12.25.2005

Tamil Film Music 2005 - A Round Up

The year 2005 can be called as the year of high expectations (from composers). The reason being most of the movies released in 2005 had successful director and composer combinations those who have delivered either hits or classics in their previous ventures. Fazil + Illayaraja’s Oru Naal Oru Kanavu, Balu Mahendra + Illayaraja’s Athu Oru kanaa Kaalam, Kamal + Illayaraja’s Mumbai Express, Thagar Bachaan + Illayaraja’s Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy, A.R.Rahman + S.J.Surtah’s Aa Aah, Ameer + Yuvan’s Raam, Yuvan + Vishnuvardhan’s Arinthum Ariyamalum, and Vidhyasagar + Lingusamy’s Ji. Another reasons being some new interesting combinations like Shankar + Harris Jeyaraj in Anniyan, Cheran + Sabesh-Murali in Thavamai Thavamirundhu, Rajini + Vidhyasagar in Chandramukhi, Yuvan + Lingusamy in Sandakozhi. But as a whole, composers couldn’t meet the expectation of the audience, though they gave some good songs. It is because their previous efforts were far superior and excellent. So, mere good songs are not enough to accept. We the music lovers were not completely satisfied with the output. Am I right? However there were some great songs.

“Kaatril Varum Geethamae” will definitely be there in the list of Illayaraja’s all time best melodies. It is a healer. The simple yet haunting melody takes us to the heaven directly. “Antha Naal Nyabagam” is vintage IR melody with heavy violin orchestra backing. Though it may not reach the classic status, it is a good song to be remembered. And I can’t forget the beautiful Celtic violin piece in philosophical song “Kaatu vazhi” in Athu Oru Kanaa Kaalam. Mumbai Express – Mind blowing is the word. “Poo poothathu” is here to stay in our mind for decades to come. While listening to this song, don’t fast forward the dialogue part in the start; It has got some beautiful piano melody. The jazzy interludes in other peppy songs, and the symphonic instrumental “Monkey Chatter” are refreshing to listen to. The collaboration of IR and Sivamani almost after 2 decades for this album is pretty evident in the rhythms. Though there is a deja-vu sound, I feel elated when I hear the starting chorus bit of “Kaetkalayoo” from Kasturimaan. To surpass all the complaints that we have on IR’s music in movies, the most ambitious “Thiruvasakam” album got released in 2005. No words can express the beauty and form of the music that IR has given for Thiruvasakam.

Just the name A.R. Rahman is enough to create high expectation both on the movie and the music, no matter with whom he collaborates. A.R. Rahman came back to TFM with a bang. The music of “Aa Aah” was a big hit. “Aarai kodi” is an ideal introduction song that any hero would long for. “Varugirai” is a nice experiment in music sounding the anger and sober at the same time with a unique orchestration that only ARR can set a song to. Hey, next year seems to belong to ARR as we have lot of projects lined up. Jillendru Oru Kadhl Kathai, Puli, God Father, Dasavatharam and above all Sivaji. Don’t worry ARR fans; we all are in for a great treat next year.

As a composer Vidhyasagar, didn’t move even a step ahead in this year. His music for Chandramukhi became popular more for Rajini than his music itself. Though music of Ji is a major let down, “Ding Dong koyil Mani” is typical VS melody. The soothing female humming and veena pieces are beautiful in this song. Then we have Rahmanish “Konja Neram”, IR ish “Athinthom” from Chandramukhi. Both are pleasant to listen to. But the pick of the album is obviously “Raa Raa”. Actually this song takes a lot of inspiration from the songs in Malayalam and Kannada versions of the movie and yet it sounds better with a fresh orchestration. Binny Krishnakumar needs a special mention for her beautiful rendition of the song. Vennila from Ponniyin Selvan and Moolai Thirugum from Kana Kanden, Chi chi from Majaa are other note worthy compositions from him. But on the whole, something is missing in his music this year. Hope he will deliver his best in 2006.

When I heard the theme of Anniyan named “Stranger in Black”, I was totally disappointed with Harris Jeyaraj. It is a blatant copy of “Resurrection” theme from Passion of Christ. Harris for sure has talents but at any cause one cannot accept plagiarism from the composer (same holds for Illayaraja for his “chittu kuruvi” song from Chinna Veedu which is a blatant copy of Dvorak’s symphony). Anyway, let us forget about it. Anniyan has two good semi classical melodies “Ayyangaru veetu” and “Kumari”. I liked even the catchy Remo song. But to me, his melodies in Thotti Jaya were the best of his compositions in 2005. “Uyirae En Uyirae” and “Yaridamum Thondravillai” are soothing compositions from Harris. I like the sax piece in Suttum Vizhi song from Ghajini so much to an extent that its tune lingers in mind more than the actual tune of the song. There are tune of certain songs that you can casually whistle and enjoy, “Oru Maalai Ila veyil” song has got one such. Harris, please stop plagiarism and those horrible noisy western choirs and chants as background scores in movies at least from 2006. Sure he would have something fresh to offer to Gautam’s “Vettaiyadu Vilayadu”. Let us see.

