Monday, November 26, 2007

ATM music review

My first reaction on hearing that ARR is the composer for a Vijay movie was "Ohh No! So, only dappankuthus from ARR?". Thankfully, I was proved wrong. There is a distinct flavour associated with the music of ATM. Rahman seems to be in the mood for folkish tunes these days. His recent 'Kummi Adi' from 'Jillunu..' is an example. Over the years we haven't seen too many of these from ARR. Probably because the subject didn't provide him with that scope. The previous ones that comes to my mind are 'Maanoothu Mandayile' and 'Aathankarai Marame'. That was way long back. But coming to the music of ATM, ARR seems to have found the right blend of the modern and the rustic. With 'Sivaji', I was a touch disappointed simply because, it had a bit of overdose of the western. But over here, he pleases with catchy, fast paced and melodious numbers.

Note: This review comes after considerable hearing from me exclusively on head/ear phones. I would advise the same to enjoy the songs.

'Maduraiku' is set to the typical 'Danda Nakka Danakku Nakka' style of folk music. And when you have Rahman handling an ordinary rhythm, you are sure to expect something special in it. The tavil and the nadaswaram have been appreciably used. The 'Karpoora Kannigaye Varaai' chorus is the highlight of the song for me. Especially, the part of the chorus where 'Maharajane....' is sung - simply awesome, wonderful brigha. The male and female voices have done a fabulous job. Throughout the song, Rahman gives a different dimension with an instrumental background which ably supports the vocals.

'Kelamal...' is different from the very beginning. Well, this song can be tagged as the only authentic melody in the album. Set to a fast paced rhythm, the song touches the realms of a remix number because of its beats and the lyrics seem to vindicate that claim too
'Kettu rasitha padal ondrai meendum indru nyabagam thoonda....' ;)
I was actually surprised to see Sriram Parthasarathy used by Rahman in this song because the sangathis in this song aren't 'out of the world' and a singer of
his calibre is definitely capable of giving us more. A distinct melody from ARR.

When you hear 'Valayapatti' for the first time, it makes you wonder how on earth did ARR manage to make a song out of this 'aviyal'. It has many distinct interludes and tunes that are unrelated. A folkish number again, this one has many classical overtones. Rahman manages to get through with quite a number of ragams here Sindhubhairavi, Neelambari, Bhagyashree, Saraswati, Behaag giving glimpses of all of them. Overall, the song really impresses after you hear it twice or thrice and being a carnatic lover, I enjoyed the 'swara kattus' very much. The female playback is quite impressive. The song scores because of its packaging

'Ponmagal Vandhal' - remix of the old popular number infact pleased me more than the original. This may offend some of the purists but somehow I was not a big fan of the original but after this version, I am definitely humming it. The rap lyrics in the song is humourous. The lines where TMS's voice has been retained are really good especially with the technological expertise at the background. A creditable re-mix.

'Ellapugazhum' takes off like lightning from the begininng with some heavy electric guitar usage. ARR oflate has used the same tunes for the intro-songs in his movies. The song strikes a resemblance to the opening numbers of 'Anbe Aaruyire' and 'Sivaji'. The highlight of the song though is ARR's voice and the lead guitar chords. He has the knack of picking up the songs that suit his style of singing. The electric guitar used in the song is inspiring and so are the song's lyrics. A good opening number.

'Nee Merlyn..' is a song for the Gen-X. The song oozes with loads of attitute and is promptly backed by guitar chords and drums. Add to it some youthful lyrics and voices, you get a perfect recipe that the urban audience can identify themselves with.

Overall, I am happy with this album because Rahman has tried something different. Considering the fact that this is a Vijay movie, the music transcends all limits of ordinary music that we usually hear in his movies. Moreover, the way he has handled it knowing what people expect from a Vijay movie is quite impressive.

My rating: 4.2 / 5

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