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Sunday, March 27, 2005

[Song watch] En Swasa Katre

En Swasa Katre is a desi version of typical hollywood action flick with commercial elements like Arvind Swamy (who was hot then)/Isha Koppikar(who is hot now) and music by the inimitable A.R.Rahman

The movie, without doubt, bombed at box office very badly. There were all kinds of rumours that it was a 'hawala' movie. Hawala movies are high-budget, destined to death movies, even before its inception ;-) Once the movie goes bust, it would be recorded as loss and there by converting the money from black to white.

It was pitiable that, till date, the songs from this movie have never gotten the credit. IMHO this movie had packed nice variety of songs and were very very melodious. Brief review of the same

En Swasa Katre (M.G.Shreekumar, Chitra)
This song, when heard the first time, brings back the memories of listening to 'Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil' of a yester-year hindi song. However, that fades into the background bringing a wonderfully melodious chitra, pardonable-but still very nasal- Shreekumar into a lilting 'neelambari' ragam. The chords, even though simple, evoke a close binding in your heart to the melody. The alaap by Chitra and the veena piece are simply exhilarating. Must hear, especially at bedtime !

Rating 4.8/5

Chinna Chinna Mazhai Thuligal (M.G.Shreekumar)
This song got considerable TV audience via the 'pepsi-ungal choice' kinda programs, but deserves every bit of applause.
The lyrics by Vairamuthu are simply superb.
mazhai kavithai kondu varudhu
yaarum kadhavadaikka vaendam
nedunchalayile nanaya oruvar
samadhamum vaendam

The instruments clearly bring the sense of 'dancing in the rain' (ARR uses that for rain songs - checkout 'Thenmerku paruvakatru' from 'Karuthama'. The second stanza takes off on 'sree' ragam and continues beautifully. Very very well done song - it never ceases to calm you and please you, if you are a nature lover.

Rating 5/5

Jumbalakka (Rafi, ?)
This song, according to the media, was the chartbuster. It is a neatly done dance number, but still not failing to soothe the melody rasikar in you. Tell me, if you unconsciously don't start tapping your feet to this simple but effective song. Pronounciation could definetely have been better...but hey! this is a dance number not a poetry recitation.

Rating 4/5

Chillallava (Harini, ?)
This number is a perfect ARR song. Believe it or not - it combines amazing melody (shades of hamsadhwani, and humming is definetely Kirawani'ish), rib-tickling satire by (vengaya vilai pola irangadhadhu - at that time Onion was as precious as diamond itself - tune would be life a deflated baloon at that juncture) and wonderful rhythm (beats most latino dance numbers played at my workplace cafeteria hands down).

The best part about the song is the alaap by Harini (she is wonderful, compare it with the hindi rendition by Kavitha Krishnamurthy now Kavitha Subramaniam, you will know) and the saxophone'ish (is it french horn? - enlightenment always welcome!) crescendo to the entire song when in the last pallavi.

Rating 4.6/5

Theendai (SPB, Chitra)
I can't stop loving this song. Composed in 'manirangu' ragam (to the lay-man it looked like Sree ragam, but my mom & aunt always insisted on that being manirangu, they win :-( ) This song has a background chant - which is quite un-intelligible, but adds a 'mystique ambience' to the song (this is the best i could - translate my feelings into words) No words can describe SPB & Chitra in this song - healthy competition, easy, walk-in-the park comfort - with delicate gamakams - this is one of my ARR's all time favorites.

Rating 5/5

Thirakaadha Kaatukulle (Unnikrishnan, Chitra)
Apologies, had earlier noted this as sung by Sujatha
One of the underdogs in the movie, this song does not garner attention as any other song in the movie - BUT - a wonderful composition. Typical romantic number, with some lovely background instrumentation. One can hear nice 'touches' of Neelambari and Hamsadhwani ragam in this song as well. Chitra, as always, eases her way through the song and Unni cuts the grade as well. This song was picturised in a waterfall/forest background and one can absolutely 'feel' the same. This, IMHO, has always been ARR's strength -be it the trance in 'Pudhu vellai mazhai(Roja)' or 'Athangara Marame(Thenkizhakku Cheemai)' etc

Rating 4.3/5

Overall verdict - Definetely a 'must buy'


DeaK.In.FroSt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DeaK.In.FroSt said...

