, an oversight? I still don't get what he's saying, something in Arabic obviously! The song sounds very authentic, unlike other stuff that the Indian movie industry normally dishes out. Addictive stuff that.

Ay Hairathe : The beginning is very much like Poo Kodiyin Punnagai from Iruvar. I think that's something a lot of Tamilians have already pointed out. Simple song, very ghazalish. I've never been able to listen to ghazals, that's probably the only kind of music I don't have the patience at all for. But then this is ARR, he mixes it up with some old-sounding music. It sounds oldish to me probably because of the accordion. Interesting lyrics. And there's the fact that ARR's voice is makes the song perfect for me. Lately its been hard to listen to Alka Yagnik. Her voice just plain irritates me. There was that effect, but otherwise a beautiful song.

Baazi Laga: Catchy, oldy song. Nothing to write home about. Reminded me of Humraahi Jab Ho... from Pukar. Situational? Only -ve? Udit Narayan. Somehow, again his voice grates on my nerves. Probably the only song in the album that I'm not all that into. One part I did like is the way the chorus shadows Udit Narayan.

On the whole, a nice piece. Jaage Hain is going down in my book as a classic. Hope it gets the global audience that Dil Se is now getting. I've already had 3 ppl tell me that they don't like Guru's music. They stole my CD and pooh-poohed it!! It's just the growing effect. Most ppl just don't have the patience that Rahmaniacs have. They kind of close themselves off from sheer beauty. Oh well! Their loss.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Golden Age

We're a privileged lot, you know! We've got Indian greats such as Shekhar Kapur and ARR offering up the very best. The Golden Age indeed, that we live in. Just found out that Shekhar Kapur blogs too!! I found his and (I think) his historian's account of The Golden Age(that they just completed shooting) fascinating. What was most amazing is the way you're actually able to interact with the man himself. Have always been a big fan of Mr. Kapur. Why wasn't he nominated for an Oscar, when his movie and lead actress were!? The blog isn't just about The Golden Age. There's so much more. It gives you an insight into what kind of a man Kapur himself is. I must admit, I'm ecstatic that he acknowledged my questions and actually replied. No points for guessing what the questions were about. Anyways, I think, after reading the blog it's not just about the music alone. One year for it to release, that's no fun at all. Check out the link for his and his historian's posts on The Golden Age alone.

His historian mentioned the use of ARR's music in a certain scene in May. The last paragraph talks about ARR. The rest is also very interesting. There's history and historical accounts, and there's SK's interpretation of them.

I found the blog very interesting in itself. Throw in ARR and there's a movie that I'm going to be watching as soon as it releases. I wonder if it's too much to ask of ARR himself to maintain a blog. His thoughts and feeling out on the internet....I guess that would be asking too much. He is the kind who is rather private. Maybe just something short about his music. It would be wonderful to be able to communicate with him, and it would be more private than getting mobbed as he normally does when he's in public. Hoping and praying that this gets both SK and ARR (and Mr. Pinto) an award.

Latest Fav: Stuck on New York Nagaram. Simply beautiful. This one did not require the growing effect. Liked it immensely the very first time I heard the samples in More on JOK later.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

God! Stop It!

What's the deal with all this hate and all the killing? I'm just not able to understand it. Do men need a reason to shed blood? Is land worth as much as a human life? Is oil worth so much? Evidently, yes. Why does man think that human life is so expendable? Taking another human life, shouldn't that be inexcusable? Why is it that people just stand back and watch while more and more people just die. Aren't most of the places where there is strife, related to land disputes? Forget soldiers, terrorists, or freedom-fighters who know that there is a higher probability of their dying, whether for their country or their cause. What about the innocent lives that are snatched away in any land dispute. What kind of a hate targets innocent people travelling on trains? No matter which faith or religion these terrorists belong to, whether it be judgment day or just plain karma, don't they know that there will be some kind of reprisal? Wouldn't that damn the soul for all eternity? What or who propagates such hate that would result in such devastation? The worst part is that this is our history. History has told us of so many wars and so many deaths, of men killing each other for control over land. Does man learn NOTHING from history? Why do they make us sit through all those classes in school? Territorial fights are prevalent amongst animals. Does this not show just how base the human instinct is? Peace seems to be a faraway dream right now. Armies, nuclear testing, armament : killing machines. Shows you how insecure each country is. So much chaos. I wonder if this is when Kalki will come down. Why do we need constant reminders from a God above to live harmoniously? When we have been given a superior intelligence when compared to animals, why do we not use it? I guess if over 2000 years of fighting and killing each other hasn't stopped the population from expanding, maybe this is just one of those ways that God has designed for keeping the population in check. As much as I've read of peoples' feelings, the hatred just keeps spreading. I see no hope for humanity as long as the negativity in them prevails. The pattern is pretty much set in stone at this point in time. I just hope I am wrong though.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I've got the power...

