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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Review : Jaya TV Hariyudan Naan

Episodes : Oct - 28, 29, 30.

For the sake of variety, the selected 'theme' was "Retro". I am passing on writing a detailed review and wasting everyone's time.

One-line summary: Many average performances, some horrible, and couple of neat auditions.

I really can't say "Enjoy!" while signing off this time.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: Jaya TV Hariyudan Naan

Episode : Week of October 20, 21, and 22 2010

If there is one program I keenly follow these days, it is Jaya TV's Hariyudan naan. It has been very informative and educational which have seldom been dished out to singers or outsiders in the past.

My peeve has always been how the singers in this show are no way near comparison to the kick-ass kids in the Vijay TV super singer.

The show has now reached Top-12 stage, and I will be posting my take on the weekly episodes.

Apart from the distractions of the opening sequence, and the odd dancers (what on earth were they doing?), this was one of the shows I liked because of the consistent performances of all the singers.


Niranjan Krishna
I had written him off with his horrible show of 'Vellai pookal' song where a very simple song was too tough to handle. However, from there it has only been a show of success. He has learned and practised a lot and the result shows. The previous episode where some of the participants (Niranjan, Ravishankar, Lakshmi and Gopalakrishnan) attempted a kalyani extempore rendition was amazing. Niranjan and Ravi were the leading artists.

Such confidence was evident in todays show's 'Paaradi Kanne Konjam' song from Vallavanakku Vallavan. My initial reaction was that he hadmade a bad choice, but he more than made up with his charanam performance. There were occasional thalam slips, but overall as the judges pointed out the shruthi was on target. I see him as a strong candidate for the top-5

Has an excellent voice, but his weakness has been his diction (I recollect he grew up in North, and only recently picked up Tamil). He got kudos from MSV for singing Sambo Siva Sambo from Ninaithale Inikkum, when MSV said that if he had known of Karthik he would not have sung the song himself!, quite a promising talent.

'Varaga Nadhi Karai' (continued here) from Sangamam was his selection, IMO a song with wonderful potential to showcase his abilities. He made slight adjustments to the song which kind of simplified some of the sangadhis. I felt he was slightly short on shruthi with the first line throughout the song. A very decent performance, and definitely a strong wildcard for top-5

I remember seeing her in one of the other shows with SPB/Jaya TV before. She has come a long way in this show. Has had a very good run and attitude all along.

Her selection was 'Kannalane' from Bombay. I felt she was constantly short on breath, evidenced by barely audible last word of pretty much every line in charanam, granted this is a tough song. Yet again a very decent performance, but I felt with the song's potential, and her talent better justice could have been done to both. A strong top-5 candidate


He stole our hearts with his flawless rendition of 'Nanda Nee En Nila' song earlier in the show. Was not a front runner in the early stages, has now started performing consistently.

He sang 'Vaa Vennila' from Mella Thiranthadu Kadhavu. His earlier problems of breathing had gone away and the vocal consistency could be felt clearly . I heard pitching issues at the start of the pallavi, however he eased into a nice rhythm with the charanams. The backing female vocals by Sharanya was excellent! An 'ok' performance. His chances of top-5 depend entirely on his upcoming performances. Wait and watch!

After his standout swarams in the practice show, I felt even more disappointed that with all that skills he has not done a better job on the show. Other than couple of oustanding performances, more often than not he has been dishing out pedestrian renditions. Is he a bit too casual? or appearances misleading?

'Aaryuire Manippaya' (continued here) from Guru was his song. Any song with ARR's vocals would be tough due to the high pitch, however that was least of his worries - some pitching issues, some nervousness and some bad swaram singing in the first interlude let his performance down. He sang the female version's upper octave using his lower register which is quite tough. His improvisation/touches very nice, and showed his creative side. Overall I did not hear a love song. Follow Hari's comments and Ravishankar's response, sounded much better. He has the potential to be a wildcard for top-5, but will he live up to it? Time will tell.

His strength is his weakness. He applies too much of gamakams and carnatic style to all songs as a standard template. That is a sure shot at failing to make it big. In the past he has not displayed that ability to tone it down, surviving by a smart selection of songs that suit his style.

'Ellorum kondaduvom' from Pava Mannippu was his selection. A very neat and decent performance. Everything was textbook, and quite notable was his toned down 'bhagavathar' style. This augurs very well for him. The chorus was comical, aptly noted by Sharath. A very strong performance, but not standout. IMHO he will not make it to top-5, but am willing to be surprised.

Initially one of my top-5 picks along with Anush, she fell off the radar rather dramatically. Her trouble has been borderline shruthi on occasions. She came in for some severe criticism by the judges before receiving a lifeline. Will she get her act together?

Her choice was 'Athimara poovidhu' (continued here) from Sadhanai - at the start it felt she had not left her bad habit behind, but we are in a for a pleasant surprise. The syncopation was executed perfectly, sangadhis were correctly quantized and her flourishing touches (3m 23s) were nice. More than anything you could clearly see how she enjoyed singing. I replayed this song 3-4 times to enjoy her rendition. The exchange with Sharath split my sides. Simply her best on this show ever. Very strong comeback, a definite wildcard for top-5.

