Sunday, September 27, 2009

K. V. Mahadevan: Vasantha Maligai (1973/1972)

When most people think of popular South Indian cinema they generally think of historical epics or religious dramas. But unlike what I have posted up to date Vasantha Maligai is an attempt to really bring out the hip modern urban Indian funk of the 70's inspired by R. D. Burman (but not quite taken to Burman's level.) It's the beginning of the retro Indian kitsch that we know so well; the suits, the hair, the bad dancing, the pastel colors, the over the top acting, the sometimes good music...I love it! (Sometimes I really do and other times I love it in a kitschy way).

The first tune is a Vamp song "Kudimagane" in which the main character, get’s drunk. Shivaji Ganesan plays a rich but unhappy "Devdasish" type of hero. Yet he still falls for temptation to a woman who just constantly take off her clothes (as seen in many vamp dance sequences). My favourite song on the album "Irandu Manam Vendu". Next, if you like the classical stuff then "Kalaimagal Kai Porule" and "Yaarukkaga" (the second if my fave of the two) are the closest you are going to get on this album. They use classical bell and string instruments that resemble most of the work that I have previously posted. "Mayakkamenna" has nice musical moments that are a fine mixture of modern and classical music, even more so than most Hindi soundtracks. R. D. Burman would use bongo instead of a traditional Indian drum. Also, I enjoy "Oru Kinnathai" most for it's music interlude and "O Manitha Jathiye"for its interesting use of guitar. Finally, "Adiyamma Rajathi" is folk song that sounds as if it would have worked in a film from the 50’s.

Even though I very much enjoy listening to this album, the melodies or even the notes are a bit confusing for my ears at times. I enjoyed it more as I got used to it. I much more enjoyed the vocals themselves than the melodies.




Side 1

1. T. M. Sounderarajan & L. R. Eswari: Kudimagane
2. P. Susheela: Kalaimagal Kai Porule
3. T. M. Sounderarajan & P. Susheela: Mayakkamenna
4. T. M. Sounderarajan & B. Vasantha: Oru Kinnathai

Side 2

5. T. M. Sounderarajan: Yaarukkaga
6. T. M. Sounderarajan: Irandu Manam Vendu
7. T. M. Sounderarajan: O Manitha Jathiye
8. T. M. Sounderarajan & P. Susheela: Adiyamma Rajathi

Lyrics: Kavinger Kannadhasan

Stella_1's score: 3/5

Get the music now: Vasantha Maligai K. V. Mahadevan