Every time we trot out the melody-is-dead argument, there comes a number that’s nothing but melody, effusive swirls of it, and seduces us into endless-loop listening. I love how Nandini Srikar sings this song, with its profusion of La and Zha words — she touches on them just enough, without turning into an didactic schoolmarm like Vani Jairam, whose singing in romantic songs I never could fully buy. There’s no prelude to this number — just a piano laying out some chords, like a tambura before a kutcheri tuning into a pitch. And afterwards, the song just spills out, no throat-clearing, no skirting the point, just a straightforward launch into an admission of desire.
PS: We need more voices like Nandini Srikar’s, the yang to a Shreya Ghoshal’s yin. Those outpourings of love sound just so much… sexier, though that spot vacated by Swarnalatha is still vacant.
PPS: In case you got the feeling I don’t like Vani Jairam, here’s a song where she shines. (Try not to see the video though.) Note how her voice melts around the line “pazhagum koottam vilagi poyi,” though that’s also a function of the exquisite tune, from an era when no one claimed that melody was dead.