Undoubtedly Yuvan Shankar Raja is the composer of year 2005. He composed music for so many films but managed to come up with wide variety of songs and was also able to strike a balance between IR and ARR and class and mass. His best albums are Raam, Kanda Naal Muthal. These are two complete albums in which I liked all the songs equally. I needn’t press FF button when I play these albums in my player. Even some of his mediocre albums had good melodies. Say “Kadhal Enbadhu” and “Unakku endru” from Oru Kallooriyin Kathai. Another successful album is “Arinthum Ariyamalum” which had lot of inspirations from various music forms. Yet I liked the way Yuvan was able to get “Manmadha Leelaiyai” fit in modern rhythms in “Theepidikka” song. Also I like the whistle tune in “Yela Yela” song very much which is also the main theme of the movie. And surprisingly the songs of Kalvanin Kathali also sound fresh and different. But Yuvan was not consistent. He gave flops like Daas, Sandaikozhi and Oru Kallooriyin kathai. Yuvan keep up the good work and try to be more consistent because that is what TFM is starved of as of now, we have no consistent composers as IR and ARR were before.

Other Composers

There is this beautiful “Muthal Muthal” song by Bharadwaj from Priyasakhi. You cannot stop admiring the ease with which Chitra adds so much of emotion and expression in her voice while singing. D. Imman proves that he too has got some good melodies in his mind. “Kathal Illai” and “Manjal” song from ABCD and “Kathal Enbadhu” from Thaka Thimi Tha are some better compositions of his in 2005. Devi Sri Prasad (an ardent fan of Illayaraja) fills the vacuum created by Deva in TFM. Occasionally he comes up with some good music, though most of them have a Telugu hangover especially his rhythms. I liked “Jo Jo Jyothika” and “Mayaavi” songs from Maayavi. I was expecting a lot from Niru who gave a beautiful private album called Moongil Nila. But his music is “Kalaba Kadhalan” is nowhere near his music in Moongil Nila. Yet, “Chellamae Ithu” song has got good melody and strings backing.

Finally, most surprisingly the best soundtrack of the year is “Thavamai Thavamirundhu” by Sabesh – Murali. The songs gel well with the movie. The songs are refreshing with a variety, catchy tune, melody, just enough orchestration and meaningful lyrics.

Notable Absentees

Karthik Raja and Ramesh Vinayakam are two talented composers whom I feel are under rated and under utilized by our directors. Karthik Raja’s score in Kudaikkul Mazhai was stunning and Ramesh Vinayakam gave some pleasant melodies in Azhagiya Theeyae last year. I wish to hear more of their compositions at least in 2006. Also Joshua Sridhar who gave a hit music in Kaadhal last year wasn’t able to continue with the success due to some personal issues. Heard that now he is composing for a couple of movies. Hope to hear more from him too.

9 comments:

RËÅGÂÑ™ said...

Nice one there Suresh! But just wondering what would you have to say about Vijay Anthony as his album Sukran & Dishyum was good. Any comments ?

Suresh Kumar said...

Hi Regan, thanx. I will tell you how i prepared this article. As i sat down, i just typed whatever songs that was still in mind among the songs in 2005. Don't know why but the songs of Sukran didn't strike my mind at all. Though i liked "Suppose" and
"India" song from Sukran. i was extremely irritated by the way he had remixed "thulluvatho illamai" song. One of worst remix i have ever heard. May be that anger stopped me from including Vijay Antony.

Balaji said...

superb suresh. was good to read this round-up instead of the usual 'top 10 songs' kinda list :)

commonfriend said...

Its a great write up. 've been following you for years now and I guess you have a flair for writing and reviewing and more importantly good pair of ears for good songs.

I guess, in times to come you will be remembered as some one like Film News Anandan.

"If we need to know about Modern Tamil music and the quality of the songs...then consult Suresh...." will go the lines...

Keep it up man.

Suresh Kumar said...

balaji: thanx. Happy to see you commenting on my post. Initially i too thought of writing top 10 but in the middle, i though all good songs need to be mentioned and so i decided to write about all the songs that i feel as good that got released in 2005.

Commonfriend: i am blushing. thanx for ur comments. Yes, i am damn crazy about movies, music and also writing (as of now).

RËÅGÂÑ™ said...

Hehehehe....its always nice and surprising to know what the pundit has to say!

Sharath said...

Suresh,

Nice review. Just a small clarification with regards to your observations on Yuvan. I think Sandakozhi is declared a HIT and Daas was an average grosser. Even Kallooriyin had an opening as reported by Sify, but eventually became Yuvan's only flop of the year. So, as you rightly said he is the MD of this year, though I wish it could have been his father's.

Let me add the forthcoming movies of Yuvan in 2006, which u had mentioned for other music directors. The movies are Pudupettai, Kalvanin Kadhali, Vallavan, Azhagai Irrukkai Bayama irrukku, Pattayal and Paruthiveeran.

Suresh Kumar said...

Sarath,

yeah i forgot to mention his forthcoming movies. It sounds to be an interesting line up for Yuvan.

and about hits, compaitively the music of those movies didn't go well with the audience and that is what i meant.

hitherto said...

suresh...chittu kuruvi song is an inspiration...first 4 lines are similar..look wht IR did for the rest of the song....that beautiful opening voices with spb and janaki..this is what impovisation..is...in western classical,,there is a term called cadenza...where composers innovate the existing melodies of different composers..thats what raja has done given for his knowledge in western classicall..wht complaints do u have in raaja's music i dont know..he has touched everything,composed for every situation..he has nothing to prove..and still he gets projects..that itself is a spectacular achievement...