If a Chiranjeevi movie is slated for release, it is hard to look beyond it in the Telugu film world. The evergreen stars’ 151st film ‘Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’, one of the most anticipated films of the year, released on Oct 2nd (his last release was in 2017). This film also marks the southern debut of the super talented Bollywood composer Amit Trivedi, though songs from the ‘Queen’ remake (in all 4 languages) had released earlier (he has composed a single for a Malayalam film way back in 2008). For any composer, this is as big as it can get, considering the film’s massive release and the buzz around it. On the other hand, comparisons to period films from the past are inevitable. The Bahubali franchise (MM Keeravani) and Rudhramadevi (Ilaiyaraaja), films that had a similar setting, had good music and won critical acclaim as well. More on that later.
Here’s a look at some of the other releases that are vying for a little space.
Darling – Chanakya – Vishal Chandrasekhar – Lahari Music/T-Series
Harini Ivaturi playfully glides through Vishal’s enticing tune in an attempt to woo the protagonist. The composer keeps the backgrounds minimal and lets Harini do the needful. A lovely follow up by the composer to ‘Nee Mayakura’ from Taana, that is featured in the Tamil list. This is better and edgier!
Rating – 8/10
‘Ohh My Love’ featuring Chinmayi Sripada and Poojan Kohli, from this album is a pleasant listen as well.
Aase Pongiporlenalo – Gaadi Number 143 – Trinadh Mantena – Madhura Audio
This a breezy easy listen track sung by Hemachandra & Pranavi. The faithful guitars (Arun) and the intimate flute (Pramod Umapati) shadow the track nicely.
Rating – 7/10
Samajavaragamana – Ala Vaikunthapurramloo – Thaman S – Aditya Music
Honestly, the kind of songs that Sid Sriram is being offered is getting a little monotonous and this one is nowhere near some of his other recent hits. But what does work is the in-sync arrangements that Thaman assembles and that oh-so-familiar title hook. Shubhashree’s guitars and Srinidhi’s violin standout. Sid’s singing feels laboured at places. Either way, it is high time composers start reinventing what they are offer to Sid to make the best use of his potential.
Rating – 6/10
‘Saamaja Vara Gamana’ is a very popular composition of Saint Thyagaraja in Raga Hindolam, where he compares the lord’s (Rama) gait to a large elephant. Not sure how that fits in here. Gajagamini reinterpreted maybe?!
Cheppedela Nalo Ee Premani – Independent Release – Madhu Ponnas – Mango Music
The song works primarily for Lipsika Uday’s velvety vocals. The lacklustre arrangements drag the otherwise pleasing composition down, especially in the second half. A case of squandered potential. Nevertheless, a decent attempt.
Rating – 5/10
On to the big release of the month,
Sye Raa (Title Track) – Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy – Amit Trivedi – Lahari Music/T-Series
The song has 2 powerhouse singers in Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal at the helm. But at close to 5 and half minutes the song feels a bit too lengthy to sustain interest. The arrangements have nothing novel to offer either. The weakest song of the album.
Rating – 5/10
Jaago Narasimhaa Jaagore – Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy – Amit Trivedi – Lahari Music/T-Series
The infectious rhythm ensemble and the folkish tune work well here. Amit blends some fine folk elements to go with the spirited vocals of Shankar Mahadevan, Haricharan & Anurag Kukarni.
Andam Ankitam – Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy – Amit Trivedi – Lahari Music/ T-Series
This is a song that didn’t sound very impressive on the first couple of listens and took a little getting used to. The composition is a functional duet and Vijay Prakash & Shashaa Tirupati are earnest. The chorus puts in an effort to infuse some interest to the proceedings. But for a film of this scale, one feels there is something amiss.
Rating – 6/10
Swaasalona Desame – Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy – Amit Trivedi – Lahari Music/ T-Series
This is Amit channelizing his inner Rahman to come up with easily the best track of the album. The 1st interlude especially has Rahman written all over it and that is a compliment. The rousing anthemic sound builds up beautifully and Amit layers it with impeccable arrangements. Haricharan is brilliant and so is the layered vocal harmony.
Rating – 8/10
Only the ‘title track’ released as a single. The other songs were released only as part of the jukebox, closer to the film’s release.
When compared to the soaring ambitions of the film, this soundtrack from Amit Trivedi does sound underwhelming. Even if not for the quantity (4 songs over 18 & half minutes) that may just be the demand of the script, there is very little on offer from a shelf-life perspective, for a canvas that has enormous scope.