I heard the original, but for some rough edges, Nancy outdid the original, which in itself is a huge feat considering that it is S.Janaki that we are talking about.

After some mediocre performances initially she has been as solid as rock, and undoubtedly deserving her billing. Except for occasional odd performance she is one of the front runners for winning the title.

Her selection was 'Pollada madana' from Hey Ram was surprisingly odd, since it is a very mediocre song (getting my shield ready for brickbats from hardcore IR fans). However her rendition was flawless and serene. A classic Sharanya performance, a definiteTop-5 candidate.

A classic example of born talent, conquering his demons one step at a time without any training whatsoever. His voice is his biggest asset, and sangadhis come naturally to him. Can he build on his skills with formal training during the past month?

'Nagoor Pakathile' from Vellai Roja was his selection. His voice is now even better. Sangadhi crystal clear. A very clean performance, a strong wildcard for top-5, but my gut tells me he will pull off the surprise to make it.

Like Bhargavi, she started out on the wrong foot, and has gone from strength to strength, and somehow you can see everyone pulling for her :)

She sang 'Andha Sivakami' from Pattanathil Boodham. Not sure how this qualifies for the 'qawwali' round, which could be said about many songs, but so is life. As close to perfection as one can get. As Sharath pointed out, the song is made of sangadhis, and Lakshmi's rendition and the quantization were all just perfect. A strong top-5 candidate.

I had always felt that along with Vanitha, who is not part of the competition anymore, Harini always went with the 'Malgadi Subha' style of songs. While it is not fair to expect everyone to be master of all styles, it automatically puts her on a wicket. She surprised everyone with her performance in the last round.

'Unnai thaan' from Vazhkai Padagu was her selection. A surprisingly nice performance, just like her previous round. However, I still find her voice needs lot of polishing and a lot of practice to move forward her in her career. I don't think she has in it to crack the top-5 at this time.

Like Lakshmi, I definitely have a soft-corner towards Anush - he is very likeable. Even the judges share the same which explains his tenure in the show despite very average performances over the past few weeks. I still like him and believe he has the talent, but he has to deliver on the promise to survive the marathon to top-5

He sang 'Indha Kadal' from Nanbargal, a very average performance, IMHO a let down considering his talent. Some pitching issues and breath control distracted him from his best. As much as I would love to see him in the top-5, I just don't think he can make it.

Overall Verdict: I think Nancy and Lakshmi share the top honors for this week. You can see the judges' take here

Forecast for Top-5: Niranjan Krishna, Bhargavi, Sharanya, Lakshmi, ??? (Shenbagaraj, Venkatesh, Nancy in no particular order)

Hope you enjoyed the review, and please comment.

Monday, April 02, 2007


... the much awaited blockbuster movie by the mega-star combos of Rajini, Shankar and ARR. The music was released last weekend.

After the first few listens, all i can say is ARR Nee Enge ?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ay Hairathe - Guru

While i will resist the temptation to write a detailed review of Guru as yet, this song has been a personal-record-of-sorts for me.

I have distinct phases when am just addicted to one song, to the extent i will be breathing that song. And then, i'd move on to another, without losing the love for the previous song.

The first preview clip from Guru was Ay Hairathe - and it just was amazing. The tun-tun-tuns and Hariharan's voice and one of ARR's few totally tabla based songs. When the song finally came out, i was kinda feeling let down especially with too-much variation in the name of improvisation at the ending and hence tuned-out of this song.

Some point later, when i was trying to mimic the tun-tun-tuns, i went back to this song, and then i got hooked :D - the record setting spree, where the song literally looped at my desk and home for 4 non-stop days and many more stop and go days, courtesy my work ;) .

The highlights are,
  1. Obviously the tune - very nicely done
  2. Hari's singing and his kind of mini-comeback to ARR's albums
  3. Alka Yagnik - i have been a known non-liker of her nasal and irritating voice. But this song, has showcased her 'abilities' without her having to reach for her vicks inhaler. IMHO, she has proved her point to me- but this does alter my opinion about her singing in other songs ;)
  4. The string bgms are just way to awesome and the variations are goooooooooooooooood !
  5. For some funky reason, it sounds like IR'sh song to me, and yes that still is a highlight :)

Enjoy the song everyone, while my addiction lasts ;) :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Varaga nadhi

Was listening to this song from Sangamam (my review : here) after a long time - at a relatively high volume - and was able to observe tiny and interesting ideas that ARR had while at work.

The frenetic pace, the energy in the song, the amazing rendition, beautiful instrumentation, neat lyrics - made for a good r&r song - one could not hope for a better relaxation !!!

Sometimes, you can clearly see why genius'es are His own children - AND/OR, are we the benefactors of such creative music :) ?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I know, So I can...

One musical example of this attitude is a song 'Garuda Garuda' by Deva, for the movie Natpukaga. This was the distinct phase of his career when he decided to abandon IR 'style' in his composition to be current with ARR's 'style' ;)

Listen to this song carefully, and observe the piano riffs throughout- a'la jazz/blues song - and the bass sections and 2 people in the carpool immediately noticed how 'odd' certain sections were.

e.g 1.01 -1.02 , 1.32-1.33, 3.00-3.02 and so on...

Be a judge :)