Usire was an
eagerly awaited film, not so much for what story it would tell as
for its music. This Ravichandran-starrer has music by Ilaiyaraja,
and the publicists had said Hamsalekha would be writing the words.
Ravichandran and Hamsalekha, the actor's once favourite
lyricist-composer, are no longer on good terms, and their
reported coming together for this film had aroused some curiosity.
Usire is a remake of a Tamil
film, but Ilaiyaraja's tunes are original. Instead of
Hamsalekha, K Kalyan has finally written the words. He's the man who
wrote the words in Amritavarshni as well, and won an award for
his music score in Chandramukhi Pranasakhi.
At least some songs in Usire
bring back the
Ilaiyaraja we all know -- the chords, the syncopation, the violin movements and
the orchestral colour are all recognisable.
Something I noticed on this tape: the words seem
syncopated in an unthinking sort of way, making the stress fall
on the wrong places, and making it difficult for even careful listeners
to follow the meaning of the words. Don't know if this is Kalyan's
fault or Ilaiyaraja's.
The problem shows up very conspicuously in
the second song, Chilipiliyalu chilipilage edearalisi
olavali. I strained my ears to catch the words, made
them out with difficulty, and again heard several strangely
stressed words. In the line Aparoopagala anubandhadali nanna
manasina katheyide, for instance, aparoopa becomes a
hurried apa-ru-pa, in anubandha all syllables are
clipped, and nanna becomes nana). This is no
stylisation, it sounds like too many words fitted into too
small a space. In another song, Brahmanige chinte illa
becomes Brahmanige chinte ila.
marubhoomi seeks to express the anguish of unrequited love,
and naturally uses the images of Majnu and the desert.
Again the words seems stilted (shrutiya bittu becomes
shrutiya bitu). Musically, it has all the
heightened melodrama you would expect from a song like
this. The orchestra is quite nicely done, and S P
Balasubramanyam sings in a
Chandri nee chenda chenda is a
pleasant tune, and Yesudas is better than in some other recent
songs, but he is definitely off-colour at many points. It's a song
where the hero describes the beauty of the girl, and Kalyan comes up
with utterly ridiculous alliterations like Chakkuli chandrana
chochchalu varavidu. I liked parts of the orchestra though.
Muthu helo maathidu has a folksy beat,
and choppy guitar chords. It's where Muthu, the
hero, sermonises, presumably to the
is a duet between the hero and the heroine, a low-caste man and a
high-caste girl. Bhavatharani, who has just won the national award
for best female playback singer for a song in Bharati,
sings this number with Yesudas. A total mismatch if there was one,
with Bhavatharani unable to express the words. The tune itself
isn't too bad though.
Janapada annodu namma jeeva is
again folksy in its approach, and is backed up by a chorus
that sings occasional snatches to add texture. This one is sung by S
P Balasubramanya and Chithra.
Usire (O breath!) may run well at the
box office. That still won't make amends for the bad
poetry, or for tunes that ride roughshod over the
At a press
conference in Bangalore when this album was released (first
week of April), Ilaiyaraja refused to answer reporters' questions,
and when he did speak, he mumbled contradictory things
like "I know nothing about music" and "I am music". The papers
reported that they couldn't figure out if he was being
eccentric or arrogant!
Write to the
Write to the editor
Want updates on The Music Magazine's latest
stories? Send us your e-mail ID, details of genres you are
interested in, and any other information you
think is relevant. We plan to alert you to new stuff
on your favourite magazine
Top | Home
Press Ctrl D to bookmark The Music
*For fans of Indian music, there is
no better resource on the Web --
*Well researched -- India
*Fantastic site -- Hitbox
*Web's best --
*Superb coverage... worth tuning in to --
*Classy -- Deccan Herald