Archive

Uncategorized

A career in music that includes scores for 100 films, 300 commercials, couple of Broadway shows and a handful of private albums.. This post does not intend to list them all. Having said that, I don’t have the time or space to list down all his awards either. The year 2016 marks A.R. Rahman’s 24 years in the film industry (as a film composer) and this post aims to list down some of his not-so-popular film songs right from Yodha to the recently released 24. The intention is to make people create a playlist of these songs on their iPods and mobiles. If you think that this is too much to ask for, please go through the full post again and again until you feel that these songs are worthy enough to share the priceless space on your device. 

                          orchestrapic

1.Mampoove – Yodha

It always feels good when you start off your post, especially about music with a song sung by K.J. Yesudas. But wait for a moment. If you feel that Roja was Rahman’s first film, you are partially wrong. Yes, only partially because Roja released first before Yodha did. But instead of digging into archives and going back in time for 24 years, let us take some time and listen to this song which I consider to be one of the many Rahman melodies that will stand the test of time. It’s also a shame that we haven’t listened to Rahman in Malayalam after Yodha.

Fun fact: This song was later reused in the Tamil film Pavithra as Sevvaanam.

Mampoove – Yodha

2. Idhudhaan Vaazhkai Enbadha (Netru Illadha Maatram – Sad version – Pudhiya Mugam)

We all love the sight of chripy Revathy running across a valley brimming with love singing Netru Illadha Maatram Ennadhu. If the happy version of the song captivates some of the best loved moments in the film, the sad version reciprocates the pain of leaving your loved ones. I consider Pudhiya Mugam to be one of the finest Rahman movies till date. It is also safe to say that the songs played a huge role in making people remember the name of the film.

Netru Ilatha matram – Pudhiya Mugam (Sad Version)

3. Kangalil Enna Eeramo – Uzhavan 

Imagine the male lead of the film plunged in sorrow over the loss of his mother and the female lead trying to console him. There are no better singers than S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and K.S. Chithra to reflect this mood in a song. Full marks to Rahman for arranging the song in such a way that no screen is necessary to understand / guess the theme behind this.

Kangalil Enna Eeramo – Uzhavan

4. Idhu Sugam Sugam – Vandicholai Chinnarasu

Of all the songs listed above, I rate this to be a work of sheer brilliance by Rahman. I also guess that Rahman’s music played a huge role in portraying the intimacy of the male and female lead on screen. The other part where Rahman deserves an accolade is the choice of singers. S.P.B can emote a million emoticons in a single song whereas Vani Jayaram can emote a single emoticon million times. That’s how this song has captivated its listeners.

Idhu Sugam Sugam – Vandicholai Chinnarasu

5. July Madham Vandhal – Pudhiya Mugam 

Yet another song from Pudhiya Mugam. The song is about a man and a woman running the streets of Colombo and enjoying their love life by singing. We would have seen this situation a thousand times in films. But where this song stands apart is in the usage of instruments. Bongos and Spanish guitar accompany the actors everywhere they go and this is the one Rahman song that comes to my mind whenever I relate him with guitar.

July Madham Vandhal – Pudhiya Mugam

6. Kaadu Potta Kaadu – Karuthamma

The singer Bharathiraja… Wait, you heard it right. Yes, Bharathiraja is the singer here. Guess the idea of choosing Bharathiraja to sing this song is to convince the audience about the incapability of a land to produce crops anymore and to stress the pain and struggle of a debt-ridden farmer in making his drought-ridden land yield crops.

Kaadu Potta Kaadu – Karuthamma

7. Vaanil Yeni Pottu – Pudhiya Mannargal

A group of college students turning rebel and you have Rahman compose music for them. The song carries the entire wishlist of a group of ambitious students’ unprecedented love towards the society. Add Nadaswaram and Thavil to Rahman’s signature synthesizer tone of the 90s and the product you get at the end is something similar to a Rolls Royce or a Bentley driven at Mount Road with a group of people looking at it with a sense of awe. You don’t get to see them often, after all.

