Maryan – The deep and mysterious ocean…..

If there is a musical equivalent of magic , it should be Allah Rakha Rahman’s music . This may not be the universal truth , but it does sound true when one listens to some of his soundtracks which deserve to be called classics. This evening when I laid my hands on Maryan’s OST – I had a question on whether it will be magic to the ears . It took some time for me to get my answer , but once I had it , i felt it had to be shared and hence this blogpost.

Nenje Ezhu kicks off with chords and percussion which remind you of Rahman’s earlier works . The man himself takes center stage thereafter to sing about eternal hope , a hope which is born out of divine love. The song talks of never ending hope and eternal love and the superb lyrics make you repeat the song again and again and again. As ARR croons kadhal endrum azhivathillai , the song reaches it’s crescendo and takes you another world – a world where fairy tales come true. Yet this song is not without glitches. The tune has a heard before feel which I couldn’t shake off and I felt that the pronunciation of the inspirational words could have been better. That said , the flaws seem minor when compared to the feel of the song.

Innum konja neram is true to its words. By the time the song ends you wish that the song could have lasted longer , that lovely it is. The ghatam , accordion and the flute create a lovely menage e trois , which becomes all the more lovely thanks to the fantabulous lyric and the superlative singing by Vijay Prakash and Shweta Mohan. As the song goes on , one is taken back in time to a journey in a bullock cart , with the lovely bells from the bull’s anklets ringing in your ears .The singing , tune and the orchestra work is so very reminiscent of MSV , so much so that one wonders if this is ARR’s tribute to the maestro. The song clocks 5 minutes and 14 secs , yet once the song ends , you wonder why the song was short. Innum Konjam Neram Irunthathan enna indeed.

Vijay Prakash is on a roll these days. He completely pwns Innum Konjam Neram with his Hariharan-ish rendition and nails down the brief completely with Netru – so much so that , when one listens to this songs with eyes closed , his rendition reminds one of a young K.J yeshudas in superlative form. Vijay creates magic with the mellifluous tune , Chinmayi and the orchestral work adding to the glory. The orchestral work is very minimal but sweeping – like a banked fire , if one can call it that. In a matter of hours , this song has become a favorite and to me its one of the best songs of the OST , if not the best – you know you’ve hit pay dirt when you listen to a song for 30 minutes on loop.

Sonna Pareeya is the masala song of the album , if one can call it . To me it is that song of the album , where people take a break from the analysis and just go ho hum to the tune. To me it is one of the weakest song of the album and sounds almost like a kuthu song. What redeems the song is that nayanam in the interludes and the guitar work in the background in addition to the orchestral work. May be it’s because the song appears after two killer melodies , it didn’t stick with me at all.

Sakthisree Gopalan sure can make a living out of angsty tracks . She is almost as heavenly as she sounded in Nenjukulle and it is her singing which redeems the song along with the splendid tune and superb string work. Just like Aditi Paul’s version of ayyayyao was called a lady and the violin , Enga Pona can be called the Siren and the guitar – as they are the only things that stay with you even after the song ends.What works against the song are the horrendous lyric – wonder if the lyricist was not paid enough or on time , to turn in such third grade work .That said , a superb sophomore effort from Sakthisree.

Africa can as well be used by Africa’s tourism department or by the African Cricket team – cheenu mama able and willing. Blaaze collaborates with AR Rahman after a long time and ends up creating an almost Carribean sounding visiting card for the African Continent.One need not be an oracle to know that this song will be placed when the titular character lands on Africa and the song may sound better with Visuals.

Last but not the least comes Kadal Raasa. When I heard that yuvan had sung this number for AR Rahman , I thought it was prone to be a disaster but Yuvan surprises ( with or without processing) and how ! Kadal Raasa is all about a man’s yearning for his land and roots. The nadaswaram makes an appearance yet again and segues infinitely with the percussion work which goes on to take center stage.The lyrics are again crafted beautifully and give away the titular character’s feeling and condition and an inkling of the story. The song is a keepsake , just for the nadaswaram in the interludes , which stays in one’s mind hours after one is done listening to the song. While Kadal Raasa is not the best song of the album , its not the worst either and may be could have sounded better had Velmurugan sung it as initially planned.

