Hot Gas

Music,Musings et al

Month: November, 2009

Music Review:Leader(Mickey J Meyer)

Ok,the bad news first-I’m very busy these days,so you wouldn’t be getting a full length review for this.But the good news is Leader is a terrific OST.

Hey CM is highly imaginative vis-a-vis the splendid orchestration containing an interesting fusion of jazz and police band.Also,the diva like rendition by Sunita Sarathy is nice.Rajasekara is good enough but in the context of an item song it sounds rather tepid.Moreover the Kajra Re influences seep in and spoil the issue.Vandemataram is a true goosebumpy experience especially when the singer launches into the pallavi.Afterall and no wonder this was the chant that fuelled a nationtowards freedom.The lyrics are thoughtful,too.Barring the all too obvious resemblences with his(Mickey’s) earlier songs,Aunana Kadana is delightful.This is particularly true when the meandering pallavi paves the way to a sprightly charanam,with beautiful lyrics to accompany.The poola jadalo thoka chukka lines are some of the best lines you can hear.And suddenly thanks to the MD,Maa Telugu Talliki seems like an altogether different song.It is no longer the detestable song one hated to sing in the morning assembly with the sun beating down! Ah! if only this guy existed in those times.His contemporary packaging of the iconic ode to the Telugu motherland,here, is soul stirring and rousing.The Shehnai burst of the same in the instrumental is,again,excellent.Rayaprolu’s words flow again through the magnificent Sreelu Pongina.

My Picks-Maa Telugu Talliki,Aunana Kadana

My Rating-Three Cheers!!!

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Music Review:Paa(Ilayraaja)

Mudhi Mudhi,along with two of it’s offshoots-the continuum Udhi Udhi and the wistful Gali Mudhi,literally spell freshness.Like the choicest nectar distilled from the maestro’s repertoire,it dissolves on fleeting,ephemeral contact.Also the orchestral melody is pure,it’s soul not defiled by a grating synth sound that attaches itself,mysteriously,when Raaja composes for films down south.But before all these heavenly experiences,the aural senses do take a while to acclimatise to the amorphous tune and absorb the sensuous wordplay(Swanand Kirkire makes this his recurring motif with every other song in the OST trying hard to rhyme.)

Though a thorough appraisal of any exhibition of art would lie in the critic being impervious to the influence of one single piece,it seems,this,is eminently not possible with Paa.Throughout,I felt like rushing back to the ambrosial Mudhi Mudhi somewhat like a child enamoured by the toy shop in a fair.

This disinclination towards the other songs is also fuelled by their middling disposition.Frankly,they would do better when embedded into the narrative than as standalone pieces.

Gum Sum is vintage Raaja but it is hindered by a bland vanilla flavour and lacks a striking quality that would elevate it beyond the realms of ordinariness.Same is the case with the prosaic Hichki Hichki.

Mere Paa,amusingly sung by Amitabh Bacchan,does an engrossing job of delving into the arcane thoughts of a progeria afflicted child.But,again,it looses it’s appeal soon.Finally,Raaja rounds off the OST with a short choral piece-Halke Se Bole.

Mudhi Mudhi is undoubtedly the lodestone of this enterprise.Here’s a gem from Raaja whose creativity,it seems,has been wringed dry owing to his prolific composing spree.For the leviathan that he is,striding across all the southern languages with virtuoso accomplishments,he has far little to show when it comes to hindi.

My Picks-Mudhi Mudhi

My Rating-Two Cheers!!

Music Review:Three Idiots(Shantanu Moitra)

There’s something about Shantanu Moitra’s music that makes it unique,distinctive and refreshing.It is perhaps the tinge of 70s music with which he dabs his music,if not the frequent out and out retro that he springs on us.Also the earthy Bengali flavour that permeates his songs–coupled with a ritualistic obsession towards melody,only melody and nothing else–must have got something to do with all the treacly warmth his songs germinate inside us.Some of this syrupy goodiness seeps into the totally whistle worthy Aal Izz Well(Did Raju Hirani have a part in naming the credits!).It’s a bombastic outburst of delight,cheer and celebration of basic existence,especially the title hook,and with Swanand’s wacky lingo buttressing it,this one’s all the more welcome.The OST slackens,only in pace and not in quality that is,with Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh.Moitra plucks out a trademark melody more in the lines of Kasto Maza(Parineeta) and weaves a soundscape that is quotidian yet profound-all at the same time.Another beautiful thing about his music is that his songs,almost all of them including this,are eminently hummable and his notes always land with a soft caress rather than a loud,garish thud.The boy band’ish Give Me Some Sunshine central conceit lies in it’s unflinching focus onto what every college lad echoes,particularly the ones scarred by the competitive edu system where one ‘pays’ for not earning that extra grade.And it does all this in the endearing Raju Hirani light hearted way-You laugh but more importantly you also think when Sharman Joshi says that it was his father himself who taught him how to bribe officials.Swanand Kirkire strikes an amazing balance within the lyrics by eschewing any kind of phony preachiness and hence cheesiness,coating the acerbic parts with sugar,and in ensuring that a truly genuine issue gets registered with the fun quotient remaining intact.

Sonu Nigam does a stunning job in Jaane Nahin,another dramatic song also ridden with pathos and melancholy of the situational kind.