Vaanil Yeni Pottu – Pudhiya Mannargal

8. Naalai Ulagam – Love Birds

Because Unni Krishnan has never sounded this warm after Narumugaye. The song doesn’t appease you as Ennavale or move you as Uyirum Neeye yet sits in a unique place that no other song can be made to sit by your inner soul. Another song that deserves a mention here is Thendrale (may be because all the songs listed above were sung by Unni Krishnan).

Naalai Ulagam – Love Birds

9. Aadi Paaru – May Madham

The way little G.V. Prakash Kumar starts off the song with a coltish tone and the female lead singer takes off from there is pure fun to listen. In my opinion, this track of Rahman sits right at the top as one of the most tongue-in-cheek attempts ever tried by him. Do give a listen and I bet there will be a mild smile at the end once you are done listening.

Aadi Paaru – May Madham

10. Vennilavin Theril Yeri – Duet

Boisterous violins, resentful lyrics and K.J. Yesudas are almost impossible to go together but this song is what you get when all the three come together. The lyrics is penned in such a way that Balachander’s screenplay plays a second fiddle to it. You don’t need a screen in front of you to capture the emotion of the song.

Vennilavin Theril – Duet

11. Mona Lisa – Mr. Romeo 

What is fun? Prabhu Deva and Rahman coming together. Add Vaali to it and you only get more fun. I also love the way  Malaysia Vasudevan pronounces Mona Lisa (as “Mono Lisa”).

Mona Lisa – Mr. Romeo

12 & 13 Sakiye Neethan & Oru Naal Oru Pozhudu – Anthimanthaarai

The film name might sound new to most of you. It is to be noted that it also had a couple of really good songs sung by Unni Krishnan and Swarnalatha.

Fun fact: The film was directed by Bharathiraja. 

Sakiye Neethan – Anthimanthaarai & Oru Naal Oru Pozhudu – Anthimanthaarai

14. Vennila Vennila – Iruvar

May be due to the fact that this was overtaken by the other jazz in the film, Hello Mister Edhirkatchi. 

Vennila Vennila – Iruvar

15. Suttum Vizhi Sudar – Kandukondain Kandukondain 

Listening to someone hum a Bharathiyar poem would sound sweet. Imagine if that someone is Hariharan and A.R. Rahman is the composer who had set the tune for that. Water pouring down the Earth in the form of rain thereby quenching people’s thirst is a metaphor that symbolizes a peerless piece of poetry set to tune by Rahman that quenches the listeners’ thirst.

Suttum Vizhi Sudar – Kandukondain Kandukondain

16. Nenthukitten – Star

A severely underrated gem. Set in the early 2000s, the song carries all the essence of a folk viz Thavil, Nadaswaram and Ghatam. Karthik, who later went on to sing many successful songs started off his career with this song.

Nenthukitten – Star

17. Neethan En Desiya – Paarthale Paravasam 

A melody that sounds sweet and simple to the ears will always be well-received by its listeners. This song is a prime example of that.

Neethan En Desiya – Paarthale Paravasam

18. Sattena Nanainthathu – Kannathil Muthamittal

The heroine meets the hero at his place. Cut. The song appears. Later, the hero meets the heroine at her place. Cut. The song appears again. Guess Mani Ratnam must have brought all his movie-making experience into play to place this song at the right spot (not sure if the song was composed after the film sequences were shot). Anyway, we all know what a Mani-Rahman combo can do when they are on top of their creative skills. Don’t be surprised if I say that this song is an adaptation of a Telugu song from the movie Super Police for which Rahman is the composer as well.

Sattena Nanainthathu – Kannathil Muthamittal

19. Theekuruvi – Kangalal Kaidhu Sei 

What’s a Harini song without those fast sangathis? An all-time favourite Rahman number that still sounds fresh even after listening to it multiple times.

Theekuruvi – Kangalal Kaidhu Sei

20. Kaaviriya Kaaviriya – Desam 

From the Hindi movie Swades (Desam in Tamil), this song has Rahman playing with the synth layers. The transition of the song at the second minute plus Madhushree’s vocals above all make this song a good listen.

