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Nostalgia with S Janaki

This is a ten-song compilation from Kannada cinema's favourite woman singer

S Janaki
The Living Legend

Rs 40

This is a cover-version collection of some of S Janaki's most loved Kannada hits. It would have been probably very difficult to put together these numbers in the original because competing labels hold the copyright, so Janaki strings them by rerecording them all over again.

Janaki has been Kannada cinema's most prolific singer, having worked in the industry for over four decades, and this is a ten-song compilation from her rich repertoire. Singers like Chitra have now taken her place, but that cannot diminish her contribution of long years: she has sung several thousand songs, of which at least a hundred are unforgettable.

The tape opens with the stylish Nagu endide from Pallavi Anupallavi, incidentally Mani Ratnam's debut film. What you miss is the rich violin orchestra of Ilaiyaraja's original, which is replaced by synth violins. The flute and sitar are real though. On the tape as a whole, Janaki recreates the old melodies faithfully, but in some passages she sounds strained, as in Gaganavu ello.

The album includes the energetic Gili gili gilakku, the evergreen Doni sagali and the charming Nodu baa nodu baa nammoora. Poojisalende hoogala tande from Eradu Kanasu, one of Rajan-Nagendra's best tunes, and Panchama veda, another radio favourite, are featured on Side B.

Janaki takes you on a pleasant nostalgia trip. By the way, why have they left out Yaava janmada maitri, that enchanting Kuvempu poem Janaki sang under G K Venkatesh's baton?

Smriti Ananth

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