Yeah! I finally got my comp back, and up and working, no thanks to Dell. I think I've had the worst customer service, for the simplest of all problems that could afflict a laptop. Part of the craziness was covered in my last post. I was annoyed then. I think I went through a whole gamut of negative emotions, until I got to this point where I just quit caring! And only then did I get my computer to work! Let's backtrack some. I got sent the wrong adaptor, which I returned and chatted with another guy who insisted that I had been sent the right adaptor and that I had a motherboard problem. So I packed up the laptop and sent it in to Dell on the 18th of May. It was supposed to take 5 business days. It was past 5 business days and I hadn't heard from Dell. So I go online again, chat with another nincompoop. This guy tells me that the laptop had already been delivered to me. I was like, WHAT?! Where to? Which address, cos I haven't recieved my laptop back again! To which the dumass says that it was sent to this city in this state. I keep asking him for the darn street address, and he keeps giving me the city and state!!! Finally he gets it in his THICK head that I'm asking for the street. He gives me the right address, and also gives me the DHL tracking number. I check it out and it shows the empty box that Dell delivered to me so I could send the laptop to them! He then tells me that the repairs that are required on the laptop are out-of-warranty. He says he knows nothing else, and gives me a phone number to call. I call them and this Indian guy tell me that it would be around the 2nd of June by the time I get the comp back, and that everything was very much going to be covered by the warranty. I figure since I'm moving to a different state, they should just mail it to me in the place I'm moving to. And it was delivered to the new place, exactly on the day I moved there! This was when I thought...whew! All's well that end's well. Boy! was I kidding myself or what!

I 'power on' the laptop, and less than a minute later the laptop turns itself off! They'd sent it back to me unrepaired. So I talk to another guy on the phone. Another Indian : Dave. He's all apologetic. Takes case ownership, says he'll do the needful. This was on the 4th. I send it back to Dell on the 5th. Here I'm thinking it's gonna take just as long again, but I get a call from the place I used to stay, on 7th evening. Turns out to be the DHL guy. He has my laptop with him and he's looking to deliver it to me. I tell him I'm a 4 hour flight away, he tells me to call Dell, but he takes down my new address. He takes it back to the headquarters in the nearest big city. And there my laptop stayed until it was delvered to me exactly 2 weeks. That Wednesday I called Dave, tried to leave a msg for him, but there was no space on his voicemail. So out of desperation, I try to talk to someone else. I get another Indian. I don't remember the initial name he gave me, but he did give me his Indian name at the end of the conversation - Kamal. He puts me on hold for atleast a half hour. Well, all Dell technicians and customer service reps put you on hold for a minimum of 30 mins. After a while, you just HAVE to get used to it. Anyways, Kamal tells me everything's all fixed, and I should get my comp in 2 business days. When a Dell anyone tells you that, you can be sure that it'll be over at your place the next morning. So I wait for a couple of days and hit the weekend, completely exasperated! I call and leave a msg for Kamal on his voicemail, but I don't get any response from him. Then I send him an email. No response again. He was supposed to call me on Friday to ensure that I got the laptop. Didn't happen. So I call Dell again, get an Indian woman : Soumya. She actually introduced herself as Soumya! Well! Whaddya know! She does the exact same thing Kamal does. Nothing happens. BUT gives me the all important tracking number. So I can see that that package is going nowhere. They actually had this message up there : Awaiting pickup by recipient as requested. Now I thought that it was obvious that given that I had the length of the country between me and the laptop, I never would have requested a pick-up! Anyways, nothing happens again. I call DHL and ask them what needs to be done. They tell me that I need to get some authorization done by Dell. The customer service rep at DHL was very vague abt it to. So I call Dell....again. I get this American - Drent. He conferences me with DHL, gets the right info from their customer service rep, he and I find out that DHL requires an email from the Internal Logistics something, with the right address. 24 hour processing. Should be with me right after the processing is done. Drent conferences me with a cust serv. rep at Dell, John - another Indian. Listening to them talk......I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry. Drent had just been told what to do, John hadn't a clue! Personally I don't think ANYONE at Dell knows how to deal with ANYTHING. They supposedly fix everything. This was on the 14th. I call DHL on the 16th, and theres no change. They email hasn't gotten through. So I call Dell again....getting repititive isn't it? I get someone who sounds Indonesian to me. She pushes the email again. I get the laptop again on Monday.