The wistful clouds,though,disperse giving way to thunderous rain laden ones—making us fade back to a time when bell bottoms were in and faded jeans weren’t manufactured yet—for some 70s action in Zoobi Doobi(Scooby Dooobi Doo anyone?).Sonu and Shreya are outrageously over the top,in true blue cabaret meets rain serenade fashion.

Moitra’s songs for Three Idiots aren’t earth shaking but they are uniformly good and,importantly,entertaining.This reflects in my picks as well.

My Picks-Zoobi Doobi

My Rating-Three Cheer!!!

Music Review:Saleem(Sandeep Chowta)

Before the review a trivial question-What do you do when an excellent recipe that you were trying out didn’t turn up exactly the way you wanted it to be?Umm..I suppose you would make do with what is left of it.In other words,you salvage–enjoying the better morsels and shrug off the bad ones as if they did not exist–the dish.

Moving on,as they say every cloud does have a silver lining unless it happens to be something as dreadful as the audio of Sandeep Chowta’s Saleem.I hopped from song to awful song searching in vain for that elusive Aha! moment when the sweet sound of music fills one’s inside with a feel good warmth.Oh boy! was I wrong! A melodious refrain…an ingenious turn of phrase…a soaring interlude..a skillful piece of singing,Alas! this OST has none.In fact,I would be hard pressed to even call it a downward spiral for there no spiral at all to begin with.It hits the lowest possible notes possible and the god damned redemption never materialises.If there’s something below the nadir,this is it!

My Rating-Four Tears!!!!

Music Review:De Dana Dan(Pritam,RDB,AdBoys)

RDB do what they are expected to with their reworked megalomaniac ditty Paisa Paisa-Provide loads of gibberish upfront to soften the listener for the subsequent blows! Contrary to what many people believe,I have always felt that when it came to nasal singing,RDB outnose everyone by a mile.And yes that includes our poor Himesh(With he re-inventing himself,there’s no competition for RDB).

Moving on,slot the title track into the already burgeoning list of Akki goofy numbers and,well,move on..(Do tell me who the adboys are).

Pritam flatters-He delivers another charming track,one of those kind which melt in the ears,in the form of Rishte Naate-only to deceive.There is a right royal downward spiral about which you have no inkling of while Rahat holds forth.Baamulaiza is too monotonous for comfort with utterly predictable passages while Hotty Naughty is nutty,knotty and what not.Even the build up to Gale Lag Ja isn’t all that inspiring,but may well be inspired(wink).The orchestration is sluggish and inert but the lead singers do a serviceable job.

And that’s all about it.De Dana Dan is a muddled job and apparently Pritam sleepwalks through it.

My Pick-Rishte Naate

My Rating-Two Tears!!

Music Review:Aarya2(Devi Sri Prasad)

Everything about Mr Perfect smacks of the incorrigible clichedness that plagues telugu OSTs these days.Sample these lyrics-He’s a jaadugar…He gives you fever..He’s a cool cracker..takoddhe(don’t touch)…I already see many of you shaking your heads and pointing out that this is meant to be *leave your brains behind kinda stuff*.True,two years ago,I would have marvelled at the sheer disdain and disregard for logic that these lyrics conveyed.Maybe I would have appreciated the *fresh* lyrics.But,I have a problem when this *kinda stuff* becomes the staple de riguer diet that feeds,almost,every alternate song.And when the female lead,Rita,mumbles the Perfect..Perfect..He’s Mr Perfect refrain it’s deja vu of the cruelest kind.I mean,I have lost count of how many times Devi Sri has used this kind of hooks.Also,I have a problem the looseness with which he weaves music,especially in the title tracks.Nowadays it almost borders on kiddish rhythm patterns of the lamest kind.The MD,though,redeems himself with a neat ditty-Uppenantha.KK is in fine fettle and despite the oft repeated motif of the DSP making it’s presence felt,here too,the emphasis on melody pays off.Devi Sri’s jejune vocals and the utterly abysmal tune take Baby He Love’s You within striking distance from disaster,but a few inspired lyrics from Chandrabose,just about,salvages the day.The south film industry,telugu in particular, must be the only one with a fetishistic urge to incorporate an item number in every film.And this they continue to hold fast to with an almost ritualistic compulsion.The only difference lies in the star they rope in for the 5 minute act.The low budget ones make do with the local ones while those willing to splurge take great pains to prize out one from north of the Deccan’s.At first annoying with a dumb tune to boot,Ringa Ringa‘s,the item song here,only selling point is it’s downright cheesy lyrics by Chandrabose.The lyricist runs wild with his suitably crass imagination concocting an uproariously rip roaring tale(pardon the pun,if any) of a shady courtesan.DSP’s puerile attempts continue in My Love Is Gone even as his strongest composition comes in the form of Kunal Ganjawala sung Karige Loga.Mildly reminiscent of the MD’s Atu Nuvve Itu Nuvve in terms of the sheer expressiveness in singing,the wordplay of Vanamali and the sinuous tune make this one soar.

Aarya2 is one of DSP’s better works in recent times,but that isn’t saying much considering he has unleashed on us a certain Mallanna and Current.His work here too can best be metaphorised with wild pendulum swings.As some wise cricketer rather simplistically described his team’s performance as very good or very bad,the same applies to this OST too but with a one difference-The good ones are middling while the bad ones are really bad.Disappointing.

My Picks-Karige Loga

My Rating- One Tear!

PS:Do try the fine remix of Karige Loga with a soft guitar accompaniment. Oh! and why does Sagar sound squeaky here.