Dhanush’s Kolaveri Di has managed to capture the imagination of quite a lot of Indians, more than 24 million at the last count. Seeing the hue and cry being made by the print and visual media, I simply had to watch it. And while I agree with Javed Akhthar that the lyrics are nothing great, the way it was sung and the way the producers positioned the song on YouTube to popularize it is indeed praiseworthy. There is something in the performance that makes you want to watch it more than once, the silly rhyming lyrics, soup song, flop song—your mind tells you that you are crazy to like it and that you are wasting your time listening to it or watching it, but you still want to do it!
While following this Kolaveri Di phenomenon on the YouTube, there was this constant discussion that it had 21 million hits, 24 million hits, and that it had gone viral I happened to discover that Justin Bieber’s “hit rate” for almost all his songs was at least twice that of Kolaveri Di. I need to confess that I had never listened to Justin’s songs, I had heard and read about him several times but never did happen to listen to him. Curious about his immense popularity I decided to listen to him and I was literally hooked, in my view he deserves all the accolades he is getting. I won’t go into his teen heartthrob image, I am only interested in his song singing skills—there is such a refreshing innocence in his voice that you are compelled to listen to him. His Baby, One Time, Somebody to Love, Mistletoe are really soothing to the ear. I did not like Never say Never all that much though.
Lady Gaga is another phenomenon these days, but she is so OUT THERE that she does not appeal to my middle class sensibilities. Justin Bieber, though, if he continues in the same vein and can successfully manage the transition to “adult” singing should go a long way. Whether he is a Michael Jackson in the making, and will he evoke the same hysteria the King of Pop did, are things that only time will tell, but he has started off with a bang.
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