Lo and behold! It's still not working. I'm guessing if you've read this far, your abt a tenth as frustrated as I was. I call Dell again, and tell this other Indian guy - Nelson, to please send me an adaptor. He keeps telling me that there could be some other problem. I tell him (lying through my teeth here) that I can actually see some damage on the plug. He's forced to send me the adaptor. It gets to me on Wednesday, I wasn't in the whole day. I pick it up from the apt. office plug it into the comp, and guess what? It works.

Moral of the story : Don't buy a Dell. If you do, then make sure you have a landline, because the number of times they put you on hold, and the number of minutes you lose while holding, your cell phone will be out of minutes in a couple of days.

I'm just glad that I'm still under warranty. Can you imagine the amount of money DHL makes out of Dell's shennanigans????

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Never Again a Dell

I'm more frustrated than ever! My laptop won't power up and I'm stuck with no ARR for a minimum of 5 business days, until Dell gets something done. I swear!!!!!! I'm never ever ever ever ever ever getting a Dell ever again. Arrrrrgghhhhhhhhh!!! To begin with, they no longer have a way to call and talk to someone. So I had to chat with 3 customer service reps. OH MY GOD!!!! I know these guys are Indians. Given the fact that their ids are Ashok, Raminder and the third - Prince! The worst part of the conversation was when I tell them that the comp is working fine with the battery, but the battery has run out and cannot be recharged as the comp is not taking in any power. After reading the whole thing, this guy asks me if I can please power on my computer!!!!!!! I was just about ready to tear my hair out! Vidiya vidiya Ramayanam ketu Sithai ku Ramar yaaru nu ketu epadi irrukum? And the second guy I chatted with asked me the same question. Twice in one day was too much, so I said there's no power and there's no battery, how will the computer turn on!? FINALLY this dude gets it and tells me he's sorry that he asked such a stupid question. I was so glad that I was getting the new adaptor this morning, until they delivered an adaptor that's obviously for another computer. When I chat with this third guy, of course the Prince(!) he insists that the adaptor is right. I have to tell him that it's physically impossible to fit that adaptor to my tiny laptop.

I'm just glad I didn't delete all the songs from my office comp. It's only when I'm at home and I hear nothin' but the birds chirping outside, I'm like GIVE ME BACK MY MUSIC!!! The moment I get my laptop back I'm making copies. Not that I don't have any, but I think I need them in CDs. Though it would be a little hard to play em, because I packed my boombox. I'm almost done packing. Now all I need to do is to get my books in somewhere.

Latest fav - Asathura Asathura. Fun song that! I kinda like all the songs in E20U18. I don't get why others don't? Maybe it's too techie???

Monday, April 24, 2006


Long hiatus in some original ARR posting. Thinking up a topic to write about should probably be blamed for the hiatus. However, this time I'm probably going to be questioning ARR. One big big question I have for ARR is that why use singers who obviously don't know the language to sing in it? I remember the usage of Udit Narayan in Kaadhalikkum Pennin from Kaadhalan. His diction sucked, but it was such a cute song, that it didn't matter too much. This habit of using non-Tamil singers for Tamil songs has been questioned several times, but people while not completely appreciating it, continue to listen to it. I am one of these people. I did not like Haiyo Pathikichu from Rhythm at all because of Udit Narayan. I love the song, but everytime I hear his voice I cringe. There's also his work in Kuluvalile Mottu from Muthu. For the most part Sadhna Sargam's diction is phenomenal, but Madhushree's Sand kodi kodi... just blew! The original version wasn't too bad, but when she sang the song for the Tsunami event, hoo boy! What I'm really trying to say here is that there is immense talent in Tamil Nadu itself for Tamil singing. There are several bilingual singers who've made it big, both on their own and on account of ARR. Some of these people are Hariharan, Kavitha Krishnamurthi, Srinivas, and the latest Naresh Iyer. When there are several singers who able to sing in Tamil, why resort to people who obviously cannot pronounce the words right. There are even several Malayali singers who sing in Tamil very well. But isn't it logical to use someone who is well versed in the language? That's my question.

