rana

I came across this piece in today’s Bangalore Mirror (Rajkumar song is not music to family’s big release), which says that Lahari Music and T-series have sent legal notices to the producers of the Puneet Rajkumar starrer, Ranavikrama, for allegedly plagiarizing 2 songs from their repertoire.

The title song is Ranavikrama is supposedly based on a song, ‘Jagave ondy ranaranga’ from the 1988 film Ranaranga, with music by Hamsalekha.

The article also says that another song from the film’s soundtrack allegedly uses a tune from a Telugu song from the film Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu (1991).

I checked out both the songs in question, from Ranavikrama. (Listen to the songs from Ranavikrama on Saavn)

The title song of Ranavikrama does use the line, ‘Jagave ondu ranaranga’, but the tunes are pretty different.Listen to the 1988 song from Ranaranga.

Hearing that phrase as the opening of both the songs could color your perception about similarity, but the tunes are clearly different, in my view. I’d clear Harikrishna’s (Ranavikrama’s composer) name in this case, at least based on what I hear. I don’t think Lahari and T-series have a case here.

As for the 2nd allegation, I heard the soundtrack of Keeravani’s Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu. The song, ‘Kaliki Chilakala Koliki’ seems to be only song that can be used in the context of plagiarism, and connect it with ‘Airdellu Airchillu’ from Ranavikrama.

Listen to Kaliki Chilakala Koliki from Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu.

But here’s the deal – both the songs are, again, different. The Telugu song has an authentic folk/classical feel and is a trademark of Keeravani’s style of music – simple and evocative. The Kannada song, with a different tune, has a mock tone – a spoof’y tone that makes fun of things in a in-your-face obvious manner. So, the use of an old’ish, folk’ish tune and modern words thrown in. The feel is that of a folk’ish tune, but the tune isn’t the same as the Telugu song at all. The overall feel is, even perhaps the rhythm, in an obvious way, but not the tune.

I do not believe Lahari or T-series have anything material here to send legal notices to the makers of Ranavikrama.

Mathagajame has the grandeur befitting a historical’s intro song, but eventually turns into a melange. Chusukovoy‘s rhythm and tune is perfect for… 1985. Now, it sounds bizarre. Ditto with Allakallolamai – angsty, outdated dance sound. The soundtrack’s real winners are the 3 melodies. Auna neevena is delightfully sweet, with fantastic orchestration that is so very Raja, while Punnami puvai ups the ante with an even more dulcet tune and fantastic singing by Shreya! Anthapuramlo too has a pleasant lilt and the harmonious mix of Chitra, Sadhana Sargam and Chinmayi’s vocals makes a big difference. Usual Raja stock, with 3 highlights.

Keywords: Rudramadevi, Ilayaraja

Chirakurummi is an interesting concoction; Aparna Rajeev starts off in a different tune even as Najim Arshad picks it up and moves into a beautiful, possibly Vasantha-raaga base. Noore ilahi is a surprisingly old-school qawali, with the usual catchy hooks. The Abhogi’ish (Bagesri?) Swapnachirakil is a wonderfully pleasant melody, typical of the raga base, and lovely rendition by Sachin Warrier, Tansen Berney and Shilpa Raju. Remya Nambeesan breathes life into Raavin nizhaloram‘s fetching melody, while Unaroo stands completely out of the soundtrack’s predominant sound with its rock sound. Still, three very competent songs from composer Bijibal, to round-up the soundtrack.

Keywords: Nellikka, Bijibal

Sneha Khanwalkar’s Bach ke Bakshy is mind-bogglingly eclectic, with a curiously addictive sound! Byomkesh In Love, by alt-rock band Blek is a less impressive reworking of their own superlative 2012 song Fog + Strobe. Joint Family’s Life’s a bitch and electro-alt-punk duo Mode.AKA’s Chase in Chinatown are fashionably and flamboyantly grungy, while Peter Cat Recording Co.’s gypsy-waltz Jaanam is a captivating listen. Ija’s Yang Guang Lives is trippy and edgy. The soundtrack’s best is Madboy/Mink’s insanely catchy electro-swing Calcutta Kiss, fabulously adapted from their own Taste The Kiss. Dibakar Banerjee assembles multiple indie artists for a mighty unorthodox film soundtrack!

Keywords: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, Sneha Khanwalkar, Blek, Mode.AKA, Madboy/Mink, Peter Cat Recording Co., IJA, Joint Family

Arike pozhiyum‘s absolute highlight is Mithun Raju’s addictive guitaring. Govind Menon’s tune and singing are top class too – one captivating package! Hridayathin niramayi is nice enough, with a lilting waltz sound, though the accordion-led sound is standard-issue. Manjiloode, however, is an instantly likeable, cracker of a melody – Christine Jose Vadasseril and Divya S Menon sing it beautifully. Even Ninnekaanan has a fantastic Celtic-rock sound to give Benny Dayal company, though the occasional English lyrics seem forced and out-of-place in a very Indian rock’y way. Govind Menon is turning out to be a very dependable and consistently good composer!

