Wednesday October 5, 2016

Kodi (Music review), Tamil – Santhosh Narayanan

Posted by Karthik

The most interesting aspect of Sirukki vaasam is the retro-pop backgrounds that is almost Serge Gainsbourg’ish! The tune is less engaging, in comparison, though the mid-way Kozhayiren turn is very interesting. The title song sounds like Veera thurandhara’s sequel, while Vetta pottu has director Hari’s stamp, more than Santhosh’s. There’s a distinct Hamsanadam Neetimati-raaga invocation (see Aadhy’s comment below) in Ariraro‘s prelude, though it veers completely away and moves into a rather functional pathos song. The soundtrack’s highlight is Ei suzhali, a lilting, quirky ballad with a retro-style orchestration, wonderfully sung by Vijaynarain. But, overall, this Kodi doesn’t seem to be flying all that high.

Keywords: Kodi, Santhosh Narayanan

Listen to the songs:



  • Aadhy

    This album worked for me big time. This is supposedly SaNa’s first full-on commercial album and I think he did an amazing job by making the tunes catchy enough for the masses without losing his trademark sound. Sirukki vaasam’s tune might be less engaging but its unpredictability is what makes it more SaNa-esque. A jolt hit me when ‘vena..uyir vena’ part came. It’s also one of the most brilliantly arranged songs in the recent times, with the lovely guitars (does Keba ever disappoint?) and tight drumming (Tapass Naresh, Kabali drummer) standing on their own. A composer’s ability nowadays is judged by his arrangements, because every tune, or atleast a part, is always derivative (Western or Indian). At present, I can’t think of any other composer whose arrangements sound this non-clumsy, fresh and live.

    And FYI, Ariraro’s prelude is not Hamsanadam, as right in the first line the strings (chords) go pa-dha-ma-pa. There is no ‘dha’ in Hamsanadam (not anymore) and the second line also has the piano playing the note ‘ga’ . It actually starts like Neetimati (Hamsanadham’s melakarta ragam) and goes into a ragamalika mode, invoking Dharmavathi in between. A bit of technical research, or even asking around, would bode well for your reviews, since you take raga names so liberally. This is just a kind suggestion, it’s upto you if you want to take it up or not. Invoking raga names could lend a bit of technicality to your review, but being inaccurate defeats the whole purpose. And trust me I’m not talking from a purist’s POV, just that it brings down the credibility of something you do so well (and that too from a long time!).

    Moving on, Kodi parakudha sounds like Veera Thurandara’s sequel because it’s gangsta hip hop. Take any two songs of Dr.Dre or DMX, and they could sound ridiculously similar. Most such songs have the bass drum overpowering the snare with low pitched rapping and calling them the same song is a bit unfair, I would say.

    Ei suzhali is a fantastic blend of American 80’s funk and soul (note the synth and keys). And doesn’t this guy love his funk? Right from Rathiri in Pizza. I wouldn’t call this a ballad though. Sirukkivaasam is more a ballad than this.

    I totally agree with you on the Vetta pottu number. Uncharacteristically simplistic tune and pedestrian arrangement. Got a bit excited by the chords at ‘ venanda akkaporu’, but the song soon returns to its monotony.

    • milliblog

      Agree on the raaga part, will be careful. In this case, don’t you hear the prelude of Thendral vandhu ennai thodum? Specifically, 0:25-0:28?

      • Aadhy

        True. In Thendral vandhu, the bit you mentioned has strings playing ‘pa-ri-sa’. The strings play the lead there (no chords). But in Ariraro, the Piano plays the lead and strings play the chords. The piano or the lead plays ‘pa-ri-sa’ which made you think of thendral vandhu, whereas the strings/chords go pa-da-ma-pa. In the second line, the strings play both the lead and chords (kinda symphonic), where the notes descend Sa-pa-sa ni-dha-dha dha-pa-pa ma-ga-ga (classic pathos descent). Again, note the ‘ga’ here. Actually most of today’s songs don’t stick to one single raga. They use a specific raga for a specific line of expression, like the dramatic descent here and move away, in a Broadway-esque manner.

      • Aadhy

        And is this the first song of Santhosh in Misrachaapu? Or has he used Misram before? What strange choice of album to try out Misram, considering the commercial requirements to reach the masses. Not that its anything new as MSV, Raja, Rahman, Vidyasagar and even Yuvan have all successfully played around with rhythm patterns with commercial successes.

        • Vijaynarain Rangarajan

          Usuru Narambula from Irudhi Suttru was 7/8 🙂

          • Aadhy

            Oh yeah that was 7/8, totally forgot. And congrats on your maiden solo song man, known you from ‘Ooh lala la’ days. More power to you ! Quick question though, was the pronunciation of ‘azhagula’ as ‘alagula’ written in the lyrics, as in something intentionally done to match the rural slang? or did it slip the ears? Just curious about it, didn’t want to sound like Naam Tamizhar katchi’s youth wing leader 🙂

          • Vijaynarain Rangarajan

            Alagu means beak. I had the same question the first time I sang it. Thank you 🙂

      • Bharat KV

        This song definitely has the “thendral vandhu” touch and a huge Raja feel to it… especially how the tune shifts in “Kanne en oviya poove… ” and the orchestration sounds a bit like “Maayanadi” trademark SaNa… a less experimental album given its a commercial venture…

    • Chuttan

      It seems u have been heavily influenced by this album!!

      • Aadhy

        Ha Ha. Being an audiophile and acoustician by profession, I generally like to dive into the depth (if there is) of each song I listen to, regarding the ‘sound’ a la arrangement and production etc. Having been trained in Carnatic music also helps in appreciating the intricacies in an Indian song. But I must accept that I have a bit of bias for Santhosh. Though he does have his share of redundancy, he brought 70s-80s blues & funk back to Tamil cinema, which is my favorite genre 🙂

        • Chuttan

          That’s a personal opinion, that varies from person to person, but i commented as i found ur review abnormally long!!

          • Aadhy

            As I said, I like to get deeply into the constructs of a song and let my thoughts flow when I write about it, abnormal or normal it may sound. Maybe that’s also my personal choice.

  • Sathyajit Krishnan

    Even the most average of Santhosh Narayanans soundtracks have great touches. Really inventive this guy.

    • Chuttan

      Or mayb u r a big fan of him!!

  • Thiru Vetti

    Wow, Sirukku vaasam. Another gem I unearthed today. Enna composer SaNa is. Stunned.

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