Saturday May 25, 2019

Gypsy (Music review) – Santhosh Narayanan, Susheela Raman and Sam Mills

Posted by Karthik

Pradeep Kumar gets out of his comfort zone of soaring, beautiful melodies and delivers (along with Santhosh himself) a searing anti-establishment anthem in Very Very Bad. It’s just that Santhosh’s tune is perfunctory at the service of Yugabarathi’s angry lines. Musically though, the mixing of Karthick Devaraj’s jazz piano and Ganapathi’s dholak makes for a fascinating combination. Kaathellam is in Pradeep’s familiar territory and the man gets it so beautifully right! With a thrumming percussion and wonderfully dulcet sounds, Santhosh’s tune easily helps us imagine the moonlit night of Yugabarathi’s thoughtful verses.

Even as actor Siddharth is credited for Desaandhiri, I hear more of Santhosh, who is credited alongside. It’s an enchanting tune nevertheless, with a rousing Morricone-style sound, particularly with Telfie’s guitar! Manamengum Maaya Oonjal is the soundtrack’s best, easily. The trio of Ananthu, Dhee and Haricharan hold together Santhosh’s enthralling musical package that harks back to Manasula soora kaathey, from Rajumurugan’s debut, also with Santhosh’s stellar music. The melody here is similarly lush and incredibly layered. The nuances make the song infinitely more enjoyable – like the Hindustani interludes and the different tunes for saranam 1 and 2, but both being so, so good! And it ends with a lovely, harmonious almost-qawali style.

Arivu writes and sings (along with oFRO) the blistering Theevira Vyaadhi, a punchy and virulent rap that calls hate as a disease in a superbly abrasive way. Naveen’s synth bass adds to the mood of the song perfectly. And then there is Venpura, featuring… surprise!… T.M.Krishna! It’s a sprawling anthem of sorts, with what seemed like a delightful mix of Maand raaga and rock music, lyrically hammering on belief in humanism as the purest form of faith. With an assortment of speeches (including Abdul Kalam, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’) and music that constantly rouses, Krishna holds sway, with an equally impactful chorus.

The bonus songs by Susheela Raman, not featured in the main soundtrack (music label conflict?) tell a story on their own too! Bharathiyar’s Aasai Mugam gets a radically unique, and mystical, reinterpretation that makes the other simple and familiar version sound tame, in comparison! This is Susheela’s zone all the way, and with especially alluring use of Manos Achalinotopoulos II’s clarinet, and KV Balu and Saravanan Agoram on percussion. The other song by Susheela is a recreation of T.M (the other T.M. in this soundtrack!) Soundararajan’s iconic Ullam Urugathayya (one of the most soulful songs on Lord Murugan, written by Tamil female poet, Maragathavalli aka Maragathamma aka Aandavan Pichai). Musically, it treads the same tune as the original, with a lovely nadaswaram phrase by Hemanathan Balu, but the interpretation goes awry only because of Susheela’s bizarre accent (that was not so pronounced in Aasai Mugam!). But together, these 2 songs add a dramatically new vibrancy to the soundtrack, on top of Santhosh’s already fantastic work.

Cuckoo, with Santhosh Narayanan, Joker, with Sean Roldan and now Gypsy with Santhosh again – Raju Murugan’s sense of music is a beauty to behold! Santhosh Narayanan understands the demand from his director and delivers a musical wallop!

Listen to Santhosh Narayanan’s 6 songs on YouTube:

Listen to Susheela Raman’s 2 songs on JioSaavn.

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