Everytime the first love

Just heard the song "Aaro paadunnu Dhoore" from the new Sathyan Anthikad's movie - "Kadha Thodarunnu". Its one of those songs that you hear for the first time and fall flat.

Sathyan has the knack of getting at least one special song out of Raaja for his every movie. Be it the "Koda Manjin" (Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal) or Melleyonnu (Manassinakkare) or "Swasthin Thaalam" (Achuvinte Amma) or "Aatrinkarai" (Rasathanthiram) or "Mandhara Poo" (Vinodayathra) etc., etc., the impact of first time listening of such songs drains you out. You feel fresh as if someone just pressed your 'restart' button.

This song is a free flowing waterfall. As a listener you can clearly differentiate that, this is one song that is not "Manufactured". This was the basic trait of all music directors until the Ilaiyaraaja era. i.e., their specialty is not the creative spark they come up with for each song. Its their ability to finish what was started without going astray. In my personal view, I do not see any modern day composer who is showcasing this ability to build solid syncopation every 2 lines in each songs..

And thankfully Raaja on his 67th year, still has this gift of Spontaneity..

Such as the unexpected lengthy syllable of "Aathmaavil" of second line which starts a half beat earlier than the corresponding "Yaaro" of first, tells you that such tunes just come out that way when he places his fingers in the harmonium.. The rest of the Pallavi toes the cue from there to start ahead of each beat cycle. Chithra and Hariharan flaunting their experience through out the song.. For instance, effortlessly doing some tricky ascending kaarvais at the syllable "ill" (of Aathmaavil... Try oscillating your throat with your tongue attached to the roof and you would know !).

Looks like Raaja is going deeper into genre of free flowing jazz.. His penchant in recent movies to retain the guitar bends with minimal strings ensemble and some predominant 7th and diminished chords in the background, continues in this one two.. But again there is no wandering business.. the song is like a horse on blinders that follows a shifting reference between C# and its relative minor A# but all the time playing around with the same set of notes, the integrity of the song never once in question.

You can clearly feel this from phrases like this.

(The whole song can be heard at Music India online. I hope its legal..?)

Look at the chordensity at "Mazha - Villume Kondu Puthindhoru Vedhana nee" (Sorry for my poor malayalam lyrics). It goes around as F sus4, GbM7th, Eb6th, Fm and returning to A#m I suppose. That second chord of GbM7th is as unorthodox an application possible at that place (If you look closely it almost brings in the feel of Amruthavarshini in a shifted scale of Gb.) And yet it fits more than any normal chord you imagined..And when you thought its all over, then comes the unexpected coda in the form of Twinkle Twinkle. It sums up the overall experiencing of this song...

Both the Gandharams that act like the conjoined twins is the defining face of the song. Beautifully invoking a pensive and pining thought as you listen.. It would have by now triggered the debate among the internet intelligentsia if its a Pahaadi or a Maand. But this is one song where we should leave all such aspects behind (including the ones I blabbered above) and enjoy it for what it is for a moment.

An echoed voice that comes floating from somewhere in the ether, smothers you all around, takes you down the memory lane and brings few flashbacks in front of your eyes and finally puts you to sleep with lot of peace at heart..

Listeners to Raaja are the luckiest because whenever such songs come, they experience the first love all over again..

With Love