Kaaviriya Kaaviriya – Desam

21 & 22 . Ye Manpuru Mangaye & Orey Kanaa- Guru

Ye Manupuru Mangaye is what you get when you pack everything neatly, right from the singers to the arrangement and the orchestration. If you ask me to prepare a list of Rahman melodies, this song would feature in the top 10. Orey Kanaa is a supremely orchestrated piece and Rahman has pulled it off in a grand style.

Ye Manpuru Mangaye – Guru & Orey Kanaa – Guru

23. Chinnamma – Sakkarakatti 

A reused track from the movie Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities, this song would take multiple hearing before getting used to. There is also an interesting pattern in this song. Every time the male lead’s voice is pitched high, the female goes low. Not sure whether this was done deliberately.

Chinnamma – Sakkarakatti

24. Theera Ula – OK Kanmani

Not that this song was not popular. I just feel that this song wasn’t given the due it deserved. Take all the songs of OK Kanmani into equation and somewhere I feel that this song was left behind despite being blessed with some wonderful singing.

Theera Ula – OK Kanmani

It’s almost impossible to narrow down all the songs to 24 in number. While the guessing game still continues, it would only be fair if we list down some of the (if not all) underrated gems of all the composers and listen to them and appreciate them. Choosing Rahman was easier for me since I keep listening to him almost every day. I should also accept the fact that I have left out some of his unexplored tracks (particularly the pre-2000s).  I have not included his Hindi and private albums in this post only with a hope to post them separately sometime in future. 

 

                                                           Highway – A. R. Rahman.

We have seen this new idea of releasing one song from the whole soundtrack as a “single” in recent times. This seems to have worked quite a bit though this might not be favoured by some Pundits around. In case of Highway, we have had two releases before the whole soundtrack was released. So, there is a fair chance that people would have listened to these two songs and some would have even been familiar with the whole flavour of the album before it even got released. It is quite obvious and there are no prizes for guessing the first song of the album.

Patakha Guddi  was thought to be a female dominated track before Rahman threw a surprise by releasing the male version of the song with himself being the singer too. The song has been designed in such a way that it requires a voice that has the prowess to meet the sharp rise in the pitch it has to offer. Though the male version has been tweaked a bit, Rahman would have kept this in mind before convincing himself to go ahead and sing the song. The song has been tagged as a Punjabi folk with an unconventional pattern like most of the Rahman songs in recent times. Jyoti and Sultana Nooran known as the Nooran Sisters seem to have no difficulty in rendering the song the way it needs to be presented. The singing starts off slowly and takes off once it sees a new high in the pitch backed by an arrangement that could largely be seen not in Qawwali songs. The pattern is like a wave that keeps coming back again and again once it leaves the shore for good. The male version is more like a play that has two halves. The first portion has a mix of sufi with harmonium, tablas and synthesizers while in the second half, the song gets into a genre as to what is known as Sufi rock today. Electric guitars, drums, dholaks, synthesizers and harmonium accompany the song till the end.

Maahi Ve has vocals by A.R. Rahman. I guess this is one of the few albums where Rahman has sung two songs and has pulled off both brilliantly. This song has a strong feel for melody and has breezy backing vocals by Maria Roe Vincent, Rhea Raphael, Neethi and Dorairaju and also has an orchestration dominated largely by strings viz ukulele, guitars, violins and there is piano, the instruments we usually associate a Rahman melody with.  It is difficult to understand a Rahman song these days, courtesy the pattern and arrangement it has but I feel this is the kind of song that can bring you back from the state of despondency as they cannot be reflected in these type of songs. Once you are done with it, a feel-good Rahman  song is what we would love to remember this song as.

