Wednesday, December 19, 2012

AR Rahman - Kadal - Chithirai Nela

This is another soulful melody in this album. I know this word is being repeated for each song in the album, but i can't but say it - amazing. Once again, the song starts with very little music, virtually only a  slow notes from an organ playing in the background. The notes from the organ tho' slow and steady, but is not frail and equals the voice of the singer.
Vijay Yesudas, is blessed. Blessed with a voice very similar or sometimes exactly like his father. I do know there are a lot of people who don't like Yesudas's voice, but they are also the kind of people who think AR Rahman's songs are repetitive. Instead they find solace in a gana patty or a song from a Anu Malik factory. I love the way Vijay modulates his voice, starting slow, and then slowly increases the tempo as the song moves along. The way he sings "Manithan ninaithal, Vazhi pirakam", is different from "Kangallil irunthe Kaatchigal Thonrum" and increases the pitch to a crescendo when he delivers "Naallai thiranthal Nambikai sirikum". The same goes for how he performs with the line "Chithirai Nila", the first one as if he is crying to a dependent soul, and towards the end with a lot joy and pride, a new awakening.

How does ARR do this ? I have heard stories he let the singers have their freedom to deliver his tunes and he then mixes the interludes, and adds accompaniments to the song. If that is the case, i wonder if he gets the singer to do a retake when he feels some part of the song must now change. No wonder he works best when he is afforded the time. This song like many, is not easy to conceive the way it is. The minute but pronounced fluctuations in the voice and tune at different points, must have required a lot of thought or was an iterative process of delivery. Which is it? I wonder, but in awe of this genius. ARR lets the introductions go on for almost two minutes. Vijay plays around "Chithirai Nila", till about 1:48 into the song. Slow, and what would at first hear thing - boring - turns into another magic.

Only ARR can employ a chorus in a song very effectively. I have seen it many times, this background singers, who finally become masters in their own space, produce the right mix required. I recall, i forget the song now, but you can hear the distinct voice of Srinivas, even tho' at that time he was not a recognized singer. ARR does this often, and unless you pay attention, it will be difficult to even recognize the singers in the background sometimes.

You just love it when all things come together, i am now referring to the lyrics. I am sucker for these kinds of songs. Not that i am depressed and need these kind of words to help. But i love it, the endurance of human spirit, conquering despair or taking control of your own fate, rather than blaming it on someone else. There is good in everything, and everything happens for good - "Kalangalil irunthe Desangal thonrum , Tholviyil irunthe Gnyanangal thonrum". War is not bad after all. It is ok to make mistakes, learn from them. The second is one of my management mantra. How do you describe the moon as alone ? Never heard of that before. Usually people think the night sky is filled with stars. But our lyricist thought he must highlight that moon shines alone and equate it to a human condition, when we suddenly feel lonely, even tho' we are capable of burning bright.

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