Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nithyasree - Eppadi Paadinaaro (favourites of smt. D K Pattammal)

Main Artist(s): Nithyashree Mahadevan
Album Title: Eppadi Paadinaaro (Nithyasree sings favourite songs of smt. D.K.Pattammal)
Album Cover
1. Eppadi Paadinaaro
2. Vettri Ettu
3. Kannan Varakananae
4. Nanoru Vilayattu
5. Velan Varuvanadi
6. Aaduvome Pallu Paaduvome
7. Vallikkanavan
8. Theeradha Vilayattu Pillai
9. Poonkuyil Koovum
10. Engal Naatu
11. Gokulam
12. Shanthi Nilava Vendum

Orchestra conducted by L.Krishnan

The audio tape title is Eppadi Paadinaaro (Nithyasree sings Old Tamil Hit Songs Of Her Grandmother D.K.Pattammal).

It is clear that RPG wasn't targetting Carnatic buyers due to the lack of listing ragas and composers in both CD and tape, but more of a Tamil/Regional album. The orchestra and Nithyashree make the tunes very light. Nithyashree sung this album when she was younger, when her voice had more of the DK Pattammal sound to it. She does try immitating the young DKP, and at times, the attempts are convincing.

Nithyashree starts the album off with the title track, "Eppadi Paadinaaro" in Karnatakadevagandhari. This song, by Suddhanandha Bharathi, isn't rendered in full form like DKP often would in her kutcheris. Still, the song isn't a bad listen either, nor is the immitation. At the words "Karunai Kadal Perugi", Nithyashree rushes off some bruga sangathis, like DKP when she was younger.

Nithyashree then moves onto Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiyar's "Vettri Ettu" in Mohanam. The background music leading up to the pallavi is that of a typical Indian patriotic theme. This song is significant as it was sung by DKP in a movie, "Naam Iruvar". There is an interesting mridhangam sequence in between, perhaps like in the film version. Personally, again, I prefer the kutcheri version. DKP would render this item in a lot of her concerts too. There are some more nice brugas at "Nithya Shakthi Vazhgavendru" - though DKP's still remain unmatched.

This is followed by another song DKP sung in her own Tamil/Regional collection (78rpms I think), "Kannanvarakanane" in Ragamalika. The final raga, Punnagavarali, isn't sung as nicely as DKP. Very plain.

The Navarasakanada raga opening by the orchestra is quite nice. As expected, Nithyashree follows this with a rendition of Papanasam Sivan's "Nanoru Vilayattu" in the same raga. This is significant, as DKP's brother, DKJ had popularised this song. She renders this krithi a little more like DKP in this track, however, at a much slower speed, like with all the other tracks. Of course, DKJ has rendered the best version, to my knowledge. DKP would render this in her concerts too. Nithyashree's rendition is not bad.

The next song in Ragamalika, "Velan Varuvanadi", was popularised by DKP, but rendered less in her kutcheris, but like Eppadi Paadinaro, she did render it in a very popular album of hers. I figured the speed is considerably slower for the sake of the orcherstra, as Nithyashree has sung this in kutcheri at DKP's speed (it was good). Another ok item. To choose the best rendered bits of the krithi, were the ones in Kedharagoula. The orchestra played best before the Kapi that followed. Her effort at Dhanyasi was a nice try, and her Mohanam immitation was excellent. This song describes the episode of Valli and Murugan - see post below.

Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiyar's "Aaduvome Pallu Paaduvome" (Maand) follows. DKP sang this patriotic song in a movie too. A very cheerful tune, following the song's theme and lyrics - let us dance and sing for we have achieved glorious freedom. After the words "saangu konde", a sound effect of a conch (saangu) follows. Interesting! The sangathis are good, and her pitch remains quite high, but not at a piercing level.

The next item is the evergreen "Valli Kanavan Perai", a Kavadi Chindu based on the raga Senchurutti. DKP popularised this krithi, and sung it in a lot of her kutcheris. She was also famous for this version. Nithya's version is quite good.

This is followed by Subramania Bharathiyar's "Theeradha Vilayattu Pillai" in Ragamalika. DKP popularised this and her version was famous. Here, Nithyashree doesn't come close to DKP's version. Interestingly, the flute from the orchestra plays solo for a few seconds after Nithyashree sings the words that describe Kannan bringing his flute.

Kalki's "Poonkuyil Koovum" derived from Kapi follows. It is a nice rendition, but once again doesn't match DKP's version. This song was also popularised by DKP and was famous for her version. A sound effect of a bird (kuyil) follows the first few words of the composition.

A patriotic song "Engal Naatu" follows, derived from Sindhubhairavi. It's not a bad listen.

The second last song is "Gokulam Yamunai Brindavanam", which was also part of DKP's Tamil/Regional album of 78rpms. It's ok.

Nithyashree concludes the album with "Shanthi Nilava Vendum" in Thilang. DKP popularised and loved this song. It'd be a fitting ending, if Nithyashree didn't make it so plain and boring. Still, it's peaceful like the song's theme.

Overall, this album was peaceful and Nithyashree's voice never trailed along the lines of irritating. Sahithya was ok. Orchestration was ok, with some interesting sound effects. Speed was at an all time low! She lacked any emotion when rendering these songs too, making it quite plain, dull and boring. But if you're in a bad mood, it may cheer you up...either way, overall, I don't think it's a worthwhile buy. She doesn't do justice to many (if any!) of the songs in this album, however, she does give people a very very rough sketch of what DKP brought into the world of Tamil Music, in a Carnatic, Patriotic, Devotional and Film sense. If you're unfortunate enough to not have heard DKP in these mediums, then maybe for you, this album may be a worthwhile buy. :S