Wanna Mash Up has Rahman that we keep seeing since Enthiran, thanks to  Kash & Krissy. One can come up with a thousand predictions before we actually get to know why this song has been included in this album, which is quite impossible unless we get to see it in the movie. There again, we can only pray that this song serves the purpose for which it was composed. Tu Kuja  has the most wonderful tune in the soundtrack and Sunidhi Chauhan doesn’t let the tune down with her singing. The song has wonderful layers synthesized beautifully and packed well. The pace of the song would literally blow the listener away and this is the type of song you would expect every Rahman album to have. A tinge of Qawwali is the other thing I found in this song, well, literally, and thanks to the usage of synthesizer for that.

I was excited when I saw Alia Bhatt singing just to know how her voice would help Rahman in making a song for this movie. Sooha Saaha is euphonious and is rendered wonderfully by Zeb and Alia Bhatt. I have a gut feeling that this song is going to work out big-time in the film and these kind of songs soak you into the melody before you actually get to notice their orchestration and its pace is constant in progression. When you keep playing all the songs from this soundtrack, you would be surprised to find something interesting. Implosive Silence  is somewhere between a song and a theme before the sub-conscious mind mumbles to you that it is an experiment. The sound keeps floating on your head in the voice of Jonita Gandhi and seems to be tethered to something western.

Jonita Gandhi deserves a special mention for the way she has rendered Kahaan Hoon Main. The mood  exhibited by her in her singing has been backed up well by the tune, that gives a serpentine feel. All the songs in this album give you a feel that they are intricate but this song is sure to evoke the wistful feel in you, if any. Chennai Strings Section deserves a worthy mention in Heera. The song is well orchestrated and rendered well by Sweta Pandit. Just when you think the album is going overboard with synth, Heera proves to be a welcome change at the right time just like the album that is a bit experimental as well.

“Forever Vaali!”

A young man born in Thiruparaithurai near Trichy moved to Chennai (then Madras ) in the 1950s, seeking an opportunity to act in Tamil films with a bagful of experience as a director at theatrical plays. Little did people at that point know this vibrant persona was going to become a poet who would stand the test of time by penning lyrics for over 15,000 songs.

Born as S. Rangarajan in 1931, Vaali initially worked with All India Radio before moving to film industry. Rangarajan had no idea that his pen name Vaali, which he assumed as an inspiration from artist Mali of Ananda Vikatan, would make him correlate with the title Vaaliba Kavignar (youthful lyricist) that he got as a result of the lyrics he penned.

Vaali’s legacy tethered either with Kannadasan or Vairamuthu, with the former in his early days and the latter joining him after the demise of Kannadasan. Vaali, unlike Vairamuthu didn’t require insane amount of poetic knowledge to be understood though his works in Arangaettra Velai or Ramanuja Kaaviyam (to name a few) prove otherwise. His genius lies in the fact that his works ranged right from K.V. Mahadevan to Anirudh Ravichander at present.

Image

When I was a kid, as a fan of scrumptious beats, I never really looked into the lyrics while listening to a song. But it was songs like Mukkala Muqabla (Kadhalan) Chikku Bukku Rayile (Gentleman)  that made me notice the lyrics. (with no understanding, of course) And this continued even with films like Boys, New and Sivaji. Since I was hooked to these albums and had a very little understanding of what Vaali had done apart from writing these playboy-ish type of lyrics, I was never attracted towards him as a lyricist and preferred his counterparts instead. As I grew up, I started listening to all kinds of music and most importantly, the lyrics. I started listening to M.S. Viswanathan and Ilaiyaraja. This was the time I started giving importance to lyrics along with the music. Also, I noticed Vaali penning the lyrics for almost all the films where Raja scored music. I found Vaali’s name under the ‘lyricist’ column for films like Mouna Raagam, Apoorva Sagodharargal, Thalapathi, Thevar Magan and Michael Madana Kamarajan, whose music I treasure and I cursed myself for not being benevolent towards him. Later, I saw a concert of Ilaiyaraja where I found Vaali’s genius elevated when the composer
himself explained how simple and  appropriate Vaali’s lyrics can be by showing Sundari Kannaal Oru Seidhi song from Thalapathi as an example. I started looking out for the interviews of Vaali and found one where the lyricist along with A.R. Rahman had given one for the film Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. It was there I learnt that this amazing lyricist can pen down the entire lyrics for a song within the time of chewing a betel.