My latest fav - Ale Ale. I know, an older number, but when listening to Boys I never got past Girlfriend. Was the rage hit when I first got to the USA. I still remember the whole crowd yelling when someone played GF at an Indian event. Man, that's the magic of ARR. Getting back to Ale Ale, I love, simply and totally love the way the song starts out. Another movie I haven't seen, nor do I have the intention of ever seeing it. I do know that the songs were picturised well. I did get to see the Ale Ale , and well it isn't as bad as Anbe Aaruyire. The split sound of the the string instrument in the beginning gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.

I've been revisiting old numbers for the past few weeks, Paarthale Paravasam, Kaadhalan, Kaadhal Desam, mostly all his Tamil oldies. Another song that I've become addicted to is Baila More from Kaadhal Virus. I have not listened to this song before, and on the first hearing, I was like what is this?? Weird French stuff, Spanish words(baila more) sung by Indians followed up with Tamil lyrics. Sounds like a ''getting stoned'' song to me. :) Those who haven't heard it, this is another sample of ARR's experimentation. I think he based his I Wanna Be Free in Tehzeeb loosely on this. Or was it the other way around.

Anyways, waiting for Guru and Surya's JOK.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This post is going to cover some of the links I've been collecting over the past few weeks. Random links, random thoughts.

Attn: ARR skeptics. I got this link through the yahoo group. The only Indian on the list, the only Indian claimed to have sold over 100 million records or more. Looking a lil closer at the table you notice that other than him only Mariah Carey has the same number of "Years Active". What I'm trying to get at here is that all the others on the list have been selling records for a time span in some cases much larger than just the 90s-00s. ARR has sold over 100 million records in 14 years! Well you have to realize that a lot of people would have bought the record because they liked the movie, not necessarily for just the music. Lately, I've been doing the opposite.

For those who haven't already seen the movie and those who don't already know abt the fact that ARR's Chaiyya Chaiyya starts of Spike Lee's Inside Man, here are a couple of links to reviews of the the movie starring Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and Christopher Plummer . The movie's supposed to be really good, and doing very well. Check out paragraph 3 in the first link and the last paragraph in the second link. I'm seriously considering renting a car to go see this one.,,14936-2100281,00.html

A short review and an appetizer for all us Rahmaniacs. You can listen to a short clip of Lothlorein, there's a link in the first sentence :) and I spent a goodly amt of time looking for the link after I read the last paragraph. Waiting to hear the rest of the music.

**Charles Spencer of The Telegraph: "There is nothing here to rival the imaginative visual coups and heart-tugging emotion of such great family shows as Billy Elliot, The Lion King and Mary Poppins. And though the musical score, by the Indian film composer AR Rahman, the Finnish group Värttinä and the show's musical supervisor Christopher Nightingale is an engaging mixture of folk rock, trippy-hippy mysticism and eastern chants, it doesn't, at least on first hearing, seem to offer any memorable take-home numbers… There's a 55-strong cast, but they are often under-employed… Peter Darling's folksy choreography isn't a patch on his dazzling work on Billy Elliot." **

Mr Spencer says it all with that one sentence. ARR's music grows on you. You have to listen to it more than just once before you write a review on it. Any Rahmaniac knows that, well, others too, anyone who's acquainted with ARR knows that! Somebody tell these ppl how it works with ARR's music!!!!! There are several other excerpts of reviews in the link.

The second part was news to me, and I thought that I should let others know about it. Mani Sir to direct a Chinese movie. The author doesn't mention it specifically, but I don't have to guess when I say that ARR will surely be a part of this if it is true.

