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Advice in Rajkumar's voice

Dr Rajkumar
Top Ten Vol 2
Rs 20

This tape puts together 10 Rajkumar songs from recent films. It offers a glimpse into this living legend's rich repertoire.

Megha bantu megha from Mannina Doni was among his recent hits. Autorickshaws went by at top speed playing it at full blast! Hamsalekha's composing skills were already established when he made this tune. A veena accompanies Rajkumar's unbridled joy at the sight of rain-bearing clouds.

Tande kodiso seere from Midiyuva Hrudayagalu is full of the tired old sentiment that the husband's love replaces all the girl's bonds of parental love. The tune is okay, but the synthesised interludes lack direction.

Balu nanjayithe uses a chande beat and prays that the Devi descend to earth to help out her devotees. The violin, shehnai and sarangi bits are good, and Rajkumar does nattuvangam-style thaka thakita bits. The song is a bit unrelenting, but Rajkumar's voice is strong and true. This song is from Kaveri Theeradalli. Kaanada kai olego is about the puppet-like life of human beings. This again is an old image in Kannada film songs. Rajkumar sings raga Manjhi-style bits. The heavy violins and the sitar sound out of sync though.

In Bhoomi thaya chochala maga from the movie of the same name, the mood is sombre. Except for the first song on Side A where rain was a cause for celebration the others are weighed down by too much moralising.

Thamma thamma kelolu from Gadibidi Krishna once again counsels young folk. The song from Mangalya Bandhana advises women not to be Gandharis or Shabaris. In the charana the chord progression is really bleak as the song rises with more advice. The Western-style bits are well done but don't match all this counselling.

Meghamale from the epynomous film is refreshing after this heavy line-up. The tune is light and chirpy. The bass work is good, understated and heard in sudden spurts.

Nadavidu premanada from Madhura Maitri is a nice tune except for the shabby bits on simulated instruments. Rajkumar's voice strays a bit.

Abaleya alalidu from Preetiya Udugore takes us back to the heavy moralising mode.

Rajkumar hasn't been acting, and he has sung these songs for films starring other actors. Some of these films may have been reasonable commercial successes, but then none has been a big hit by his standards.

The tape gives a sample of the star's recent work.

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