So, fast forward to 2 yrs, with me sitting on my swing and belting out 'Pillayaar, Pillayaar, Perumai Vazhyunda Pillayaar' (a song on Lord Ganesha) to the T, with the tape-recorder assisting me with the instrumentals. My mom always says that I was a prodigy (donno why she uses past-tense, I still like to think of myself as that sometimes :) ), and a musical genius (I love my mom :) ). So, to cut a long story short, I have always been into music, and like I was saying earlier, I have always felt at home when I am either listening to or singing something... anything! (FYI... I am also a very good singer... without ever having been to a music class. You should see my certificates, awards and medals :-) )
And somehow, I donno if I should categorize it as fortunate or unfortunate, but I have never purchased a music cassette or CD, till a few weeks back. Sounds weird, right? I mean, I would think it weird if someone was as fanatical of music as I was (and still am!) and never actually went to the store and got themselves the newest album or soundtrack. Honestly, I have never done that. Infact, during my school and college days, I would sit in front of the TV and record songs :) Yes, the tape-recorder served us faithfully for many a year. (I think it is still lying around somewhere in the attic back home.) I had a pretty good collection of my fav songs that I recorded from MTv and other 'cool' channels during that time :)
Also, I had people gift/give me cassettes and later on CDs. I was quite happy with whatever I had. Now, I have more to my collection ... thanks to the download era. So relatively speaking, I never actually chose to get a certain kind of music home just because I liked it and wanted to listen to it as much as possible. I listened to anything and everything and found my favorites among them. But recently, I was fortunate enough to come across some music that I had to have :) And I realized that I didn't want to wait for it to be up on the net, or 'borrow' from someone. I wanted to own it, in the same manner that I 'owned' all the music that I recorded in the tapes during my teenage years. So, I went ahead, took a bold step and got myself a copy of some real nice music I have heard in a long time. I got myself 'Saaral' :)
Saaral (www.saaral.in), which translated from Tamil, means Drizzle, is one heck of an effort that comprises the geniuses of Gopakumar, Sanjeev Phillip Thomas, and Benny Dayal. I am not much of a fan of Tamil music, but surprisingly I have been discovering some good songs and tunes. And, as I listen to one of my favorite songs in this album (Parvai Aazhkadalil), I am glad that this is the first music I 'brought home'. Soulful lyrics, amazing composition and strong vocals has made Saaral occupy a rightful place in that heart of mine. It also merits another extra teeny-tiny place, for the fact that Gops (Gopakumar) is a dear friend. But even otherwise, I think I would have loved Saaral for what it actually is - a sincere and honest effort that has invaded my musical space and is here to stay.
Saaral has 7 amazing tracks. Now, I am not an expert or anything (even though as per my mom, I was/am a prodigy), but I do know good music from bad (bad is probably a very nice word to use for some of the tunes being churned out these days :) ) and also maybe just how good a piece of music really is or could have been. So, below is my listing from the music of Saaral, music that I have immensely enjoyed over the past weeks.
1. Pavaye Nee - This is such an amazing song! Amorous lyrics... wonderful flute and tabla combination. And, to have Unnikrishnan sing it, is just heavenly! His voice and style is infectiously unique. I am so glad Gops got him to sing this beautiful piece. One of my absolute favorites.
2. Ethetho - Now this is what I call funky!! When I first listened to this song... it took a while for it to sink in. But then, I was hooked :) Catchy and melodious at the same time, techno, yet with a good vocal base, it sure grows on you. And, to hear Gops sing... not bad at all !! ;)
3. Vizhiyoram - Another lovely song. Beautiful lyrics! Has a wonderful earthy feel to it. Benny has done complete justice to this song :)
4. Ennil Endrum - Again, a funky number, I love the instrumental in the beginning of the track. I donno why.. but this track kinda makes me wish I was at a beach party :-D
5. Azhagal Kollai - Absolutely love the music in the beginning! Very well composed and executed. Benny's voice works its own magic.
6. Oru Party - Quite a different piece from the rest of the tracks. The thing that struck me in this track is Sanjeev's voice modulation. It's as if he has tuned his voice to match the music rather than the other way around. Not on my top list of favs, but a good song nonetheless.
7. Parvai Aazhkadalil - Unabashedly, this is my FAV song in the entire album. I kind of thought that I would be loyal to Pavaye Nee, but this kinda swept me off when I wasn't even looking :) Amazing lyrics (I can proudly say that I understand almost 85% of the lyrics... which is not bad at all :) ) and beautiful composition. It kinda has this new age charm to it without going overboard. From start to finish... I have only one word for this song ... Beautiful!
Now, if you are wondering why I have gone to such lengths (pun intended!) for after all, a music album... well, cause its not just a music album, it is Gops's music album (check the website to know about its genesis). A dream that he has nurtured and has seen fulfilled with his music breaking the inner world and daring to make a mark in the outer. We are all achievers, of course, in our own merits, but it does take courage to do something worthwhile, to make something intangible, to fulfil something more precious than life... to dream, and to practically watch it come true. Saaral is a piece of music ... a dreamy piece of music, for all those who want to make it out there... being someone.. something.....