Will do something more original soon.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Basketball Fever

For a basketball fanatic like me, it was a dream come true to get to go to a game. I got to see the Aggies beat the UT Longhorns (Whoop!). Our girls pretty much thrashed 'em silly. And I got the best seats available! I was sitting right behind the girls as my boss was asked to be a Guest Coach. Since she knew of my passion for basketball she asked me if I wanted to go along, and the rest as they say, is history. My boss and I were at the Bright Football Complex for a short presentation and then got a tour of the Complex. These kids have got it made. They have every facility they'll ever need to help them ace college. But they do have to work hard and 'play' even harder. Then we popped over to Reed Arena for the game and wonders of wonders, we got the best parking spot available. We got to even go over to the girls' locker room and hear Head Coach Blair and Associate Head Coach Schaefer talk to the girls before they went in to beat the Longhorns. The clincher?? I got to talk to the girls too. I didn't know that I would be doing it, but I ended up saying soemthing stupid and well, the girls laughed at it. A’Quonesia Franklin is one awesome player. I know for sure that I'm taller than her, but I doubt I could ever be as great as she is.

Fact : Aggies are ranked #25 in the Associated Press Women’s College Basketball Top 25 Poll. They were ranked #21, but they dropped a few points when the lost a couple of games against Baylor(12) and Oklahoma(9). No. 31 on

I've seen like gazillion NBA, WNBA, and NCAA: men's and women's bball games. But to see it all happen and when you have ringside seats! is totally amazing. The commentary was vintage American style. They even announced the players and the guest coaches like the way they're announced on tv. "Here we have No. 3 Takiiiiaa Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarks." It was phenomenal. I forgot to take my camera to the game (I could kick myself so hard that I wouldn't be able to sit for a week!) , BUT I did have my cell phone! So here are some pics from the ringside :) The quality of these pics leaves a lot to be desired for. It's the best I could do.

This one was taken just as the Aggies scored. :)

That's Coach Blair preventing me from catching the Aggies acore again.

That's Coach Blair in the lighter colored shirt talking to girls during a time-out. And Coach Schaefer in the dark jacket. The pretty lady is Assistant Coach Tennison. You can also see the left shoulder and arm of Assistant Coach Kelly.

This one's of a freethrow. I did note that most of the initial points that UT scored were via freethrows.

I wanted to fight for the rights of the children that have been wronged! Child labor is such a horrible thing. I refrained :) They had lil kids do the cleaning up evertime there was a time-out. There isn't much to clean up at all, it's just so cute is all.

Reveille, Aggie mascot. Cute dog, makes her presence known by barking. (My lil secret...the Corps guys that take care of her are always cuter...ssshhh) I wanted to get a pic of the Yell Leaders too, but my lil camera phone ran out of space. Yeah, the Aggies do not have any cheerleaders, we have Yell Leaders. They're these really cute, BIG, beefy-lookin, man's man kinda guys. They plonked themselves down in the girls' seats in front of us during half-time and they looked like they had chips on their shoulders the size of the Himalayas, so I didn't make any space for 'em on my phone :) I don't think they'll rue the loss ;)

If you want to see a short video on the Aggie Women's BBall team go to

Dang! I wish my dad had let me play some bball when I was accepted into the college team :( Oh what the hey! I got to watch a great game :)

Monday, February 20, 2006

MY Take on Godfather

Innisai is my current fav in this album. But it took my not-very-well-trained ears a while before the intricacies could work its magic on me and move it up to being my fav. I love his other carnatic pieces - Narumugaye, Minsara Poove, and Maargazhi Thingal are songs I listen to everyday. I kid you not. Innisai keeps playing in my head when I should be doing something else. I think there's too much going on in the beginning of Innisai, or maybe it happens throughout the song and I just get the beat somewhere in the middle of the song. The background murmuring at 1:20....lends to added confusion, and the introduction of Iyer's voice seems like it can't quite catch up with the beats, at least on the 1st hearing. I didn't like Iyer's voice in the beginning of the song. It was just not deep enough. You carnatic music pandits out this one an Adi thaalam? At 5:13 I love the way the background singers do the thom thom thom thananana thom, initially in between Iyer's singing, and then while he's singing. The remix has this something that the male singers say(sing), during the beats, just before the half-yodel at 2:28 and 2:33. This sounds like whatever the background singers are saying four times in Thaniye at 3:51 in Rhythm. I love the humming that the female voice does at 2:55 in between Iyer's higher pitched singing.The beats and a halfway yodel before the dappanguthu part stick out a bit, but I'm all for it, and it even seems to sit fine in the midst of a classical number. You just have to love the all-female chorus. Light and airy, despite being what most youngsters consider the heavy classical stuff. The base something(?) sounds really good. No mrindangam here. I think Srinivas would have done a better job....but that's just me. While this one isn't quite my fav classical no. of ARR's, I love it.

