Thursday June 28, 2007
Anaganaga Oka Roju (Telugu, Sri)
Despite the musically-aware gang in Chennai going ga-ga over Keeravani’s music in Kshana kshanam, back in the 90s when it was more fashionable to trash Telugu music for being over-the-top, I personally cherish one particular Telugu film album and that is composer Sri’s Anaganaka Oka Roju (1997). This was a film started by one of Ram Gopal Varma’s assistant at that time, Krishna Vamsi and was taken over later, by the mentor himself. The music was top notch commercial potpourri.
The rhythmic, rock and roll tint of Love is blind and a completely disparate, almost nonsensical prelude in Endammo had me in raptures. After the prelude, Endammo had a fairly predictable tune but the bridge passages Sri cooks up to get back to the mukhda, along with the interludes, are very neat. Oopalenaya may sound very hackneyed now, but back in 1997, the convoluted tune and the laid-back orchestration that pauses every so often was both raw and innovative. This track also had Ilayaraja-like sax and chorus interludes that was bang-on as far as the situation goes. Aedo taha taha was the only weak link that was trademark Telugu music, combining middle-eastern traces in its orchestration.
But my personal favorite was O cheli. This track has a conversational tone and it was even more enjoyable on screen with Urmila and Chakravarthy having solid fun. The playful banter that opens the song so beautifully paves way to a scintillating first interlude in violin that teases us with what it doesn’t play – the silent pauses. A flute takes over and it goes into a medley of amazing sounds before it reaches a crescendo and back to the dialog. Mano (credited as Nagur Babu) and Chitra tune in incredible sync while rendering this track.
Mano actually sings all the 5 tracks and its really a pity that this talented singer was always considered second fiddle to the king, SP Balasubramaniam and perhaps never got his due. I looked forward to Sri’s music after this film, but he just seems to have fizzled out of circulation. We do have this soundtrack to remember him with, nevertheless.
Keywords: Chakravarthy, Urmila Matondkar, Ram Gopal Varma