Monday, December 24, 2012

Kadal audio - quick thoughts

Chithirai Nela
Beautiful start with the sound of a baby crying...Doesn't Vijay Yesudass sound so much like his father? Its unplugged till around 1:49 and then some nice soft beats take over. From 2:45, does he actually say "Kaatchigal" instead of "KaatchigaLL" and a couple of other ls instead of Ls - Noooooooooo...
Overall nice, gentle composition which is a tad too generic but will surely be well picturised.. Decent start but nothing ground-breaking.



The experimentation starts now. Starts off like an anguished cry of pain or yearning. Very appealing and then the gospel (with a mix of blues and also jazz thrown in) stuff kicks in... The Ooooohs in the background don't quite strike a chord. First thoughts: as the OH says, I can imagine/picture Whoopi Goldberg with a black rove orchestrating a choir in the background.

Biggest gripe is that ARR seems to have created a very catchy tune with a clear taalam and the lyrics were then fitted in. I don't really enjoy Pallankuzhi being split into Pallllllaaaaaaaaaaankuzhi just to fit into the beat. The Adiye Adiye chorus is very nice. At 2:18, when Sid croons Meena thooki, watch out for the piano (??) note in the background - nice touch. At 3:38 "Manasa kayiraaki izhuthu poraaye nee" feels like the singer has kadichu thuppified the lyrics. You'll get it when you hear it.

Not sure how this mood/song will fit into the movie...but then I felt the same way about Hello Mr. Ethirkatchi in a movie like Iruvar and I wasn't disappointed.


Moongil Thottam

Lyrical beauty this one...Enchanting lines straight from the heart... who wouldn't want to be part of the below setting

Pournami iravu
Pani vizhum kaadu
Othaiyadi paadhaiyil
Unkuda podinada

However my biggest problem with the song is that it screams "Smoke/Loo break" and it will be a minor miracle if 50% of the hall stays back to watch what will be some amazing visuals...The tune per se is a simple melody and is competently (not brilliantly though) rendered by the singers. This somehow reminds me of Thendrale from Kadal Desam - a fairly routine by-the-numbers song which is still nice to hear.


Elay Keechan

This is already a chartbuster and it deserves to be too... First song with mass appeal in the album. Getting country/western music to fit into this album and making it work is no mean feat and ARR manages it. He ingulges you with his nasal twang but it still seems to fits the mood of the song. The lyrics are playful, breeze and are sure to blend in with the setting and this is clearly one of the stronger compositions in the album. For me, the magic starts at around 3:46....



I absolutely love this song... The unplugged version was pure magic. The movie version is not bad at all and there are times when I think it's probably even better. However, SG's westernised Thamizh uchcharippu leaves a lot to be deserved. Also, there were a couple of occasions where you can see the difference between l and L...Deliberate you might say but I disagree. The flue is mesmerising but watch out for a slow synthesised ganjeera/percussion beat which silently plays in the background of the song - oh so awesome when heard in my Sennheiser earphones. ARR crooning between Saranam 1 and 2 wasn't really needed but then who am I to give gyaan to the guru...Overall, a haunting melody that will probably stand the test of time. 


Anbin Vaasale

This is probably the most dramatic song in the album and is completely situational. Though not as awesome as Kun Fayakun or Khwaja mere Khwaja, this one is not too far behind. Haricharan tries to hit his evocative best but falls way short in my opinion. Lots of reviewers have praised him sky-high but I can imagine a Shankar Mahadevan hitting the higher notes with complete ease. The real hero of the song is the chorus - mindblowing, totally uplifting and goosebumps inducing.



I wont waste too many words on this but this is ABSOLUTE CRAP.. More worthy of Vijay Antony or Harris Jeyaraj


I tried something different with Kadal. After the first two songs released, I did not go mad and buy the album on Day 1 and listen to it on loop continuosly. I allowed the dust to settle down, did not read the detailed reviews - just caught the headlines (which were anyway gushing like mad) and soaked in the whole atmosphere before deciding to check out the songs once a day for 2-3 continuous days. After 5-6 listens, I have come to the conclusion that this is a decent album, probably better than Ravanan, but definitely not the return of the Messiah. It is nowhere near ROCKSTAR as some daft reviewer had mentioned, it is two notches below. It is better than JTHJ but still has me yearning for something better.

There is a lot of experimentation but I am not a critic, am just a fan. I'm usualy crazy about it, love it, like it, enjoy it or it was so-so... this one was just "like it"

Overall - 7/10

Friday, December 14, 2012

What do I blog about and why?

This is in response to an old friend/fan of this blog asking me this particular Q.

What I definitely don't blog about are serious takes on issues that could actually make a difference in this world.  Coz I am neither erudite nor profound and I like to keep things simple.

