Notes on Uyir Music

Finally after facing lot of personal problems, Joshua Sridhar is back to business. He entered Tamil film music with a bang in “Kaadhal” and nearly after 1.5 years’ returns with “Uyir” now. After being fed with too much of sweet and variety of good music from Yuvan, “Uyir” comes as a change. Why I like Joshua’s music?

Though his music draws lot of inspiration from A.R.Rahman, I have got no complaints, he sure knows what he does and that shows in his music. Infact, I like his music very much because it carries vintage early 90’s Rahman sound. The inspiration is so high that Joshua sounds like Rahman even while singing. The ease with which he mixes Tabla and Thavil beats with ethnic percussions and drums is damn Rahmanish. And of course everything that I am going to say about Joshua’s music here will perfectly fit to Rahman’s music too.

Joshua’s music got a perfect mix of fast rhythms and melody as you can listen in all the songs in this album. Even the peppy fast number like ‘Convent’ has a beautiful melody in the vocal tune. A neat performance by Tippu is dominated by loud synth sounds. I think a lot of experimentation has gone in the sound-mixing table but they could have raised the volume of the voice layer a little bit more. Otherwise it is a very good number to start with.

The build up of the song in the prelude before the main tune or the actual song takes off is damn good. I don’t think any of the folk numbers in recent past had such beautiful layers in the prelude like that in the “Uthadum Uthadum” song. It has an extremely catchy rhythm that is sure to rock Tamilnadu in near future. The usage of strings in “Kan Thirakkum Neramae” gives a soothing start to the otherwise fast number. The lazy plucking of some string instrument (is it some kind of Guitar) for the sensuous number “Aanum Pennum” gives a psychedelic start to the song. And we get to hear this sound all through the track till the end that keeps us intact with the mood of the song.

You won’t listen same rhythm pattern or same combination of layers repeated in any of the song. You never know what twist and turn a song is going to take. Especially the “Kannae Kadhal” song is brilliant with lot of surprises in its orchestration, mood and rhythm. This song is my pick of the album. Next comes “Kan Thirakkum Nearmamae” song when considering the surprise level in its blend of various forms of music and instruments.

There are too much of E-beats, synthesizer and ethnic instruments put to use in too many layers in all the songs and yet there is completeness in the orchestration. You don’t find any single annoying mix of sound in the songs. This is one task that cannot be accomplished so easily. A synthphony may turn into a cacophony if not properly done. Joshua sure has got his basics right when it comes to fusion and orchestration with real instruments. One of the most beautiful pieces is the second interlude of “Kan Thirakkum Neramae” song where Shehnai plays a fast melody and as a counterpoint Strings play a completely different melody in parallel in same tempo.

Joshua somehow manages to pull in classical elements in all the songs. The Mahathi’s alaaps are blended well with the songs. Also all the songs have a semi classical touch in its melody and that adds a class to the songs, which would otherwise have become very ordinary fast numbers.

Choice of singers is another department where Joshua scores. I was thinking about Sainthavi ever since I heard “Un Kangal Ennai Sera” song from Thambi. She has got a beautiful voice. She sings two songs in this soundtrack and both are extremely different ones. She does full justice to both the numbers. Joshua’s favourite Haricharan (who sung “Unakkena Iruppaen” in Kaadhal) gets to sing a much faster number this time. Pradeep who sings “Kannae Kadhal” is another
Good find. Shalini does a fine job in “Aanum Pennum” song. Her voice is getting more mature in every song.

I forgot mention about one song that is the “Uyir” theme. Like “Kadhal” theme, the vocals singing the “Thana nana” version of the tune reveal this theme. A pretty simple, short and sweet track.

There are lots and lots of other minute things that I love in this album. Anyway, I should say we have got another promising music director to Tamil film music. Don’t complain Joshua for being Rahmanish, no contemporary composer can get away from the influence of A.R.Rahman. On the whole, “Uyir” is a completely satisfying album and it is definitely worth the wait.


Dremchaser said...

Hi Suresh,

Excellent review there, missed your reviews for some (i know there was not much audio releas in this month), looking forward for your reviews on KOKKI. I also heard Toothukudi songs by Praveen Mani got release and for which A.R.Rahman apprciated a lot.

Anyways continue your awesome work and keep coming up with more such reviews.

* Dreamchaser *

Prasanna said...

that was a gud review.Vent hrd the songs. Luks to be another hti soundtrack.
I was waiting for the next album of Joshua, ever since i hrd Kaadhal."Unakenna" song was one which i hrd countless times.Man, i just loved the song.
Talking abt Saindhavi and Haricharan, those 2 are real talented. They were in the Sangamam show and they sang amazingly well.

Suresh Kumar said...

dreamchaser: thanx for ur comments. Haven't heard about this Kokki album. will check it out.

Prasanna: Yes, Joshua is a promising new comer. About 'Sangamam", it is one of the best music shows on TV as of now. I rarely get chance to watch this program. Mathangi does a great job in hosting the show and even the instrumentalists like Madhu on Tabla, Rajesh Vaidya on Veena (ocassionally) rocks in this show.

Ramesh said...

It's good Joshua is back. He's got an eclectic and original style. My only complaint is - he sounds too "kathal" like - may be coz he happened to do a movie on love [Uyir - sounds like - uyir for kathal - same 3 letters etc.,].

Ok. One more complaint. Any album to become a hit - needs to have solid consistent style of songs - can't mix them all - like Shankar or Kamal Hasan movies do. Shankar still clicks coz of picturization, big producers. Kamal thinks just one good song per movie will carry it through. Well, see what happened to his last few movies. One example of this consistent style - instead of bit songs - is "Paarvai Onre Pothume" - first time i heard - it sounded dull and old songs like - soon it was all over - everywhere - and me too started liking. Ditto with most of the Yash Chopra films too. Even the recent Fanaa. Pretty consistent.

So... too much enthu can also kill you ;)

Still... Aanum Pennum - is my pick of the lot. Great lyrics - and an almost matching vigor music-wise.

Joshua needs a big producer/movie with some director who can get the best out of him. I don't want/like him singing a lot. And he better get some good female voice [like Sujatha for A.R Rahman]. And that is asking a lot.

Muthuvel said...

Nice review. BTW, did u hear 'Paarijatham' by a new comer Dharan...Any idea of reviewing that album...

Nalini said...

Very fair review and director Joshua deserves this. Now that I have become "yours truly" fan, how about a review on Priyasakhi singer Uma Mageshwaran? His voice keeps bothering me and I want to know what you think of him.


Suresh Kumar said...

Hi Folks,

Sorry for not replying for a long time.

Ramesh: I don't think Joshua's is an unconventional music. I believe it is a hit material. And ofcourse, Uyir music has Kathal hangover but as you said the theme may be the reason. I also don't like Joshua singing, not that it is horrible, we have far far better singers. about big producer and stuff, I don't completely agree. May be to reach a wider mass it is necessary.

Muthuvel: Heard "Parijatham", a decent music by the debutant Dharan. I don't know whether i will post a review on it mainly coz of time constraints. anyway i will try.

Nalini: Thanx for ur comments. Liked 'Priyasakhi' music but forgot which song this singer 'Uma Magheswaran" has sung, anyway will check it out and let u know.

muthu said...