A Blog on Cinema

On Deepak Dev’s music


Ever since we heard the songs in Chronic Bachelor, Symphony and Naran, we have been impressed by Deepak Dev’s music. What makes Deepak’s music so appealing and different? The editors at varnachitram are no experts in music and could not explain the difference between a charanam and karanam, but blogger Krishnakumar has a detailed analysis of Deepak Dev’s style.

The second characteristic is the sound design. Deepak gives a lot of importance to the quality of sound. The result is a ‘crisp” clear sound, both for the vocals as well as the instruments. He also strives to add very minute details to the tracks such as “fret noises” (the noise you get when you slide your fingers on the guitar; e.g. Listen to the ending of “Karale”) and “breath sounds” (the sound of breath when a flautist blows into the flute; e.g. beginning of parayathe).

The third thing I noticed is that his songs grew exponentially simpler as time progressed (from Chronic to Naran). The songs of Chronic were sort of funky, complicated, but melodius and catchy. The next one, symphony, was simpler and it goes on like that until Naran. Simplicity has its own benefits: it narrows attention. For example, in the song “Panimathiye” (Symphony), all you could hear is the sweet voice of Chithra. That becomes your world…nothing else! The same is the case with the song “Karale”.[Deepak Dev: An evaluative look at the “Hit-maker”]

We agree with him on the Panimathiyey song which is one our favourites. Devoid of a thousand musical instruments creating cosmic background music, the only thing you hear is Chitra’s divine voice and it is one of the unique songs in Malayalam. But we think that his music has not exactly become simple. It is more like an inverted bell curve. The noise level of some of the songs in Rashtram was too much to bear for us. We hope he comes up with melodies in the style of his earlier compositions.

PS: Ever since we wrote a few articles on Deepak Dev, people have been leaving comments as if they are talking directly to him. For the record, we have no relation to him and he does not read this site as far as we know. Also, to the gentleman who wanted Deepak Dev to call him, we apologize that we may not be able to help him.


  1. Deepak Dev has a lot of potential. He has a lot of talent, i just hope that he focuses. His chord styles and instrumentations are awesome. It may not win the technical award from IR but he’s music has more feeling and dynamics (eariler compositions). His piano sounds and string orchestrations WOW!!!
    P.S. I have nothing against IR i just think sometimes his music of late has become mechanical. He sounds like he’s still using that Roland Drum Pad from 1980.

  2. Hi…
    The original article (draft) was actually titled “A critical look….” and had an equally large section on his “negatives”, including the noise levels you mentioned and his “inspirations” from very strategically chosen fusion albums. I myself deleted that section, thinking that it was too harsh-sounding on an upcoming MD.
    Currently I am working on a similar article on Alphons Joseph.

  3. KK
    Good article KK… constructive criticism is always good. i remember something i read that DD wanted to always play guitar.. (maybe that’s why he’s uses a lot in his songs?!) BTW i heard he’s got the new Korg Oasys now.. there should be some interested music coming!… i hope he does more art movies like Symphony. I think it gives the MD more options for creativity. What do you guys think of Alex Paul?

  4. Tony:
    To be frank, I am sort of a traditionalist in terms of music composing. Good news that Deepak got the new OASYS. That sure is the king of all workstations right now. But, I am yet to see the true melody making capabilities from him. It has very little to do with the workstation itself. Some great examples are: Shyaama Vaaniletho and Arikil from Aanachandam. In fact, one thing I have noticed recently is that Deepak resorts to unnecessary digital/synth effects, sometimes, frankly, annoying to the ears…just my opinion.

  5. I think he has had a few songs with true melody like Pakal Poove, Parayathe Ariyathe, that had really light music. One thing that I think isn’t fair to him is that people have a tendecy if the music is so good (or new tones) that they will say the song doesn’t have a good melody just a beat. In the past when we think of the old songs, the music was there to just enhance to vocals not to overshadow the singers. Now some songs are ONLY popular because of the rich beats and music. But on the other side, songs like Enteklabile (Classmates) have a good melody but i think a lot of people would say the movie helped out a lot in making that song popular. Music composing is changing but it seems that middle ground is missing. Raveendran was someone that was the highest in my list in Malu music.. he had the touch of modern and classical AND it was enjoyed by all. But now it seems musicians nowadays are either to modern or prehistoric.
    just my opinion!
    – TD

  6. Alex Paul is a below averaage composer who survives just because,Film Maker Lal is his brother.
    All the songs in “classmates” are just average.The success of the film made the songs popular.Ask any veteran music director about Alex Paul,They will just say that he is an average composer.

    DD is a talent.RAHMAN is India’s best,though he hasn’t contributed much to Malayalam.IR is just mechanical and old fashioned.In the 1980s,he was the most modern.He was called the RD Burman of the South.But today,he is just another composer.His son somehow manages to copy english songs,and create hits in Tamil.
    The ENORMOUS TALENT in Sarath(‘Music director of THACHOLI VARGHESE CHEKAVAR)went unnoticed since all his films were flops.But his songs were of great quality.Listen to “MALEYAM”(THACHOLI VARGHESE..).

    There is a new TALENT in South India.He is AR Rahman’s assistant,Joshua Sridhar,the person who has done music for the SUPERHIT multilingual movie “KeerthiChakra”.
    He is often critizised for copying RAHMAN’style.But he doesn’t copy songs.His song are Rahman-like because,for him Rahman is GOD,and hence there is ‘RAHMAN’ in HIM.That is what is reflected in his compositions.
    Listen to ‘Pooncholai Kiliye'(A good MELODY from KeerthiChakra).

