Khallui by Sil Heiba (Critical Analysis and Dissection)
By Ningombam Captain
Length : 4 mins 51 secs
Release : 7th November ‘17
Genre : Baroque pop
“Angangba nongjabido numidangwairamgi, yengningludre eidi yengningludre”
The given lyrics, translated as, “Don’t wanna see the scarlet rainbow in the dusk, I don’t wanna see”, is an extract from a heart-wrecking song called ‘Khallui’ written by Silheiba Ningombam who records under the stage name ‘Sil Heiba’ as a solo artist. The song was released on the 7th of November, 2017 via Soundcloud and Youtube along with an official music video.
“Khallui” is in the key of E major and listeners will often find this song different from other Manipuri indie rock songs. This is because, speculating in terms of both lyrical content and aesthetic style, the song is unique and can be classified as an indie rock song with strong elements of baroque pop and psychedelic music, which is something no other recording artists from the state has tried yet.
The song length is 4 minutes and 51 seconds and starts to be interesting from the very opening second when the vocals start to give out a meaningful but hyperbolic sigh indicating the emotional turbulence in the lyrics to follow up. Then, the addictive down-stroke plucking of the lead guitar cues in along with the consistent drums, which in unison creates an illusion that the loop has been playing on for a long time even before the audio started.
This is done by the perfect unison of the guitar and drums and avoiding a major fade in of the music. Exactly at 00:30 seconds, the guitar ceased and the vocals cue in to the drums. Structurally, the pattern is a common pop music “verse-pre-chorus-chorus” form in the first upbeat movement. From the second verse, the pattern starts to have a more unorthodox flow with a pre-chorus/chorus hybrid section and a bass solo in between.
The bass solo is one of the best parts of the song as it not only fills the deficient degrees of emotional disruption accompanied by the lyrics but also brings back the early vibe of the Arctic Monkeys. Musically, the interlude of “Khallui” is a spontaneous, tone-changing melody comprising of the vocables “aa aa” sung in a tone slightly higher than the chorus. The choice of the particular vocables in place of the common “na na” or “la la” is a clever one, as it suits the lyrics so much. If we consider the whole lyrics as a “tick” the vocables interlude is a “tock”, thus satisfying the ‘ablaut reduplication’.
However, the vocal ability of Sil Heiba is not showcased in the song as his delivery is only in the baritone register. The listener might somewhat feel a bit overexposed to the interlude, which is repeated thrice near the ending of the song and this might endanger the chorus as they are of the same melody. Despite these little glitch, the song is perfect overall.
The music video of the song is produced by Nonsense Films under the direction of Andy Tourangbam Meitei. His usage of stop motion technique in the video is exquisite. The male and female protagonist cast are Silheiba Ningombam and Neeru Thoudam respectively.
The flashback scenes are interjected during the performance of a band in a dark room. The shot of the flashback scenes is done in a follow shot cinematic technique which reminds the viewer of the old tricks of Alfred Hitchcock. The narrator of the song seeks of his lost love who was separated from him likely from a case of betrayal (as the symbolic protuberance of a safety blade from the female protagonist’s mouth suggests).
As far as the song is concerned, it is structurally innovative and musically perfect. The lyrical meaning of the song and the soulful music, which when combined, has the ability to rock a melancholic listener to his core. When the song merges further with the music video, it becomes almost irresistible. No wonder the YouTube video garners more than 10k views in a period of just two months.
(Ningombam Captain is the creator of the comprehensive review blog, Blue Bannerman Reviews. The writer is currently pursuing English Hons. in MS University, Vadodara. For reviews, Blue Bannerman can be contacted at the official facebook page and will cover critical analysis of songs, books, movies, and local eateries.)
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