No, I am not going to talk about the TV show here. Neither am I going to wax eloquent about how music is food for the soul (which it indeed is) or the catch-all solution to forget all of our problems at least temporarily (which again it indeed is). Instead, I am going to talk about what I feel when I listen to music or sing a song. I am NOT going to write about what others think when they listen to me singing, because I want this blog to be as free of violent thoughts/actions as possible. 😛
Those who know me well, know that I generally tend to listen to mostly Hindi songs from 1940s to 1970s. I do get called an oldie goldie for that, but that is how it is. These are songs I grew up listening to, absorbing not just the tunes, or even the voices, but also the meaning of their words. These songs have really spoiled me, in the sense that even today when I happen to catch a song playing somewhere, the first thing that I notice are the lyrics, then the voices, and at the end, the tunes/instrumentals. Call me old-fashioned or even finicky, but that is how my mind reacts to a song. 🙂
As far the lyrics go, they deserve an entire post of their own and I wouldn’t like to shoe-horn it into this one. Hence, I am going to focus more on the vocals part here. For some of us, these can be what make or break a song. However, for me, even though are very important, it is not about how good a job the singer has done. It is about how much of “soul” s/he has put into it. Recorded sound quality is something which can be drastically altered/improved these days with autotune, but the passion, the subtle nuances/feelings the singer imparts to the song can never be provided by a piece of code. Sometimes, even the most accomplished singer or someone more fluent with the language can come up with a less than exciting performance while someone with a relatively less melodious voice can come up with a 24 carat rendition of the same song. At the risk of courting a controversy, I will point you to the Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupen Hazarika versions of “Dil hoom hoom kare” from Rudaali. Again, this is strictly my personal opinion, and you need not agree.
Now that you know what I think of the vocals in a song, it shouldn’t really come to you as a surprise if I say that the emotions put in by a singer are what I like more in a song than the technical aspects of voice modulation, ability to hit the high notes etc. Of course, these are important when you are a professional singer, but if you are not, I will be perfectly happy if I can sense what goes on in your mind when I hear you sing. 🙂 As an added advantage, this also liberates me from judging myself up to a certain standard when I sing a song. I know I am not a singer by any stretch of imagination, and will never be. But as long as I am singing it with all my honesty and the one for whom I am singing it appreciates the same, I will be a happy fellow.
This post has meandered quite a bit, just like my attempts at singing, and I will gladly take the blame for that. Like I have said many times before (and will probably say many more times), it is never about the melody in the song, it is always about the song behind the melody. 🙂
P.S: This does mean that those unfortunate enough to be at the receiving end of my vocal acrobatics will continue to remain so. No escape for you guys!! 😀