Like, for example, I would rather NOT discuss

  • Politics: Will NaMo be as good for India as he was/is for Gujarat?
  • Economic policy: Will FDI in Retail create new jobs or kill existing ones?
  • Literature: Does Girish Karnad make a valid point in his criticism of VS Naipaul?
  • Journalism: What will Arnab Goswami's epitaph read as? He came, he saw, he shouted?
  • Arts: Which is the more popular event - Woodstock or Thygaraja music festival at Thiruvaiyaaru?
  • Business: Why is Apple's stock price falling?
  • Social Commentary: Should anyone at all be held responsible for Jacintha Saldanha's death?
  • Current affairs: Bhagat Singh Chowk in Lahore. Who cares?
  • Fashion: Who is the personal stylist of Hina Rabbani Khar? Or closer home, Aaradhya Bachchan.
What I do love doing is ranting and raving about

  • Music: Why ARR rocks, Ilayaraja rocked but Harris/Yuvan will always suck?
  • Movies: When will the world see Gautam Vasudev Menon and Rohit Shetty for what they really are? Talentless, overrated zeros.
  • Sports: Why it hurts to see Arsenal implode again and why India could do with a 38 yr old VVS Laxman more than a 39 yr old Tendulkar
  • Television: What makes Aaron Sorkin one of the most compelling screen-writers to follow?
  • Books (as opposed to Literature): What people see in the 50 Shades series?
  • Philosophy: Cur Hic Statis? (The English translation will make me the butt of many jokes so will refrain)
  • Bloggers: Baradwaj Rangan over-analysing a stupid scene, Kiruba getting thrown out of TED :-)
  • Just about anything inconsequential....
Why these choices? JLT !!!

Hope this helps.

Sachin Tendulkar scores a double century

Taking a leaf from Thalaivar, SRT says "Naan oru run eduttha nooru run eduttha mathiri!"

I've said it in the past and I say it again - Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is one of the most selfish cricketers to ever 'grace' Indian cricket and is a worthy successor to another of India's greatest servants cum selfish pigs from Mumbai, Sunil Manohar Gavaskar.

What will it take for him to retire? For Root to call him Uncle?

Source for nakkal quote: enga Mama dhaan :-)

(The) Silver Linings Playbook

I am on this constant search for finding the "(500) Days of Summer" of every year - the under-the-radar rom com not backed by a big studio but with a refreshingly new take on the oldest genere - and this year's search took me to Ruby Sparks and Silver Linings Playbook.

Coming highly recommended by both Berardinelli and Ebert, I tried to download a reasonable print of  the latter (yeah, despite it headlining with Bradley Cooper) but in vain. That is when I realised it is based on a "best-selling" book by Matthew Quick and a quick search for the ePub proved more successful than my earlier quest. Downloading the book onto my iPad3 (there I flaunted it again), I prepared myself to get overwhelmed.

30 pages into the book, I argued with myself that this is one of those books that would divide people right down the middle - either you'd love it or hate it. After completing the book, I feel like a complete fool as I am stuck exactly at the middle. I love the book for its quirkiness, its endearing lead character Pat Peoples and the way it constantly alternates between downright funny and lump-in-your-throat melancholy. What I didn't enjoy was the fact that you know exactly how the book is gonna end and the way one gets manipulated throughout the 2nd part towards that end. Also, if you're not a big fan of football (not soccer) or Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi / Kenny G, you could find the middle sections very tiring.

I'm really, really curious now to see how this book has been translated to screen and how on earth has Bradley Cooper managed to pull off Pat People. Please, please let Anupam Kher not be Cliff.

3.5 / 5

The Golden Globes nominations are out...

..and I realise how many films, good films, I have  missed this year. To be fair, I haven't even heard of some of these films. Rust and Bone starring the gorgeous Marion Cotillard and The Deep Blue Sea with the stunning Rachel Weisz somehow seem to have slipped past me.

The highlights are some surprising nominations for Django Unchained (oh gawd, when will it come to India), not-so-surprising nominations for Silver Linings Playbook and Benedict Cumberbatch grabbing a nomination for Sherlock. A detailed commentary on all this for later

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Crazy times

Work has been very hectic off late and when I am not putting in a shift to earn my dough, I spend hours (and sometimes even days) obsessing with the latest love of my life, the iPad3. Of course, other geeks have already traded this old version for the mini or the 4 but for me, I've just found myself a soulmate for life... or atleast till Apple supports it or I get lucky with a lottery to afford the next one.

Despite owning (ok, its not exactly mine but I gifted it to the OH so in a way its mine) an Ipod for 6 yrs, i still can't figure out how to automatically sync stuff from PC to the device and nothing's changed with the iPad. I still don't get 90% of the iPad's functionality and Siri just can't get my bloody South Indian accent right. The games I've downloaded (obviously only the free ones) are boring and listening to podcasts was so much cooler with the iPod.

The Retina display has been awesome for only 1 thing - reading books - and that I've been doing a lot of. So who's in my e-library? Grisham, Edgar Alan Poe, Lee Child, Tom Clancy, Chuck Palhniuk, Sylvia Day (heck, not embarassed at all) and Mathew Quick. The last one is a gem and we'll talk about it in a separate post.

For now, I am off to watching the Manchester Derby. The perfect result for me would be a City win with Tevez scoring a hat-trick and Rafael scoring a consolation goal. Takes care of Fantasy Football.

Musically yours

Tomorrow is Elay Keechan day. I know i will drive the missus crazy but do I care? Deepavali and Pongal might be festivals throughout TN but for me the biggest festival is a Mani Ratnam movie release, the festivities for which start with the release of ARRs music album. If Nenjukulle is any indication, then this is the album that will set right the aberration called JTHJ. Fingers and toes crossed.

PS: Madhan Karky does seem like a smart guy. I might have to take back my earlier opinion of him.

The Duh Times - 1

Of all the times, I chose today to inaugurate my Dhoni-7 Chennai Super Kings T-shirt. How much more duh can I get? I am lucky I didn't get stoned during the 15 mts I strayed outside the safety of my house. Phewww... close shave !!