Keywords: 100 Days of Love, Govind Menon

Vaikkom Vijaylakshmi is consistently becoming that kind of a singer who completely owns a song; Kaikottum kandittila is no exception. Beyond the Rahman’ish violins in Neelambalin, the tune is gorgeous, thanks also to Arun Alat’s endearing vocals. Enne Thallendammaava is massively funky, with Shaan and Vineeth having a lot of fun singing it along with a ultra cool violin base. Paarvanavidhuve is very apt for Harish Sivaramakrishnan’s vocals – a lively and pulsating desi-rock fusion. Chennai pattanam‘s kuthu sound and the Tamil Yekkam pogavillai‘s hard rock sound are less engaging overall. Shaan and Vineeth – 4 great songs. Good deal.

Keywords: Oru Vadakkan Selfie, Shaan Rahman

Nilavum mayunnu is Harishankar’s show all the way! His vocals are beautiful, for the gorgeous tune Vidyasagar offers him that borders Rahman’s (Indira) Nila kaaigiradhu for more than one reason! Binny Krishnakumar handles the more classical Thithimi expertly, while Pularipoopenne is a trademark Vidyasagar melody – rhythmic and with a dash of old-world Raja’ish charm, making it highly pleasurable! The soundtrack’s highlight is easily Malarvaga kombathu, rendered impeccably by Jayachandran and Rajalakshmy, amidst the ambient, intriguing synth music by Vidyasagar that, again, borders a bit of Rahman – Thenmerku paruvakatru (Karuthamma), this time! Vidyasagar delivers again, as always, in Malayalam.

Keywords: Vidayasagar, Ennum Eppozhum

Choolamittu is incredibly pleasant – a simple, instantly likeable tune that is so Gopi! Divya S Menon and Vijay Yesudas are dependably good, singing it. In Ezhazhakulla, Gopi does a noisy remake of Keeravani’s earthy original, Telugammayi, from the film’s original, Maryada Ramanna. Even for Manushya hridayam, Gopi uses Keeravani’s Arerare as the base, led by Ajay Sen and Gopi himself. The soundtrack’s best, Ummarathe, is completely Gopi’s – lovely violin phrases and a whispery tune alluding to Gowrimanohari raaga as it progresses and fabulously sung by Devanand and Divya S Menon. Gopi’s two original songs complete the soundtrack, however!

Keywords: Gopi Sundar, Ivan Maryadaraman

A hook + guitar phrase is all you get in One & Two & Three – very Devi’ish old hat. Seethakaalam and Jaaruko too are standard-issue Devi tunes that drone on. Super machi‘s Tamil prelude morphs into techno-style Andhra folk with long, engaging phrases. Come to the party works thanks to Vijay Prakash’s ebullience and the flamboyant horns. Javed Ali breathes some attitude into Vacchadu, while the soundtrack’s best is the foot-tapping Chal chalo, where Devi ditches Baba Sehgal and opts for Raghu Dixit. It’s time Devi Sri Prasad’s name is added under the Thesaurus page for the word ‘repetitive’.

Keywords: Devi Sri Prasad, S/O Satyamurthy

Dandanakka is a raucous and riotous ode to T.Rajendar, something that only social media has been indulging in under a satirical garb, but with this song going mainstream! Anirudh leads the song confidently and the main hook is a foot-stomper! Vishal Dadlani is incredibly good with his vocals, and Tamil diction, in Thoovaanam, a thoroughly engaging melody that gets better and better as it progresses, particularly the anupallavi’s intricate tune. To hear him take the effort to accurately pronounce words like ‘punugu’, along the full flow of the tune, is totally heartwarming! Sunitha Sarathy’s slower reprise is a great listen too, incidentally, as she brings a feminine charm to the tune! Vaikom Vijaylakshmi is mind-bogglingly good in Idarkuthaane aasaippattaai, a retro’ish swinging tune that she owns with her unique, playful nuances. Imman too does a fantastic job in the song’s imaginative orchestration, particularly the chorus that plays mid-way and beautifully segues into the anupallavi! Romeo romeo, though, is the only less impactful song, with a tune that seems to try too hard. Arakki is trademark Imman – an instantly catchy hook and rocking rhythm working in sync with Anthony Dasan’s gaana swagger. Wonderfully catchy and super fun soundtrack from Imman!

Keywords: Romeo Juliet, D.Imman, #200

PS: I gave this a 100 earlier, but it grew on me surprisingly well. I was totally addicted to the songs (except Romeo Romeo, though!) and I think this one deserves a 200. Apologies to Imman!

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March 2015
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