To sum up , Maryan is not the masterclass that kadal was but its not mediocre like Jab Tak hai Jaan. What it is , is the musical equivalent of magic , thanks to innum konja neram , netru and yenga pona raasa.

David – A tasty and innovative aviyal

They say that too many cooks spoil the broth and its true in most of the cases . The reason being that too many techniques and differing opinions will pull the end product across different spectrums and render it incomplete. Some say that the proverb applies to music too. I tend to disagree and the soundtrack of the tamil film ‘David’ does nothing but strengthen my opinion.

Lovely string work , French words and a carnatic based tamil melody seem like a recipe for disaster but MaatiBaani take all these ingredients to give us the addictive and attractive Theerathu Poga Poga Vanam. The song seems like a Jugalbandi between Nirali and the seemingly French Rapper ( not quite rap but almost) with the string work and flute interludes making you go ‘Besh’ and ‘Sabash’. The last interlude is again so reminiscent of a Jugalbandhi with the singers conversing in their own styles .Theerathu is a very nice beginning to the soundtrack and will stay on my playlist for quite a while.

It is all about percussion . Atleast That’s what Prasanth Pillai must think so. The most striking part of Manamey is the percussion. The minimalistic string work and Karthik’s strong voice add strength to the song , but the majesty of the percussion work is all I remember once the song ends. The sounds of ghungroo , the brass drums ( I guess) and the native percussion instruments create a seamless framework and one wants to give full credit to Tao issaro ( the percussionist, who is also a protege of Ranjit Barot I am told) for nailing his brief and topping it by miles.

Manamey also has a dubstep version , the expansive percussion from the original , replaced by electronic sounds , and the song still works. You can still hear lovely percussion work in the background and Dub Sharma gets the mix just right. While the dub step version works when you listen to it as a standalone song , it still pales in comparison to the original.Its worth several listens nevertheless.

Prasanth uses Naresh Iyer and Swetha for the frothy Iravinil Ulava. The click sounds , the whistling in the second interlude , the electric string work , the faint sounds of flutes and piano ( I think so) in the background and super percussion work create a heady mix when combined with the mushy lyrics and the grogeous song reinforces the thought the Pillai and Nambiar are a match made in heaven indeed.

Think Goan Music , think Remo Fernandes . Maria Pitache has the goan stamp written all over it – energetic guitar work , foot tapping percussion and that suranaganiesque sing along lyrics stand true to the Goan spirit. Vikram donning the singer avatar is quite competent too ! Yet you feel something amiss. May be its the other songs of the album , or done to death goan template , Maria has this heard before feel. It still works as a song and will most probably end up becoming a college anthem for a while.

What Remo lacks in Maria Pitache , he more than makes it up in lighthouse symphony. Its a recipe for a true blue melody in the beginning with the whimsical string and chord work , with the whistling and humming reminding you of a lazy walk by the seaside on a saturday evening . Then the drums and Remo make an entry and along with the goan punch. The lovely humming remains though until the near end which when added to that catchy flute notes , takes you back to this tatched hut on the goan seaside where fun and frolic are the main agenda.

Machi by Modern Mafia is the shortest song of the Soundtrack but my what an impact the song makes. Kick ass Guitar work is the best part of the song and Modern Mafia work around the strings to create a short anthemic no. The tamil rap segments and that La La La vocals accompanying the guitar work , scream repeat and repeat I did , until I knew the lyrics by heart. This is Indie Music at its best in the Tamil music scene.

Vaazhkaiye by Bramfatura is moody with a capital M and the electornic sounds coupled with Siddarth Basu’s lovely singing pull of what I call Tamil electronic rock/pop. It’s not the best of the album , but not the worst either. What it lacks in impact , it makes up in the vocal department and you end up with a song that will figure on your playlist but will not be played on a loop until you go deaf.

