It is a new year and a new decade. The last decade had some decisive trends and it would be interesting to see how the music from the 1st fortnight of the 2020’s fares.
Neenga Mudiyuma – Psycho – Ilaiyaraaja – Sony Music South
Everything about this composition is WOW! Check out the jaw-dropping transition from the string ensemble to the guitars and back, in the first interlude. Kabilan’s verses are beautiful (‘Moondru kaalil kaadhal thedi nadandhu pogiraen, Irandu iravu irundha podhum nilavai ketkiraen’) and point to a search. The brilliance is how the Maestro captures the frenetic pursuit with the strings (featuring conductor Lazslo Kovacs and musicians from the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra) and the despair and anguish in Sid Sriram’s fantastic vocals and the result is one for the ages. Absolute classic!
Rating – 10/10
Kadhaippoma – Oh My Kadavule – Leon James – Sony Music South
The innate musicality in the word ‘Kadhaippoma’ is used nicely (lyrics by Ko Sesha) in this track that also features a lovely chorus (Maalavika Sundar, Kamalaja Rajagopal & Sindhuri.S.Pillai) and sedate guitars (Keba Jeremiah). Sid Sriram (again!) and the violin (Akkarsh Kashyap) that shadows him come together will round off an enjoyable track from Leon James. The music video is nicely done as well.
Rating – 8/10
Poova Thalaiyaa – Vaanam Kottattum – Sid Sriram – Sony Music South
This is a very interesting track in the contrasting vocals of Anthony Daasan and Sid himself and has an anthemic feel to it. But after a rousing start and the rap portion sung by Sid, the tune meanders a little and fails to sustain interest beyond the halfway mark.
Rating – 5/10
Menaminiki – Ninaivo Oru Paravai – Thaman S – Trend Music
If I hadn’t looked up the name of the singer, I would have probably guessed this to be sung by Yuvan Shankar Raja. Osho Venkat who is credited with the vocals sounds a lot like the Yuvan and that indeed works in the favor of this catchy track. This is a marked departure for Thaman from his recent outings in Telugu and he produces a simple yet likable tune that uses the title hook effectively.
Rating – 6/10
Paaren Paaren – Dagaalty – Vijaynarain – Star Music India
The endearing chorus and the sprightly guitars (including Carnatic & Slide guitars) are the only highlights of an otherwise sluggish track that is meant to be a road song.
Rating – 6/10
Sanda Seivom – Independent Release – Quazimode/Arivu – Therukural
At the outset, this is a track in solidarity with the CAA/NRC protests happening across the nation and the political intentions are obvious. But musically, the rap portions are well done and the hard-hitting lyrics (written & performed by Arivu) are right on the money. The opening portions that feature the National Anthem in a mocking tone are not in good taste. But as a song, this is right up there with some of the better rap tracks made in Tamil.
Featuring this track here is in no way an indication of the author’s political inclinations or opinions.
Rating – 8/10
Tracks from the short film ‘One Day Kadhalan‘, composed by Sunil S, have a nice ring to it, with ‘Theyadhe‘ being the pick among the 3 short tracks released. But these tracks aren’t available on Youtube yet.
Apart from the magnificent high of the single from Psycho, the 1st fortnight of the new decade had very little on offer, both in terms of quantity and quality. Sid Sriram extends his golden streak and seems to be on track for another memorable year. Maestro Ilaiyaraaja, in his 44th year of film composing, continues to re-invent and the success and reach of his songs for Psycho only proves how much more this man has on offer. One hopes the new-age filmmakers continue to offer him newer challenges and explore his range for the benefit of music lovers.