Saturday, September 24, 2016

Is Vineeth Sreenivasan Better Than Yesudas?

Let me begin by apologizing for the title. I realize that it's almost sacriligeous to compare a legend like Yesudas to a young singer like Vineeth Sreenivasan. Yesudas is undoubtedly a virtuoso singer with phenomenal technical ability and a voice that has often been compared to God's. It is unfair to even compare Vineeth to Yesudas in that sense. I am also as much a Yesudas fan as anyone else in Kerala.

However, there is a purpose to the question that's the title of this blog (besides attention grabbing). This morning I listened to the classic song "Pavizhamalli Poothulanja Neela Vanam" for the hundredth time. On the YouTube search results I happened to also see Vineeth Sreenivasan's new remix, which I had never heard before. When I listened to that, I just thought, "Wow, that's way better than the original!" I just wanted to stop what I was doing and close my eyes. I had the same feeling when I first heard Vineeth's rendition of "Aayiram Kannumai".  Am I the only one who's felt that?

When Vineeth Sreenivasan first hit the scene as a singer, I wasn't very impressed. I was used to highly trained, polished singers like Yesudas and MG Sreekumar. Vineeth's voice sounded kinda rough and untrained -- and boyish. He didn't sound like he belonged in the world of cinema at all. But thank God for the director who took a chance on him.

Vineeth's singing has a raw, down-to-earth, yet soul-touching quality that's mesmerizing. I love listening to him. I get the same feeling when I listen to Adele.

If I ever want to listen to "Aayiram Kannumai" or "Pavizhamalli" again, I know I will always choose the Vineeth Sreenivasan versions.

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