Kanave by Anirudh rounds up the soundtrack. claps of thunder , a solitary string instrument and a lovely flute & violin tadka herald the beginning of yet another love ballad by anirudh – one which is strongly reminiscent of part nee partha vizhigal , part po nee po that I almost expected Danush to make an appearance. The strong resemblance to 3 apart , Kanave is a lovely melody , filled with signature Anirudh elements of expansive string work and that haunting flute ( He can go light on it though – cos these elements were strikingly similar to 3 work ) that make you hit the repeat button quite a few times.

To round-up , David is quite an eclectic mix , with the individual composers having nailed the brief to create an impressive soundtrack.

Moondru Per Moondru Kadhal – Sleeper hit

Listening to a Yuvan Shankar Raja can be an interesting experience. This is due to the fact that you never know which Yuvan will turn out – the one who is a worthy successor to his genius father and superbly talented brother or the commercial MD who sleepwalks through his composing sessions. The last Yuvan album I heard was Billa II and it seemed to me that he slept through the entire composing session for the same. Hence it was with trepedition that I picked up MPMK and boy I was surprised – this featured the good yuvan – one who was capable of catchy tunes and rich orchestra work. Here are my thoughts on the album.

Imagine being asked to sing at a gathering and you start after a pregnant pause. Aaha Kadhal is a typical example of the same. Nandini Srikar helms this lovely song , which talks about the effects of cupid’s arrow on a person. The song starts with a lovely guitar which soon merges with keys , violins et al, to create a heady mix. The violin plays an extended cameo in the second interlude with the flute , creating so rich a feel that one wonders if Karthik Raja had any hand in the orchestra work. This one had me hitting the repeat button so many times that I didn’t progress to the rest of the album for quite a few days. Aaha Kadhal is one of Yuvan’s best in recent times and definitely worth the hype its getting.

Neha Bhasin is one of Yuvan’s favorite singers and Kadhal en Kadhal does nothing but reinforce the fact. Neha croons her way into our ears and hearts , the morchang and Nadaswaram helping her a lot. What stays with you for a long time is not her superb voice quality but the addictive Nadaswaram hook – so much so that I’ve taken to humming the hook at my workplace , earning quite a few stares and am in the process of creating an entire ringtone from the hook – and yes while it’s not the vintage wine that Aaha Kadhal is , Kadhal en kadhal holds its sway on one’s ear thanks to that Nadaswaram hook and percussion.

A piano begins the proceedings for Mazhai Mazhai which is a tad bit jaded tune wise. Karthik takes the center stage with the lovely Swetha Mohan to ace this number which is a very pleasant listen. The interludes feature a lovely flute and string segment , which is faintly reminiscent of Yuvan’s Paiyya days. I know for sure that it will be a rain song or will be shot in mountainous terrain. Rumor says that this was initially recorded with Sonu Nigam and I wish the makers had included his version in the OST too. It would have definitely made a very interesting listen and I think Sonu’s voice would have suited the song a tad bit more.

Padapadakuthu is quite an interesting song but the processed voices spoil it for me. The orchestra work is spot on , and its quite an engaging tune but the excessive processing of the vocal segments spoil the song for me. Nevertheless this is a number which will do a round of quite a few discos . The best part of the song for me is the organ segment from 2:23 – 2:56 – nothing else stands apart.

The last time I heard Yuvan Shankar Raja sing , I cringed in distaste . That was because Saayndhu Saayndhu could have been a super number but for the crappy singing. But one has to agree that sometimes Yuvan’s off key singing has its own charm , unakkagave being a stellar example. A love ballad with electronic sounds , the song grows slowly , new age sounds and all that. As I speak , I’ve started humming touch by an angel , much to the amusement of my roomies.

The Soundtrack ends with another stunner helmed by Ramesh Vinayagam. The nayanam and trainesque percussion herald a ultra modern kutthu pattu / love failure song. Stop the pattu has Vinayagam crooning away to glory about his ex to the accompaniment of the superb nadaswaram and thavil. This is Yuvan in splendid form and the song will stay on the FM radio circuit for a long long time. Thakathimichak Thakathimichak indeed and watch out for the guitar , nadaswaram interplay in the second interlude – naughty and nice

To round up – MPMK brings baclk Yuvan of the good old days – the one who knew about crafting addictive tunes and showstopper melodies. Listen once and stay addicted amigos!!!!