Kosmic KMD252 Audio CD - Vocal Fusion-Freak-Various artistes-Rs150.
KOSMIC'S AUDIO CD is similar to a box of curator's eggs, some good and others indifferent. The fusion concept has established a strong foothold in the recording scenario, and it cannot be denied that it is gaining populist appeal. It also has to be said that the awesome, spiritual and emotional content in the Divine, bhakti-oriented compositions of saint poets, even if they belong to the lighter genre, are sacrificed at the altar of so called innovative efforts. Their quality does get diluted, if not for anything else, because of the discomfiting intrusions that hamper the smooth melodic flow of the song. Mahanadhi Shobhana's ``Krishna nee begane" in Yamunakalyani, reflecting her involvement with the emotions embedded in the song, is a becoming version. ``Jagat Janani" in Ratipatipriya finds Gurucharan courageously trying his best to be heard in the midst of a motley of sound. ``Chandrasekhara" in lilting Sindhubhairavi, where melody is hijacked because of the enthusiasm of the orchestra, is however sung by Rajesh Vaidya commendably, with focus on sruti and diction. Swati Tirunal's Tillana, so aesthetically adorned by Lalgudi in Dhanasri, is a high voltage exercise, with melody driven to the backseat thanks to the percussionists.
The singers Dr. Narayanan, O.S.Arun, RajeshVaidya and Mahesh Vinayakaraman are brave souls weathering the storm of sound and fury. Freak with a medley of instruments and irrelevant oral forays, amply justifies the title given to the album. The silver linings are Unnikrishnan's mellifluous ``Pavana Guru" in Hamsanandi, and O. S. Arun's ``Bagyada Lakshmi" in Sri, showing concern for one's tympanum. The orchestral prelude to the sublime lyric, ``Raghupati Raghava Rajaram," that ought to generate peace and tranquillity does exactly the opposite. However, the singers, including children, have tried to pack some emotion and devotion in their rendition. Innovation is all well and good, but irrelevant excursions do not take either the performer or the listener even a short musical distance. S. P.
The collection of ten songs, ``Sri Dakshinamurthi Tiruarutpa," release by Vani Cassettes (No. 12, Kamaraj Avenue, 2nd Street, Adyar) is a worthy addition to one's devotional collection.
The Tamil hymns, written by Sri Sivagnana Desika Gnanasambanda Swamigal of Dharmapura Adeenam, have been movingly rendered by Dharmapuram P. Swaminathan.
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