Wednesday, September 05, 2012

When Ilayaraja dusts his .44

Decades after Clint Eastwood has done the last Dirty Harry movie, a reporter asked him what Harry would be doing now. Eastwood replied that he’d probably enjoying his retirement and probably fly-fishing. No more .44 Magnum, but a fishing rod. Sweet, though I feel the old man is chuckling to himself thinking of penile reference. 

Then he did Gran Torino, where you’d swear that that is old Dirty Harry and he picked up a gun again (granted it was not the Smith & Wesson) and gave us a hell of a treat. And went with a bang, saying that that might be his last acting role.

The truth is, he was never away. He was involved in more interesting projects, having had long left making mainstream thrillers, leaving them to the younger generation.

When Ilayaraja unleashed his masterpiece album, Neethane Enthan Pon Vasantham (NEPV) film songs, I was reminded of Eastwood. While he was away doing interesting projects, I turned away and was involved in my own exploration of music (listening, not playing), only indulging in his 70s/80s.  

The truth is, Ilayaraja never went away. I say this because the media and the Netizens are roaring that he’s back.

Apart from personal projects, he was also involved in other film industries, namely Malayalam, Telugu and getting better recognition that he should have long time ago in Hindi. True loyal fans were following. Once hardcore fan like me had basically lost interest in entire Tamizh film songs and was pursuing other musical stuff  and occasionally we’d go “oh, was it?” when reviews of one of his latest outing comes out.

“We” here referring to those who abandoned him back in 90s, like this idiot writer. And the new album made my conscience hurt as hell.

A very rich, layered, complexly composed album boasting great sound and awesome use of guitars, this album is to be cherished for years and should be sent to space in case for possible Alien invasion, so that they will go back in peace listening to it.

Not that it is as great of his past works, but this is this is what would have happened to all the old songs if he had access to the resources and equipments (not that I want them to remastered, well, ….hmmm). For this, we need to thank Gautham Menon for taking the initiative of no expense spared and making Ilayaraja wear a goddam suit, finally.

The best part of the album is the use of guitars. If not mistaken, this would probably be the most use of guitar in an Ilayaraja album. And it has goddam heavy metal sound/guitar too! Hot damn. Who would have thought that the usually monotonous warbler Yuvan would be awesome!

As a great fan of Ilayaraja, I have a feeling that Gautham want Ilayaraja to not only to reach out to the younger generation, but also reconnect to old lost fans like this knucklehead owner of this blog site. Boy did he succeed or what.

Just like Eastwood picked up that gun and proved who’s the real badass in Gran Torino, Ilayaraja picked up his own .44 and showed who’s the real maestro.

Oh, metal fans, listen to Penkal Endral. If someone were to question me asking if Ilayaraja can do Teutonic thrash metal, I ‘d say, “you betcha!”.

This needs no caption. Seriously.