Friday, October 26, 2007

Of A R Rahman's ATM and other music

The past couple of weeks have been so amazing for my musical senses and thats the reason for this post ...
An A R Rahman album, 3 rock albums .....all in a matter of 10 days ....what more could I ask for

First of all the Rahman album .... - Azhaigaya Tamil Magan

Extoll Begin
Slow poison ..they say what Rahman's music is .....This one though caught me in a spin right from the word go. Poison alright ....but a dangerous and quick one this. An out on out commercial album. The songs from this album are kind of a statement from the magician ......and it goes like this
" Lessons on how the music of a commericial mass-masala movie should be" ...
An alternative title could be
" A beginners guide to masala movie music"

Without much further ado - a few words on each of the songs
a) Ellaappuhyagum
Probably the entry song for Vijay. The majestic way the song starts and builds....the guitaring...the way Rahman croons this number .....its amazing. This guy is full of energy. His brilliance also lies in the way he identifies the voice that will suit a particular song. That reflects here and I probably cant imagine anyone else singing this song.

b) Ponmagal Vandaal
I have hated remixes previously except for Rahman's "Thottal Poo Malarum" from "New". Probably I am biased or its just his magic ....but Rahman's remix here again puts me in awe. The rap bit in between and the rhythm by itself !!!!!!. Aslam's voice roxxxx.....

c) Nee Marilyn Monroe
Time and again, I have a tendency to start wondering how life would have been without Rahman's music ....of what it must have been had not there been anything to look forward to in my musical part of the life. It would have been bland ....for sure. This album and this song in particular just reaffirms that belief. The rhythmic guitar and some foot tapping beats throughout the duration of the song make it a great one. Not the forget the singers themselves - new singers from Rahman's camp I guess ....and yet again amazing voices.

d) Valayapathi
The brown-eyed boy from Rahman's camp .....Naresh Iyer the soul of this song ..apart from the maestro's music itself. Classical beats, instruments, lyrics ....layered with lotsa Western interludes and some guitaring. How does this man think of such weird combinations of instruments and vocals !!!!! Oh man .....

e) Kaelaamal Kaiyile
This is a simple melodious number. Two more new singers and a great song. This one probably is the slowest in its poison effect.

f) Madhuraikku Pogadhadi
Now what sounds like a simple and mundane dappangu style Vijay song at start turns into an absolutely amazing foot-tapping number. Notice the drums/mridangam ....they dont follow the normal pattern - the arrangment and the way they are played are so complex that on the surface u won't notice. they stop..and how they start and the patteren keeps on changing. There is a guitar strumming somewhere ...then there is a sitar I guess and the vocals after the first interlude - they completely change the tune of the song and then how beautifully he brings back it back to the original tune.

The album is a master-stroke. A statement like I said ...of how a out n out commerical film music should be. Read comparisons and review of this album on the net. Yes ..this is not an Alaipayuthe or a Dil-Se but this what it is. Suits the mood, suits the image of the hero - and thats what Rahman is doin these days. At the end of the day, what sells is what he has to make.

I bow again to you .....Rahman. There was man ....then he discovered sounds ....then music ...and then came Rahman :-) Beyond that ....I dont see anything else

Extoll end :-)

Other Music
Radiohead, Collective Souls, Eddie Vedder
Now thats quite a collection of names ..right and believe it or not in the past 10 days, I have heard an album from each one of them ....

Radiohead - In Rainbows - A brilliant assortment of traditional Radioheadistic music plus some nice experimentation in sounds and style, this album makes for a really good buy.

Collective Souls - Afterwords - I fell in love with their music thanks to their album called "Dosage" and proabably that was the first English rock album that I bought. 7 years on ..the magic of that album remains un-paralleled to date. This new album is as Collective soulistic as you could get. They do sound a lot like themselves in this album but its more towards "Dosage" than any of their other albums. By the way, I own all their albums ..starting their self-titled debut.

Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild - This is a soundtrack from the movie "Into the Wild" (by Sean Penn). Though no song is more than 3 mins (except for one of them), each one of them is truly brilliant thanks mainly to the compelling and 'by now you know it and you love it' vocals from Eddie (lead from Pearl Jam) and also thanks to the bass on each of them (kinda Pearl Jamistic).

So that my friends what my past 10-15 days have looked like. Musically rich, pleasant to the ears ....and anyone who has seen me lately would have noticed a spring in the stride. Alllll ..thanks to music :-)