There was a flurry of releases in the 2nd half of January lead by the much-awaited soundtrack of Vaanam Kottattum (Sid Sriram) followed by Dagaalty (Vijaynarain), Seeru (D.Imman), Maayanadhi (Raja Bhavatharini), Indha Nilai Maarum (Arunkanth V) & Walter (Dharmaprakash) among others. It is rare these days, to have this many albums releasing within a short period of time.
En Uyir Kaatre – Vaanam Kottattum – Sid Sriram – Sony Music South
This to me is the highlight of Sid Sriram’s film debut as a composer. The sedate tune hits a fantastic high with the fleeting vocal harmony (Pallavi Sriram, Kanjiraman & Susha) and the gorgeous ‘Pa Ni Sa Ga’ portion that alternates beautifully between swaram and lyrics (Siva Ananth deserves mention here) and goes on to touch an anthemic sound with Keba Jeremiah’s guitars and the percussion ensemble featuring Tapass Naresh (drums) & Praveen Sparsh (Mridangam & Kanjira) adding to the mix. Superb!
Rating – 9/10
‘Mannava Mannava’ that starts off in an unplugged style is Shakthisree Gopalan’s show all the way with Sid opting to keep the backgrounds minimal. ‘Thinam Thinam’ is very similar to ‘Kannu Thangam’ in its usage of the chorus and is a heady slow burner of sorts sung by Sid himself.
Vaa Vasuki – Seeru – D.Imman – Sony Music South Vevo
Shivam Mahadevan (Shankar Mahadevan’s younger son) makes his Tamil debut with this track and Imman hands him a nice package that has a nice melody at the base and morphs into an EDM piece with the ‘Thatthithaan Thaavudhu’ part. The composition has a heady arrangement featuring the Ukulele/guitars (Keba Jeremiah) & Kazoo (Sathyaprakash) and Shivam owns the rendition as expected.
Rating – 7/10
‘Kannaala Poduraaley’ is bland despite a quirky take on the ‘Raasi palan’ by RJ Vijay. But Imman hands the female version of the lovely ‘Sevvanthiye’ to Vaikom Vijayalakshmi ( originally sung by Nochipatti Thirumoorthy – both visually challenged singers) and she aces it. ‘Vaasana Poochenda’ a short track sung by Rajaganapathy is pleasant till it lasts.
Maragatha Maalai – Takkar – Nivas K Prasanna – Think Music India
Featuring Naveen Napier on the bass and the Chennai Strings conducted by Prabhakar, this is a sedate melody that interestingly features, 2 male singers – Pradeep Vijay & Vijay Yesudas, along with Chinmayi Sripada, for what looks like a regular romantic duet. Navin Iyer’s flute and the faithful tabla accompaniment come together beautifully.
Rating – 7/10
The breezy ‘Rainbow Thiralil’ sung by actors Silambarasan (aka STR) and Andrea Jeremiah with additional vocals by Benny Dayal and Nivas himself, works for the ‘Thatthi Thatthi’ hook & the catchy chorus.
Mayil Iragu – Mayanadhi – Raja Bhavatharini – Yuvan Shankar Raja
Composed by Ilaiyaraaja’s daughter Bhavatharini & produced by her brother Yuvan, this track has a nice ring to it. Especially the charanam backed by a nice bass layer and the string arrangements remind one of the legacy. Priya Mali’s assured rendition holds the track together and adds the much-needed warmth to this father-daughter song with lyrics by Yugabharathi.
Rating – 7/10
‘Kanja Paarvai’ sung by Senthil Dass and Priyanka has a dated sound and is barely functional. ‘Yaavum Inge’ sung well by Srisha fares better and rounds off the rather tepid soundtrack.
Ennada Life Idhu – Oh My Kadavule – Leon James – Sony Music South
Ko Sesha’s lyrics that lists out the vagaries of the mundane routine of a salaried person and eggs one on to ‘break the cycle’ is the highlight of this track. Santhosh Narayanan is a perfect choice to sing this one.
Rating – 7/10
Yaarai Thedi Nenjame – Walter – S Dharma Prakash – Trend Music
Chitra’s honey-dipped vocals and the subtle nuances she adds lift this endearing melody in what looks like Sibiraj trying to cash in on his dad’s success formula (‘Walter Vetrivel’ was a super hit film of its time) of playing the cop. The Waltz styled arrangement that segues into a neat solo violin (Ganesh Kannan) backed by the tabla (Venkat) is a nice touch.
Rating – 8/10
‘Mooche Analena’ sung by Sathyaprakash & Vandana Srinivasan is a standard template duet. The other 3 tracks don’t add up to much.
Tha Na Na – Independent Release – Gowtham Bharadwaj
This is a superb track that has a folksy melody at the heart, set to contemporary arrangements. The title hook and the arrangements (especially the guitars) are fantastic but not much information is available otherwise. The imaginative lyrics by Viji Viswanathan that talk about the life cycle of the seed, are excellent.
‘MaNNukkum Megatthukkum Pillaiyaa Vandhavanga,
Maattukkum Manusanukkum Unavaa Aanavanga,
KaNNukkum Kaadhalukkum PookkaLa Thandavanga
Vedhaikkum Kaigalukku Punniyam Serthavanga!’
Rating – 9/10
Thai Madiyil – Psycho – Ilaiyaraaja – Sony Music South
That leaves us with what is, to me, the song of the month and with the other 2 songs that we reviewed earlier, one of the best albums in recent times. Kailash Kher sings this haunting melody and the sublime arrangements featuring the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra leaves one with a heavy heart, especially in the context of the film. Raaja at his best! Director Mysskin’s poignant lyrics deserve special mention.
Rating – 10/10
That was a very productive fortnight for Tamil music with a windfall of releases. But apart from Ilaiyaraaja’s stunning soundtrack for ‘Psycho’ and Sid Sriram’s ‘Vaanam Kottattum’, not much made a lasting impact. We hope the rest of 2020 keeps up with the numbers and betters the outcome.