    If Deepak Dev manages to get into the Tamil Film industry,he will have a great future.The malayalam film industry is SINKING…..
    Vidyasagar has left,Raveendran has passed away…No good music…
    Below average COMPOSERS like ALEX PAUL will rule the malayalam industry.

  7. Hi Kishore:
    Firstly, I respect your opinions, but almost completely disagree with them (Except what you said about Sharath). Firstly, you rate Joshua Sridhar and DD as “talents” and Alex Paul as “Below Average”. I disagree. DD is a music director whose focus is almost 90% on the quality of sound and synthesizer effects. Not to say that he cannot compose melody, he does compose melodies like “Parayaathe Ariyaathe”, “Thumbikkinnaaram” etc. But, that forms a very small part of his overall compositions. Additionally those melodies are good, but nothing exceptional. He is a talent, but I would prefer his talents in sound design and mixing than composing. But thats just my opinion, you can disagree. As for Joshua, I wouldn’t say that you can again rate him high. I could not find one signature or melody in Keerthi Chakra that had the heart and emotion of a “talented” composer. There is something beyond making just melodies. For example, let me give you the example of the song “Thaalamayanju” (Sharath). It is not just the melody, but the heart in those melodies that makes it stand apart. The same is the case with “Azhage” (Raveendran) or “Keranirakalaadum (Alphons). That is talent, again, in my view. Now, for the things we agree: Yes, I do not like Yuvan’s compositions, but love Karthik’s music sense. I was spell bound by two of his (Karthik Raaja) hindi compositions for the movie “Grahan” (Kehte Hai Jisko & Hey Dekthe) and a beautiful theme music he composed for a little known movie “Kudaikkul Mazhai”. Nice to know we agree on something!

  8. Kishore, Please listen to the song “Ozhukukayi Puzha Pole” from Achanurangatha Veedu. That will convince you that Alex Paul is not a mediocre MD.

  9. Kishore: we agree on a lot of things!!! i totally agree with Rahman and Joshua( but his talent has a lot more developing to do). Alex Paul is def a good music composer but average.. reminds me of how when there was a time Mohan Sithara created music that fit the movie… technically i don’t know how many people would have listen to some of the songs if the movies weren’t that popular.

    Its a little upseting when people just assoicate DD music to just better sound quality. Sound quality alone doesn’t make a hit. Not everyone is listening to his Songs in a original high sound quality.

  10. I heard that Deepak Dev’s ‘vel muruga’ in Naran is a RIP OFF from a Punjabi song.

    I request KK to listen to the Songs in “kaadhal”,a movie directed by Sankar.The music is by Joshua Sridhar.All songs in this album are rated to be outstanding melodies.I dont say that,he is the next Rahman….But he can be atleast a Harris Jeyaraj.

    I love all the songs in the album ‘Veendum’.The music is by Sharath.The album was a flop.
    Iam very sad that a very talented composer like Sharath is not get any recognition.

  11. Kishore:
    Yes, I had heard “Kaadhal” when it was released because a few people told me it is good. After repeated hearings, never liked it. But since you recommended, I heard it two times today. Did not like it. The songs are ok (not bad), but again I wouldn’t say that it is exceptional. But, again, I understand that it is only my opinion, others have the same right to have theirs.

    Using synth sounds and certain motifs does not make any music director A.R. Rahman. Good example is the “Hey hey” humming in the interlude of “Parayaathe Ariyaathe” (DD) or the notes in “Thumbikkinnaaram”. Those are motifs or signatures used frequently by Rahman, especially during his early days (e.g. hear “Thoda Thoda Malarnnathenna…”; when the second word is sung, a similar motif is used; or listen to the 2nd line of Malargale Malargale-Love Birds or Ennavale…). After those songs, a lot of MDs began using those short sinatures and sounds of the keyboard to imitate his “style”. As always, you can maybe immitate a few sounds, but you can’t imitate the heart or the soul that produced simple tunes like “Ennavale” or “Uyirum Neeye” or even “Narumugiye”.
    I was really happy when I heard the songs of Achanurangaatha Veedu, Aanachandam, Five Fingers etc. They had something in them that made me stand up and take notice…
    Again…just one person’s point of view…

  12. I do agree with KK.No one cn become Rahman.Many do immitate him nowdays.Harris Jeyaraj,Joshua Sridhar, and Why not…even Vidyasagar immitates Rahman.
    A very new example…..Joshua Sridhar’s “Silu Silu” in “Chennai Kadhal”(His latest album),is an immitation of “Ale Ale” of ‘Boys’.

    Anyway,KK,I would like to say that Joshua Sridhar is much better than othe MDs such as Deva,YSR(COPYCAT),Imman etc…….
    A Film-maker like S.Sankar wont simply call any average MD to do his music…There should be sometalent in Joshua….

    KK,please listen to “silu silu” formchennai Kadhal and tell me your opinion…I feel that it is an inspiration from “ale ale”…Do u feelthe same???

  13. @ Mahadevan…
    my friend i think u dont know ozhukukhayayi puzha pole is a Direct copy from song from paheli…… listen to it….beat by beat its a music between lyrics in that song he just took it to his song….

  14. Hi All,

    Deepak Dev may be a good sound engineer but not a good composer. I was a good admirer of him, liked chronic bachelor and his other hits.But i had to change my opinion after i realised that he had lifted tunes from other songs for these films.

    I dont want to say more..even the latest flick urumi songs are also lifted. For example: Aaro Nee Aaro song is taken from a Canadian song by loreena, which is a classic song.Its not an inspiration but a perfect copy done.
    Hear it to belive it!

    Even Rahman has lifted tunes from african and western old classic tunes and songs.

    In short, no one is original.
    If needed, I can give examples of others too.

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