Ananthakrishna (Smile Please)

Music:     Vidyasagar
Direction:     Radha Mohan
Lyrics:     Vasan & Vairamuthu
Released:     December '97

This album has 5 tracks
Reviewed by Sandya Krishna

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While the rest of the world fights over A.R.Rahman and Illaiyaraja, Vidyasagar and his music are gradually (and quietly) finding a place in the hearts of a select few. I am proud that I am part of those SELECT FEW!  The gradual transition from composing for Arjun's masala flicks to more soothing songs in Uyirodu Uyiraaga, Arasiyal & Nilaavae Vaa has made Vidyasagar set even higher standards for music directors like Deva, Sirpi, Adithyan, S.A.Rajkumar and even in some cases, ARR & IR.  Moreover, it helps to compose for Vijay's films these days :-)

Prakashraj in "Ananthakrishna"Ananthakrishna is Vidyasagar's latest offering featuring some tunes that sound original and some others that do not. But what makes this album different is definitely the thoughtful and sensible use of singers in each of the songs. Adi Nilladi Nilladi Sona is my current favorite. Shanmugasundharam's Chandrababu style rendition alongside the 60s music brings out the humor and freshness desperately needed in 90s tamil film music. The background vocals by Timothi, Gopal Rao and Srinivas also deserve some praise for carrying through the song in style. A definite HATS OFF to all involved! Ovvoru Pennum and Porkoyil Silaiye are just passable numbers. Yet, it somehow feels good to listen to hear Mano and Suresh Peters in Ovvoru Pennum underplay their gimmicks and actually try some singing for a change. The latter number sung by Gopal Rao and Sangeetha Sajith urges you to shut your ears off.   I am willing to forgive Vidyasagar for this. After all, how inspired could you be watching Prakashraj & Shenbaga dance? :-)

The last two songs are the other GEMS of this album. Pennae Pennae by Srinivas and Sindhu and Mella Mella by Harini are melodious in more than one way. Harini's rendition of the song should be commended alongside great background vocals. Vairamuthu's lyrics are hilarious:

Harini: Vaanam Varai Vandha Thalaivaa.. ini vennilavu romba thulaivaa
Vetkam koLLum veLai idhuvaa.. Naan kaadhal seiya kaTTru tharavaa
Mella Mella ennai aLavaa Vaa.. Vaa.. Vaa...
Konji Konji ennai kolla Vaa.. Vaa. Vaa..
Krishna.. Krishna.. Krishna.. Krishna..

Chorus: Ananthakrishna asaththu daa
Ananthakrishna purappadu daa..

At the end of the song... (after Ananthakrishna doesn't make a move for the girl!)
Chorus: Ananthakrishna.. nee abishtu daa..
Ananthakrishna.. nee waste-u daa.. pOdaa..

The only concern for Vidyasagar now (and mine too :-), is that the film should actually release sometime within this century. Things are not looking very good in finding distributors for the film as it was actually rumoured to have been released on Video CD during the peak of the Video CD scams in Chennai.

It is unfortunate that so many of Vidyasagar's albums never get the tremendous recognition that other musicians' albums get. More recently, Kodambakkam and music listeners are more willing to accept that Vidyasagar has transformed into a versatile musician incorporating melodies, dappanguththus, gaana paattus, pathos etc. into his repertoire. Composing for a few more Vijay films, a few big productions (a la Maniratnam, Kamalahassan, Sivashakthi Pandiyan), could make Vidyasagar a real contender for the top spot in 1999.

Sandya Krishna

Original Photograph (Ananthakrishna (Smile Please)): Audio cassette cover.
Photograph scanned and reworked by: Sandya