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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yuvanum GVPrakashum

Suddenly, it feels like Yuvan Shankar Raja has become this under rated composer, at least in the online music related forums or maybe I am not in those forums where they discuss Yuvan’s music. With Aadhi Baghavan and Moondru Paer Moondru Kaadhal, Yuvan does some interesting things. Yuvan creates these melodies that takes unpredictable turns phrase after phrase but never once loses its melodic grip and the melody almost always reaches finds its sweetest destination – catch the brilliance in Oru Thuli Vishamaai. At the same time, he cares for an Aahaa Kaadhal which is simple, straight, conventional melody that gently caresses the listeners’ hearts. However, sometimes, Yuvan takes this unpredictability aspect of the melody a little too far; he stretches it to an extent that you forget where it all began – say, the charanam in Mazhai Mazhai. It becomes like a sentence formed with too many punctuations and conjunctions, the core idea is lost somewhere. Further, in some such songs in MPMK, he is audacious enough not to add even a gentle rhythm layer that could help a listener catch the overall skeleton of the melody as and when it unfolds. Of all things, I like Yuvan Shankar Raja for he is probably one of the very few composers in Tamil Film Music now who cares to compose long instrumental interludes, which are more fascinating and musically richer than the song itself.

Composers of now are very good at composing sweet, sprightly romantic melodies, but fail miserably when asked to compose melodies for somber or dark moods. None of these songs are impactful, effective and doesn’t at all invoke the intended emotions in a listener. I used to go into this specific somber zone and remain dull for days together on listening to Naan Kadavul songs. Only such song I liked of G.V.Prakash is Or Mirugam from Paradesi. May be it is too early for G.V.Prakash to work in films of Bala or Bharathi raja. Even in Aadukalam, that En Vennilavae was such a bore. In Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum, I like Nariga oranga, though it reminds Rahman’s Kaattu Chirukki a lot. Aavaarankaattukkulla is lovely. Ghatam is the code Rahman cracked in Usilampatti Penkutty to invoke folk feel without ever entering Ilaiyaraaja territory, and everyone since then seems to be following the same code. And there are some parts of Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum that beautifully invokes Ilaiyaraaja – sample the soothing section that starts with Anji kuyil Koovaadho in Poththi Vechcha song.


Anonymous said...

Yuvan had always been an underrated composer! Some of his epic stuffs are not known to public!! U know, Aadhi bagavan songs are not at all played in radio stations... What do u think about GVP?? Is he over rated according to u??

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Yes. I read Yuvan tweet about that.

GVP - I think more than the people it is the film makers who have an inflated opinion on GVP as a composer.

Good Movies said...

I really don't know much of his work, but I'll have a look on Youtube and check him out.

Sunil Malhotra said...

Yuvan packs so much energy into one song that the remaining songs seem quite plain in comparison. Sometimes I doubt if he knows how the industry operates. I feel sorry for him as I know how skilful he actually is but producing one track albums will only increase his inconsistency further. The last album(s) where I enjoyed all songs equally was Peasu. Since then I only seem to enjoy one track only from every release. These individual songs keep me busy on end so I have no qualms about not listening to the other tracks.
Here’s the ultimate Yuvan playlist (post peasu release)! This playlist proves Yuvan never repeats his style unlike you knows who lol but that someone isn’t inconsistent. Yuvan on the other hand is probably the second biggest risk taker after Rahman Ji but only sometimes does his effort pay off. I don’t mind if Yuvan doesn’t win an award, I feel he is above awards. I know he will always give me that one solid composition in every release that I won’t feel hungry till his next release. ATM Konjum Kili is not letting me listen to any other song let alone another artist. I’m a suck for Celtic music and the way he mixes in Thamizh folk is just spellbinding.
1. Konjum Kili
2. Vellai Maiyil
3. Kaadhal Endhan Kaadhal
4. Yaavum Poithaanaa
5. Idhayam
6. Unakkulle Mirugam
7. Billa II Theme Music
8. Damma Damma
9. Thaiya Thakka
10. Manasa Paikegire (Second Interlude Raaja galore)
11. Aathadi Manasudhan
12. Ela Ela
13. Vaada Bin Lada
14. Nanbane
15. Oru Malayoram
16. Naa Vetta Pora Aadu

If I had to pick 1 song from his recent albums and choose a minimum of 6 then they would be

Aathadi Manasudhan - Kazhugu
Ela Ela - Panjaa (Telugu)
Ithayam Pesuthey - Pesu
Yaar Solli Kadhal - Pathinaaru
Sol Pechu - Thillalangadi

last but certainly not least

Kaadhal Endral/Idhu Varai - Goa

Bonus Track being Valibaa Vaa Vaa

If this list was an album, then who knows what would've happen. BTW, it was Mounam Pesiyadhe album that made me start to take him seriously and If I had to pick one song from his career that I rate his best even till now, it would definitely be Ninaithu Ninathu and engayo partha mayakam to an extent (according to sources, the latter was destroyed by Udit Narayan's pronounciating but I'm just judging it by music).

