Blogging 2017

Always on Repeat (Part -2 Classical Fusion)

So for the second part of ‘Always on Repeat’, I am listing the top ten favorites of fusion. The songs are either

  • Fusion versions of Carnatic songs
  • Alternate ragas of popular classics
  • Performed by bands on TV shows
  • Released as albums

There is no real restriction and ‘fusion’ is pretty much a broad term used for classification of these songs. But I have named this list thus, and therefore the same name for the post.

Thanks to Kappa TV’s Music Mojo program for most of these finds. I got them off the YouTube Channel.

(As usual, the song titles are the links to the respective pages).

Pakkala Nilabadi by Swetha Mohan

A very classic Carnatic song on Lord Rama. I had not heard the original version before I chanced upon this. But Swetha Mohan’s version has now spoilt me so much that I am yet to find another I like. Music purists suggest that the MS Subbulakshmi version is great. It is, in its own way. But I stick to this.

Carnatic Music 2.0 – Nadaloludai by Mahesh Raghavan

Quirkily named, electronically altered, and immediately attractive for me. I chanced upon this piece while I was searching for another one of this famous tunes. His ‘Indian Version of the famous F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ theme was a popular jingle and from there I went on to look at his channel and found this gem from there. Again I had not heard the original (the most common length of which is 13 minutes) but love this version.

Brovabarama – Kadumthudi

A favorite song again. I have many favorite versions of this. But this tops the list. The original is a classic song on Rama but this one ensnared me the moment the alapana began. The strong voice and the rendering of the song captured my attention and this song was on repeat continuously for days on end.

Swans of Saraswathi by Agam

A modern rendition of the classical song. Again one on Rama. The voice of the lead singer Harish is bold, strong and very clear. I love a lot of songs of his, (his famous collaboration with singer Job Kurien, titled ‘Padayatra’ is an all time favorite). But despite the heavy electronic music in this, I love the song mainly for the voice.

Madhava Mamava – Masala Coffee

Again one for the voice. I had stumbled upon this song because I followed the band’s works and there are many favorites from them, the contents of which will create another post and seem like a marketing advert. I digress. This song is the perfect slow beat classical song, the kind I love.

Jagath Janani – Freak (Rajesh Vaidhya and Sikkil Gurucharan)

One of those albums that will shock purists. Many songs in this album are the children (I mean fusion) of heavy metal and classical. There are two other songs I love from this album but this one remains special because it was my dad’s recommendation. He was so excited to share it with me that I immediately liked it without even hearing the song. Not my kind of music, but definitely a song I would remember.

Jagadanandakaraka – Nityashree (Raaga – Expressions)

The famous Thyagaraja Krithi they sing in the annual festival in Thiruvaiyaru. It is slightly embarrassing to note that I had never had the patience to hear the original song. But the bold voice of Nityashree Mahadevan is something I love. This song opens on the high note since the first second and is the first time I have heard the song beyond the second verse.

Krishna Nee Begane  – Mahesh Raghavan

A part of this song is my current ringtone. The original, is one of my all time favorite songs and I have falled in love with this song since the times of the Colonial Cousins version of it. But this version of the song trumps all else. Be it in the voice or the music arrangement, I love a lot of things about this song. One for the permanent playlist, this one.

Nee ninaindhal (Vidya and Vandana Iyer / Shanker Tucker)

The pronunciation is not perfect. The words don’t fall with the accuracy or clarity. But this is one song I will hear no complain against. Again, I have no idea about the original, and this is the first version of the song I have heard. I later searched for the ‘classical’ versions but none impressed me as much as this did. A song that I mostly never skip, despite having 4 GB of other songs.

Kummi – Sopanam Ensemble

This should logically have been the first in this list but it has been pushed to the last because of the other songs that I heard after I got to this first. Again one for the voice (okay pretty bored of saying this by now). The singer Sreekumar Vakkiyil has also sung many movie songs, some of which are my favorites. This song won with just one point lead when pitted against another wonder from the same album (which will find a place in a future list!)



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