CHORDS AND NOTES
Nightingale: A Salute to Lataji
This is K. S. Chitra’s musical tribute to Lata Mangeshkar on her 80th birthday. Chitra has picked eight songs, (it must have been a Herculean task), from a huge treasure trove of memorable ones and rendered it with an alternative version of background score.
The album opens with the immortal ‘Lag ja gale…’ (Who Kaun Thi). The emotion is this song is amazing. The lover’s yearning for her beloved has perhaps not been conveyed so earnestly as in this song. Instead of following the pattern on the inlay card you move to listen to the eternal favourites and you may be a bit disappointed. Some of the immortal numbers like ‘Raina beeti jae…’ (Amar Prem), ‘Teri aankhon ke siva duniya…’ (Chirag) and ‘Roz shaam aathi thi…’ (Imtihaan) suddenly sound different. Chitra has certainly sung them with her soul, except for an extra roll on the ‘R’s’ like in ‘rakha kya hai…’ But you miss the rich interludes, the lingering background scores that virtually ring in the mood of the songs, even the humming sounds so disappointingly different with the changes in musical arrangements.
One song where the background gels well, generates the desired mood and effect is , ‘Yeh samaa samaa hai pyaar ka…’ (Jab Jab Phool Khile). The added chorus track adds pep to Chitra’s soulful singing.
The producers have also made a mistake in the inlay card. The song ‘Na jaane kyun…’ has been wrongly attributed to the film ‘Rajni Gandha,’ when this very popular Salil Choudhary hit is from the film, ‘Chhoti Si Baat.’
The other songs included are ‘Tu jahan…’ (Mera Saya), and ‘Ab tho hai…’ (Abhimaan).
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This album is a deviation from the loud, fast trend of devotionals. The 10 songs are raga-based, the orchestration blends well and the lyrics are quite meaningful.
Gopal Sharma, whose title music for a Tamil Doordarshan documentary won accolades, has composed the music. Along with popular ragas he has dared to use the rare Neethimathi raga in one of his compositions. He has been able to give life to the lyrics of Renjith S. R. giving each word, each idea its proper colour.
The pick of the songs is ‘Eerezhulokangal…’ sung by Lakshmi. Though heavily classical, it is rendered and created with enough magic to grab attention. Madhu Balakrishnan who has sung the opening ‘Durga Devikku…’ and the closing ‘Thechipoovu…’ songs is as consistent as ever, his voice oozing the right dose of emotion. Subha Renjini, who sang for Raveendran Master in ‘Chakram,’ Durga Viswanath of Idea Star Singer fame, seasoned Ramesh Murali and newcomer Devi Varma complete the line-up.
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