Kama karayil brings to mind the Inijiringo song in Thenali. Probably because of the beats. I guess this one was in keeping with the regular, now monotonous kuuthu songs that seems to be becoming a fixture in Tamil movies. This one grew on me too. It's fairly catchy, but the lyrics don't leave much to the imagination. Kattil mele kabbadi kabbadi?? Kaaman thaan di referee referee??? What..the..?? I think only ARR can change the way even a kuuthu song sounds :) I don't know if it is ARR's voice in the background at 00:42, 3:14 and 4:20, after the female lead sings kamaaaaa? Clarification necessary here from other Rahmaniacs.

Thothapuram is an out-and-out fun song. The kids voices remind me of Kuchi Kuchi Rakkamma. I love the beats and I'm fairly sure that everybody'll agree with me when I say I love the way ARR uses kids in his songs. Ocharu ocharu ocharu bava garu, Ivan osaram parthu kodupar benz-u car-u. I wonder why there's Telugu in it? It works tho. Fun fun fun. I'm not so sure of the video, it bordered on stupid. Too many stomachs dancing around for my liking.

Ilamai was one song I wasn't into initially. Right now...this songs got me...hook, line, and sinker. The yodeling is reminiscent of Ye dil na hota bechara in Jewel Thief. The 'hey' in the beginning reminded of the beginning of Baba kichu tha. The lyrics are situational is all I can hope for: Unnaku hero naanadi, un udaiko villainadi. Well I guess I have to admit that it is funny though. In the remix as Harish pointed out in his blog early on, Blaze sounds like Donald Duck. I just found out that this is called the D.U.C.K Remix. Or is that someone's idea of a joke? :) It works....very apt :) Blaze's getting better when he's rappin' with his regular voice. I mean, he sounds much better in this one than the Be a Rebel- Paathshaala. He's starting to sound authentic(rap/hip-hop wise). It's not like I know a whole lot abt rap or hip-hop. I just get to listen to plenty of it when I turn on the radio. So I guess I could say that I know what they sound like. I liked him best in Baba. That song ROX! One more for the nightclubs, very very catchy...after a few hearings.

Theeyil Vizhunda a beautiful piece. There's plenty soul in the song, but I still think something's missing in it. As was discussed in the yahoo fan group, this does sound somewhat like Mera Yaar Mila De. I've a big question, why are all the songs, in all their entirety, like Bollywood, Tollywood(or is it Kollywood? I can never remember) and all the other woods, why is it that we have only Maa-Beta songs?? Why not Maa-Beti songs? Why not dad-daughter songs? Maybe there are some songs on this one. There are brother-sister songs a-plenty. My mom is the most important person in my world. How come I don't get to dedicate a song to her?? Could it be because all girls grow up to be the maas?? Correct me if I'm wrong. I could just be ignorant here.
One more thing. The instrumentation sounded like Meenaxi's Potter's Village. The lyrics floored me. The way he ends the song, the last time he sings stays with me cos he switches the voice from both sides to only one side, only for that last one line (headphones usage apparent here). If you want to know all about the raagas used, and his usage of other raagas, you'll have to become a member of the yahoo group. There are some knowledgeable ppl out there!

Kaatril sounds like a postscript to Snehidane. It even has the words snehidi and snehida in it. It's a melody that was an initial fav. I love...and I'm probably the only one... the saahiba part. Is this Reena Bharadwaj? Loved her in Yeh Rishta. Even the video, though faster moving reminds me of the video of Snehidane. Maybe it's the Sadhna Sargam deal. I get goosebumps listening to her. The interlude at 1:45 that lasts uptil SPB starts, sounds partially like the Mission Impossible OST and partially like the interludes in Made in India by Alisha Chinai (I guess I was actually listening, instead of just admiring Milind Soman's pecs back then). A simply lovely, maybe slightly monotonous, melody. Why'd they shift from saahiba to snehida??