Vaali’s youthful numbers often reflect the kind of person he was. His association with Ilaiyaraja  resulted in about 5000 songs with a Vaali number in almost every film. He helped in narrowing down the generation gap, which was his major success.

Vaali was energetic throughout his life. He kept working till the end. He never hesitated to acknowledge people whenever he found talent in them. His literary works range right from Avathara Purushan to Pandavar Bhoomi. He could write Koovi azhaithal kural koduppan as well as Unna Nenachen Paatu Padichen. Also, he refused the National Award for the song India Naadu En Veedu is a fact that only a few would know. Vaali might have breathed his last but we are yet to hear his last song. It would only be appropriate if we finish this post with something Vaali came up with to show the society the agony and pain that a girl underwent due to her dark skin and poverty. The lyrics also shows how she redeems herself from all these obstacles and agony, composed by A.R. Rahman.

            “பச்சைக் கரு யாவும் பாவக் கரு அல்ல

              நீயும் நானும் யாரு குத்தம் குறை சொல்ல”

Vaali was a prolific writer, actor and a wonderful human being that walked on earth.
I found an ode in Tamil which was written to honour him. A fitting send-off for somebody who might go down as one of the greatest lyricists ever.

” வாலி,
நீ
இலக்கியக் கிணற்றில்
எழிலை வெளியெடுத்த
வாளி.
நின் உடல்
இறப்பினும்
நின் புகழ்
என்றென்றும் வாழி.”

(Tamil ode credits: Mr. Vinay Kumaar)

Chennai Express – Vishal- Shekhar

The Vishal-Shekhar duo is back with Shahrukh Khan for Chennai Express after what seemed to be a hitches and glitches story for Ra One. You have S.P. Balasubrahmanyam recording a song for a Bollywood film after 15 years, which automatically draws the attention of the music lovers no matter what the language is and there is a song which  was  released on the World Music Day. So, what exactly does Chennai Express as an album has in store for its listeners? This is a Shahrukh Khan film and the film is expected to have some chartbusters as well. The theme of the entire film seems to be fun and the album doesn’t fall short by any means in proving its listeners that fun is its underlying theme as well.

One Two Three Four opens up with a tamil rap portion by Sricharan Kasturirangan. The song pays tribute to some foot-tapping numbers in tamil (dappangkuthu) with its lyrics and music which almost seems to be defunct in Bollywood these days. Four minutes of Tamil Nadu flavour is what you get while listening to this song and yes, it would be interesting to see how the  song has been picturised just to make sure that its style doesn’t make us remember a song of ours.

Tamil lyrics as opening, nadaswaram, Chinmayi and no, this isn’t a Tamil song. Rhythmic chants, mridangam, guitar and wonderful vocals make this song a stand-out in the whole album. The composers have made sure all these things get in line with the singers as well by selecting Chinmayi and Gopi Sunder (he has scored about 5000 jingles). The lyrics is the other aspect that can make the listeners quench their penchant for a melody in the album. This easily goes down as my pick of the album.

Tera Rastaa Chhodoon Na has Amitabh Bhattacharya who has continued from where he left in Lootera. The song has a stamp of Bollywood in it with fast beats and good orchestration and a tinge of  Titli towards the end.

Sunidhi Chauhan, Arijit Singh and Neeti Mohan take you back to celebration mood with Kashmir Main, Tu Kanyakumari. The lyrics seems to be tweaked a bit to add the much needed masala to the song. Arjit Chauhan delivers yet again after his acclaimed Tum Hi Ho in Aashiqui 2. The moment you hear the name Chennai in the title, the album is obvious to have tamil words mixed to it and that is where you hear a word like po in Ready Steady Po. The song tries to reminisce the disco feel and there are Brodha V and Smokey who have made sure the song gets something fixed from the genre. A complete fun track with Vishal Dadlani and Natalie Di Luccio, whose spirited combination seems to have worked well in delivering a catchy song.