Sunil Malhotra said...

Now with relation to GVP I'll just copy and paste my own post from my blog.

G. V. Prakash has definitely come a long way since “Chikku Bukku Rayile”. Bearing in mind I’m an avid fan of A.R. Rahman, I don’t know if it’s a psychological thing but ever since “Veyil”, I find a supporter of G. V. Prakash inside me raging to come out with every release of his.

GVP has churned many haunting melodies in the span of six years and it is fair to say that his music chooses the listener. I say this because as a listener there is nothing greater than the feeling of getting completely sucked into a trance. I have heard his music to pick out nuances related to Rahman Ji but instead have ended up finding sounds that are new to me. As an experimenter of music, I have a priority of paying more scrutiny to the instrumentation and arrangements as a listener but if an engaging melody pops up occasionally that holds my attention more than the arrangements then I feel the need to bow down before that song.

GVP not only has written melodious tunes but these melodious tunes play with the listeners emotions. I don’t know who he will attribute this feature to but regardless of being the world’s most renowned Indian composer’s nephew, he has and I believe he will continue in working his socks off to enthrall us all. The burden of responsibility on his shoulders is unanimously heavy, but I am happy to say that GVP doesn’t need people to address him as A. R. Rahman’s nephew anymore.

Favourite GVP Song is Poovin Manam. I feel GVP is ahead in this race of current gen composers

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Sunil - Very valid points about both Yuvan and GVP you make there. We both say the same things, just that I wasn't as cheerful about GVP's ability to deliver soulful romantic melodies in almost every single album. But, my concern was, is whether that is enough to be a competent film music composer. With rural Subjects and Somber moods, GVP lacks that punch. Yuvan is far better in these areas. And yes, Yuvan's experiments doesn't always work, but it is important for a composer to keep trying such ideas.

When it comes to delivering a wholesome album with not a single skippable track, it has been long time since both Yuvan or GVP has given us one such album. It is even there.

But, I don't want this to become a comparison exercise. Even this blog post wasn't meant to be the way it ended up here. I wrote what I wrote Yuvan long back when Aadhi Bhaghavan had released and I left it in drafts, and I wrote about GVP very recently after listening to Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum, and I thought I could just post together.

Sunil Malhotra said...

I thought Paradesi was a highly competent performance by and t's more somber then Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum, but as an album I prefer the latter. I enjoyed all tracks equally from both albums, although I have given more close listens to Pothi Vecha and and Avatha Paiyya. In terms of giving that sombre punch, then I can list a handful of songs that deliver prowess. "Ariro", "Kangal Neeye" and recently "Anname". The latter didn't strike a chord with me initially but somehow I found myself humming the most compared to the other songs.

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Sunil - Hardly ever come across a somber song that grows. My theory is that we are so ready all the time - with all our miseries and frustrations in our personal feel - to feel bad and somber, and it needs very little to trigger that mood in us. If a somber song really has in it , it works from the very first hearing the song (including A.R.Rahman's sad songs). And except for Or Mirugam, nothing in AKKV or Paradesi impacted me on the first listen.

Anonymous said...

i dont think MPMK has skippable tracks... all the tracks are really good! An album which can stand among yuvan's other classics is MPMK! I thought u would speak about the orchestration of both the albums!! They are brilliant! I think where u1 lag is, he has poor singer selection.. And GV prakash excels in that area... GV Prakash makes sindhavi in his most of his romantic songs and make them hit! Yuvan should improve that area! And about GV prakash, his tunes were good once but now a days, his tunes have turned old and boring... AKKV dint bring the folk feel i expected. It should have been intense, but they are light! i personally feel, folk feel in konjum kili is > than any tracks in AKKV! Now a days no composer can compose good folk tracks and composing good folk songs are a rarity. GV can do well than this but he need to work hard!

P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

True. MPMK has no skippable tracks, but definitely some skippable or rather some loose experimental bits within some tracks.

I would have wrote more about Orchestration, if I were writing a longer dedicated piece. I was just doing a quick post on selected aspects of Yuvan's music. I love Yuvan's orchestration in both the albums, to say the least.

I agree about Singer choices. G.V.Prakash is better. No risk taking at all.

Kuthu songs every makes, quite well too. But folk songs, not so much. Yuvan's Avana Paththi from Avan Ivan is one of the best folk songs in a recent times. Vidhyasagar's Thandavakone is a folk masterpiece.