On the whole, I think ARR's biggest competitor is himself. He's been getting progressively better and let's face it ppl, he can't satisfy everybody, which he's tried to do with this one. I find that when he was doing period films people thought he was getting repititive and that he'd lost his mass appeal thing which he had earlier. Now when he does the mass appeal movies, there are others and perhaps even the same ppl who say that after TLOBS, Bose, Meenaxi, and other such melodious pieces, this is like a step back. His choice of Tamil movies has been questioned. Well I would have to join in on those ppl who question his work with SJ Surya after I saw Mayilirage. But the song itself is beautiful. I'm never into the movie, always into the music, unless its Maniratnam we're talking abt. Ppl, ppl, just sit back and turn off the videos and listen to the magic that ARR churns out.

P.S: Ever noticed the echo effect in Thaniye? Yeah this is another one I heard on my new giant sized headphones. It's awesome...and theres like a whole lot more. You HAVE to listen to this one of the headphones to get the little stuff again. Good God! How does he do it??????

Friday, January 06, 2006

Pirandha Naal Vazhthukal ARR Sir.

Here's wishing ARR a very happy 39th! I've been listening to his Water songs. As much as RDB was for the masses, I'd say Water is for classical music enthusiasts. There was another set of Water songs that were leaked out earlier and I thought those were mind-blowing. The CD doesn't contain one of the songs that were part of the leaked out set. The rest are pretty much the same except for the added instrumentation. Did ARR get wind of the leak and decide to throw a little extra in to entice people who have the leaked out version to go get the original? Hmmm... I really can't seem to pick a fav out these songs.

Chan Chan or what we thought was called Aayo Re Sakhi is a beautiful piece. What can I say, the part where Sukvindar croons koyal bhi kuhu kuhu gaane lagi, brings to mind these lush pictures of mango trees and rivers and ...and whole lot more. Rendered beautifully and set to perfection, this is one of my favorites. It has me closing my eyes and just immersing myself completely in it's beauty.

Piya Ho is another of my favorites. The sadness of the song is so evocative, so telling on the mental anguish this woman is going through. It reaches right into your heart and touches your soul. There is this haunting loneliness that is apparent in the song which tugs at my heart. Again this was another song that was sung with so much feeling it makes me want to cry.

Talking about crying..Naina Neer Bahae is literally a tear-jerker. It is also extremely beautiful and is also a song that tugs on my heart strings. I don't think I'll get the true meaning of the song until I see the movie. Prem tho hai Gangajal isme.. vish amrit ban I need to say anymore? Sadhana Sargam has seriously outdone herself. I never thought I would be able to hear her do what she did with Snehidane, but she does it over and over again in Piya Ho and Aayo Re Sakhi as well, as surpasses anything she had ever done before. Tha added instrumentation only makes the song more beautiful.

Shyam Rang Me sounds like a fun song. When a Hindu woman becomes a widow, her life is literally stripped of all color, and its not just the feeling that all women irrespective of religion feel, it is that color that society snatches away from her. So I could picturise this song with the yearning of some color being added to the main character's life. Wonder if its picturised on a Holi song??

Vaishnav Jan To is a song that we, as Indians, are well aware of. ARR adds his own soft, beautiful touch to it. I wonder what happpened to the Bangari Marori that was also leaked out with all the other songs. Maybe that will be added to the Indian version, so all those who bought this CD will buy the new one with the added track? I mean who wouldn't? Especially when I see that the tracks on the CD are far more beautiful than the ones that were leaked.

To conclude all I can say is that I definitely see why ARR rated this album a 10/10. The sheer beauty of the music takes my breath away. Only ARR could possibly lay it on real thick with a fast moving RDB and then strip away all those layers and bare the soul with Water. The imagery that these songs bring to mind is something that I have never experienced before. I don't know if you had a good b'day Sir, but I sure as heck did, what with this great CD as a premature b'day gift to myself? Guys n'gals, rahmaniacs, non-rahmaniacs, music-lovers, lend me your ear. If you don't already own a copy try to get your hands on one asap. It's worth every
penny you would have to spend on it.

I think a couple of my passions came together on this one. Water and ARR :) What not to like.

P.S: This post was to have been done, completed, and posted on the 6th of January, and was even started out on that day, but due to my being extremely busy , was able to be aired only now.