SPB comes back to Bollywood after 15 years and it is pretty obvious the duo needed an established singer from down south to carry the legacy of the album forward through the title song and that seems to have worked out pretty well. This, I would say is an interesting comeback for the veteran considering that the film and the situation needed him more than he needed something upfront. The song opens up in techno mode and has all the essence carried by the film.

Titli Dubstep version by Phoenyx and Zoheb Khan tries to take the original version of the song to a different level, in the form of an electronic fusion. But, this doesn’t seem to recreate the magic created by the original song. The mashup of Chennai Express title track sounds good with a mixture of all the songs.

The package offers a good listen and the duo of Vishal-Shekhar has created something which will make you excited on the first listen and can calm things once you’re back to yourself.

.

                      ” Lootera by Amit Trivedi is buoyant.”

There is an album that has just landed in Bollywood, that will, at the end of the day, test your senses with its wide repertoire of genres, right from folk to electronic music. Amit Trivedi might just take the honours for an album that has wonderful nuances in its music and not to forget, some wonderful singers as well.

Sawaar Loon goes to show that the composer is eclectic. Amit adapts well to a style, that needs quite an understanding to master. Not to forget the period at which the film takes place. The tune is simple and the coating that the song has got is complete with violins, flute, simple jadhis and wonderful vocals. Also, you have got to give it to the composer, who has done his homework in selecting the singers by keeping the plot in mind. Monali Thakur fits well here.

Remember this album has somebody, who apart from Amit, takes something back to his place. Amitabh Bhattacharya sings a song that is well orchestrated. Ankahee is well supported by the lyrics and you can find Amitabh Bhattacharya donning a dual role as a lyricist and  singer. The composer can do little when the technicians involved in the song exactly know what to do and the singer-cum-lyricist has done just that. The song is breezy and subtle at a brisk pace.

Strings make a mark in Shikayatein with violins beaming at the background. Amitabh Bhattacharya is there again, making sure he delivers in a song that has good vocal arrangements with Mohan Kanan’s singing as well. Swanand Kirkire’s spirited singing takes Monta re to a different level and the vocal arrangement is splendid again in a tune that goes to show how versatile a composer can be! Amit Trivedi comes back as a singer in Zinda. The song reflects the mood of the whole album with a similar arrangement and instruments that were used for the previous songs.

There is an out of the world stuff in Manmarziyan. The track opens up well with guitar and the moment you hear the vocals and violins playing well along with each other, emotions galore and rockets to an all-time high when you hear Shilpa Rao taking guard. There is no looking back from there and santoor complements the song well till it ends.

Lootera’s music is buoyant and versatile that fits well into what seems to be a period film and considering that, the soundtrack is a clear winner!

                                                 Raanjhanaa, Music by A.R. Rahman

2013 is special for Rahman fans all around the globe. This is because they are going to hear a lot more from their favourite composer who has decided to take up more projects in Tamil by striking the balance between Tamil, Hindi, Hollywood and a project for MTV Coke Studio as well (at least that’s what the sources have confirmed). While people were enjoying his latest release in Tamil, many were hyper excited about his next offing, Raanjhanaa. Thanks to the expectation a Rahman album carries along with the music So what does Raanjhanaa as an album have? Let’s take a look at the music of Raanjhanaa, Rahman’s latest release to date.

As soon as I opened the album, Aise na dekho was the first in the list of nine songs(some say eight. Thanks to an instrumental piece, but still it gets counted as a song as it also finds a place in the list, right?) The song opens as a thick Jazz-layered number with Rahman and chorus making sure Irshad Kamil’s colourful lyrics gets along nicely with the song.This song took me to the time of Iruvar which had “Vennila Vennila”, another number with Jazz pattern. While listening to this song, my mind told me that this album is going to have a breadth of genres integrated in one fold.

Ghatam finds a major place in Ay sakhi along with Madhushree, Chinmayi, Aanchal Sethi and Vaishali with Madhushree and Chinmayi dominating the song throughout. Ay Sakhi is playful, colourful with a lovely arrangement and the back-up voices are brilliant. The song has a classical base to it in an album that is largely semi-classical.

