Neethane En Ponvasantham – Raja Personified

This weekend has been one to savor due to many reasons , Raja’s latest soundtrack being one of them. It has been ages since Raja’s genius has been used properly and it comes as a pleasant surprise that Gautam vasudev Menon has let the genius do what’s he’s best at , keeping his interference to a minimum. For the past two days the web has been buzzing with the awesomeness of this album and here’s my juvenile take on the same.

A choir heralds in a solitary bagpipe ; the strings join the melee and thus begins one of the best songs of the album. Vanam Mella is a music lover’s delight through and through. A gorgeous tune enriched by splendid orchestral work , this beauty sung by the master himself and the lovely Bela Shinde leaves you spell bound. The violins in the first interlude is vintage raja and makes you want to dance.Na muthukumar with his lyrics does justice to Raja’s tune. So powerful is the orchestral work that one wishes that there was an instrumental version of the track . 

Next comes an ear worm which if composed in the eighties , would have featured SPB on the vocals.and would have probably had Karthik chase a lovely damsel on a lonely road . Yennodu is a frothy composition , that takes you to the Golden age of eighties where Raja’s music was enough to make a film a super duper hit. Karthik . the singer has done complete justice to this number. The highlight of this number is the second interlude where Raja introduces an electronic tinge to the song . The lines “Unnudaya kaiyale Thandanaigal Thanthale en nejam Kondadume ‘ makes one go Ada! Ada! Ada!. A number which doesn’t grab your attention at get go , Yennodu is like a slow poison , getting you addicted bit by bit slowly and surely. 

Think romance , think Raja is an undisputed fact and Katrai Konjam adds more weightage to the same. Karthik takes his place behind the microphone to belt out a quintessential love song , sung by the hero about the heroine and his love for her . The highlight of the song is the saxophone and Na muthukumar’s lyric which makes one go awww. The splendid orchestral work continues to entice and one ends up listening to the interludes again and again and again. 

One thinks disaster , when one thinks about Sunidhi chauhan and a tamil song – but the lovely lady does complete justice to Mudhal Murai – which is the shortest song in the album. Sunidhi is pitch perfect and nails her Tamil pronunciation, lifting the song to greater heights. The electric guitar and Cello , are perfect accompaniments to the song and the violin in the first interlude is kick ass. Is it me or does the first interlude reminds one slightly of an older Raja melody?  The neethane en ponvasantham hook is too addictive and is a lovely touch by the master.

Pudikala mamu starts off with lovely guitar and catchy lyrics and the vocals by Suraj Jaggan makes one assume that its going to be an out and out rock number , a college anthem taking a dig at college discipline. The hey hey part makes you want to sing along . Infact two minutes into the song , I wondered why Karthik’s name was mentioned in the song as I couldn’t discern his voice at all. That concern was pushed aside slightly as I started dancing to that lovely first interlude with exemplary guitar work . Karthik enters the fray in the second interlude which starts in a dialogue like santhu pottu , and nails the folksy veethi pathathe part. The percussion makes you tap your finger against the nearest surface available and as the guitar enters , you smile.The kick ass second interlude is wacky and brilliant at the same time. You go dhadakku dhadakku with the singers and soon start singing along. a 2 in 1 package , Pudikalla works very very well.

Prior to listening to Satru Munbu , I had no idea who Ramya NSK was. This lady does complete justice to this magnum opus , her westernized voice and tonal quality reminding me of Anupama , many a time. The piano makes an appearance in this number and lends ample support to the violins . The lesser said of this song , the better as this song has to be experienced to understand its beauty. The second interlude is a masterpiece in itself , with the violins taking center stage yet again.

Saayndhu Saayndhu has everything in it to become a chartbuster , but for one factor – the vocals. Yuvan Shankar Raja sounds so off key and jaded , that he ends up spoiling the splendid guitar work. Replace YSR with a Karthik or Vijay Prakash and the song would easily be the best in the album. There are rumors floating around that Gautam demanded that Raja use YSR in the song. If that’s the truth , I have only one question to ask. Why Gautham ? Why this Kolaveri ?

If Yuvan’s vocal fiasco makes one wince in Saayndhu Saayndhu , it makes one cringe in Pengal Endral , which to me is the weakest in the album. The tune is not that great and YSR’s vocals do not help the song in any way , but bring the song down by several notches. Pengal Endral is a timid and damp end to a rather splendid album.

To Summarize things , while NEPV is not raja at his zenith , its easily Raja’s best work in Tamil after ages and is a must listen for all Raja fans who’d love to be taken on a journey back to his golden era.

 

 

 

 

 

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