Wow that's a great review, very well convey the essence of each songs.The method of bringing the feel of the song by approaching the raga is fabulos. You have Done a great job..I am from malaysia and it's difficult to read these type of reviews...U seem to have vast knowlegde on Classical Music..I hope you can do more reviews in future...eagerly looking forward to meenaxi,swades and the recent Netaji.Anyways ARR is Sublime...
Take care, ;]

Eshwar said...

Dude...your knowledge of Indian classical music is amazing. Review is excellent.

Arvind said...

Thanks. I do already have a review for swades

DeaK.In.FroSt said...

Have you eard A.R.R's recent Netaji? I need some views on the raga used...in this album....

1. Firstly, its a patriotic genre and desh seems to be present almost everywhere in this album (correct me pls).Songs like ekla chalo and desh ki mitti fall under these category.

2. Then comes the themes, particularly if you hear war theme, the initial part has the presences of subhapantuvarali..and usage of it do create an impact on the listener.

3. It is brilliant to have Zikr in raga Revati, devotionaly uplifting.Hindu sacred mantras are mostly chanted in this raga.

4. Ghoomparani, very situational, i believe in harikambhoji. So soothing and folkish.A.R.R is amazingly versatile.

5. Getting into desh ki mitti it sound very familiar to sonnalum kethpathillai kanni manadhu.Maybe because the usage of the same raga,which i cant figure out (your comments). Anyway its a melodious number.

6. Azaadi again Seem to be based in harikambhoji??? (not sure).

Netaji is another numero uno by A.R.R, such wonderful, fresh and melodic tunes created to remain immortal.

I guess that all i could ponder for the moment.....looking forward for your comments soon..Take Care, Regards.....Keshav

Arvind said...

First of all, let me set the expectations straight - I'm *NOT* a trained carnatic music expert :-) It's all i could learn in 'carnatic' music environment and spending countless hours before my keyboard for the past 10+ years and studying theory of music.
So i might able to identify 'shades' of ragas rather than 'raga' themselves, ofcourse-unless and until they stare at my face ;)

Desk ki mitti - has very familiar ARR touch to it. Yes it sounds like Sonnalum Kaetpadhillai and also 'Azhage Sugama' from Parthale Paravasam.

Humming by Anu seems to appeal as kalyani(hamir kalyani may be?) have you heard this song 'manasukkal utkarndhu mani adithai'

more later

Arvind said...

'Desh ki mitti' am getting addicted to the song - the whole day, have been hearing just that song !

More and more i hear it, closer it seems to 'Azhage Sugama' but it def looks to be a bit of Sarang, Khamas (as identified by Swapnil for 'Sonnalum'...) and a 'des' touch to it :-)

But man, is it not lovely !

DeaK.In.FroSt said...

Hie, thanks for the reply,
I am not an expert in carnatic music too.I had the liking towards it since the age of six. Then, the first instrument I laid my hands on was a harmonium gradually after 2 years My uncle got me a keyboard as a gift. The keyboard was my only refuge for music experiments and initiation into carnatic music.I was not into it seriously, it was just a passion. I use to spend countless hour with my keyboard trying to indentify the raga or its shades in songs composed by various MD's. A.R.R's composition had been my favourite ever since. The intense practice I put myself trough made me immune to ragas and it made the indentification process easy.It was just two years back that I decided to indulge strictly into my passion by taking up carnatic vocal and instrument(veena) classes.The music journey continues...

"have you heard this song 'manasukkal utkarndhu mani adithai" No, I have not heard that song, what movie is it from ??.

Yeah, i had the same feeling that desh ki mitti is in sarang, but it also flavored by khamas. Anuradha sounds great in this number. She is very versatile, see how shes blend her vocals with the chorus and orchestra, its heavenly. I was sadden that ARR did not use her vocals to contribute more to the song..

more later

DeaK.In.FroSt said...

Hie dude check this out.....


enjoy it !!!

Anonymous said...


Arvind said...


Mazhai group ? :-)

Adi said...

Thank you for sharing.
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