Banarasiya starts off on a high with strings, tabla and flute, elements that are needed for a classical track to be largely successful. Shreya Ghoshal seems to be in no mood to give up as the song takes a new high. The voice gives way for sitar in the interlude and takes over again once it finishes. Both Ay sakhi and Banarasiya makes us wobble between the tracks in want of classical music.

Rashid Ali and Neeti Mohan’s carefree singing delivers goods for Nazar laaye with both the singers getting enough space to show their mettle in singing a song that sounds neat throughout. Tu Mun Shudi is all techno, having its moments here and there. The track blends brilliantly with shehnai and gives a suave feel that it is classical. Thanks to Rabbi Shergill who deserves more enchanting tracks in the future. The Land of Shiva is an intrumental track to demonstrate the holiness of Banaras.

Tum Tak gives us joy in all ways. Javed Ali’s voice takes off from the word go and helps largely in making the song sound classical. The song’s pattern appears to be unconventional and Pooja Vaidyanath shares her joy by lending her voice in the middle. Keerthi Sagathia, the other name that features in the track packs a power punch.

Sukhwinder Singh and KMMC’s Sufi Ensemble deliver a treat to the listeners in the form of Piya Milenge. Rahman rarely goes wrong with anything that is sufi, does brilliantly well again. This could well go down as the song of the album with its religious coating, sufi verses and ornamented notes. Hear the song once and this could well go on a loop.

Jaswinder Singh sounds dynamic while Shiraz Uppal is free-flowing. Raanjhanaa’s title track is a good orchestral score with violins, sitar and dhol beaming throughout. Rahman can take pride in giving the lead singers, especially Shiraz Uppal an opportunity to sing this track.

Rahman’s experiment in blending the album with various genres which is largely semi-classical seems to have worked big time. Raanjhanaa is enchanting and colourful with freshness written all over it.

Maryan, music by A.R. Rahman

If you were longing for an inspirational stuff from A.R. Rahman, Nenjae Ezhu might just be the one. Acoustic drums, progressive chords, grand strings and above all there is Rahman’s voice that makes the number mellifluous. If a song can elevate the situation for which it was made, you know the composer has done justice to his composition and Rahman has done just that.

Innum Konjam Neram is a song that might give you an answer for a penchant for melody in the album. Vijay Prakash and Shweta Mohan have done complete justice to the song in an otherwise not-so-melodic  African theme based album.

Chinmayi’s “Eh Maryan” and a bit of laughter here and there goes to show that her dubbing skills are coming handy while singing  for Rahman (remember Magudi Magudi?) and seems to have picked up from where she left when she sang for Rahman last time. Vijay Prakash has become a household name in Rahman’s album these days and he seems to have proved his worth every time he has sung for him. The humming in the song can take you back to the days where you were longing for something like this to happen from Rahman.

Ask for a foot-tapping number and in comes Sonapareeya. A song that can make you dance with its catchy interlude and then there is the composer who says, “Yes, this is Africa.” Javed Ali and Haricharan along with the composer have made sure that the song becomes an instant hit.

The female lead seems to be longing for the hero to come back to her and Yenga Pona Raasa appears to fit into the basket perfectly. Shakthisree’s vocals and Keba Jeremiah’s guitar seem to have helped the song largely in doing so.

Blaaze is a regular with Rahman and the moment you see his name on the album cover, you know the song is going to be different. Rahman seems to have captured the essence of African theme brilliantly in the album and this song goes to show you just that.

The much hyped combination of Rahman-Yuvan appears to have delivered big time. Rahman has done his best in making sure he selected a voice that could do justice to the tune that again has an African sound to it. The fusion deserves a big mention along with the master mix. The song was mixed within hours and to achieve this feat without compromising on the quality is something phenomenal.

Maryan as a whole is gives you a good listen and wait for the movie to release to see Rahman recreate the magic along with the story again.