Kaalai Soundtrack

The starting strings of ‘Eppo Nee’ instantly remind me ‘Manmadhanae’ song. Some parts of the song reminded me ‘Thirumana malargal’ song from ‘Poovellam un vaasam’. Though the vocal melody is not so pleasing, the flute motif and the interludes are interesting. But to pull everything down, we have Madhusree singing. If I have to say about Madhusree’s singing and pronunciation in Vadivelu’s style ‘M.u.d.i.y.a.l.a’.

‘Gutkha Lakkadi’ is funky kuthu with nice interludes but it is not catchy enough especially compared to the other catchy kuthu song ‘Kutti Pissase’. GVP gets the hook right in this song. ‘Kaala Kaala’ with sensuous Mamta Mohandass’s rendition sounds like a reworked female version of ‘Loosu penne’ but GVP’s synthphonic orchestration makes it work. ‘Kaalai’, being a theme song singing praises about Kaalai, sounds fresh with a unique style of singing and thumping beats which again shows GVP’s urge to make something that sounds fresh and new. ‘Veeramulla’ song is a rustic folk number that can be easily skipped.

‘Kaalai’ soundtrack isn’t bad but all the songs fit into the familiar and repetitive Simbu template of songs. GVP tries hard to make it his own and hence the result.


Tamil Film Music 2007

For past two years, I kept away from listing favorite songs of the year, mainly because I don’t know how to cut the list short to 10 or 20 and most importantly I didn’t know my favorites. For years I have been trying to find a pattern in the song that I like most and that indirectly means trying to understand the very basic pattern of music itself. But recently I found something common in the songs I like MOST. Some songs will have a great melody, some will have a great orchestration, in some songs, singers would have given their best, some songs will have a lot of experimentation and innovation in sounds, but what matters most is the satisfaction that I get after listening to a song. It is this heart felt satisfaction that makes a song my favorite. The 25 songs listed days are those which gave that complete satisfaction to me in 2007. Remember, I am just listing and not ranking the songs

Vazhkai Enbadhu (Katradhu Tamizh – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Sembaruthi Poo Kanakka (Kanna – Ranjit Barot)

Ilamai Ullaasam (Unnaalae Unnaalae – Harris Jeyaraj)

Un Siripinil (Pachaikili Muthucharam – Harris Jeyaraj)

Maayavi Neeya (Sivi – Dharan)

Sahana (Sivaji – A.R.Rahman)

Pesugiraen (Satham Podathey – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Oru Mugamo (Bheema – Harris Jeyaraj)

Valayapatti Thavilae (Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan – A.R.Rahman)

Megam Megam (Kannamoochi Yenada – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Yaaro Yaarukkul (Chennai 28 – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Kannan Varum velayil (Deepavali – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Kaatrin Mozhi (Mozhi – Vidhyasagar)

Kireedom Theme (Kireedom – G.V.Prakash)

Azhaigalin Osaigal (Rameshwaram – Niru)

Sariya Ithu Thavaraa (Kalloori – Joshua Sridhar)

Vizhiyil un Vizhiyil (Kireedom – G.V.Prakash)

Ithu Enna Maayam (Ooram Po – G.V.Prakash)

Mounamae Unnidam (Mozhi – Vidhyasagar)

Para Para Pattampoochi (Katradhu Tamizh – Yuvan Shankar Raja)

Naanthaana (Ninaithaalae – Vijay Antony)

Eureka (Thoovaanam – Isaac Thomas)

Unnai Charanadainthen (Ammuvaaghiya Naan – Sabesh-Murali)

Maarghaliyil Kulichu paaru (Onbathu rooba nottu – Bharadwaj)

Billa Theme (Billa 2007 – Yuvan Shankar Raja)


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

25. Vazhkai Enbadhu

Movie: Katradhu Tamizh (Tamizh MA)
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar
Singer: Shankar Mahadevan

This is easily the weirdest song of the year. Very few songs of this genre achieve the impact that this song leaves on a listener’s mind. The odd violins looping around, the turbulent multi layered percussions and the innovative orchestration makes us feel scary about the whole world around us.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

24. Sembaruthi Poo Kanakkaa

Movie: Kanna
Composer: Ranjit Barot
Lyrics: Pulamai Pithan
Singers: Manicka Vinayagam, Vinaya, Mukesh

I first heard the song along with the visuals when it was played on Sun Music channel. I may have liked this song, but wouldn’t have completely embraced it or its structure if I hadn’t seen the visuals of the song. The catchy flute motif, the earthy percussions, the melody and the narrative lyrics which tell a simple familiar story and the picturisation of the song, made this song an instant favourite of mine.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

23. Ilamai Ullaasam

Movie: Unnalae Unnalae
Composer: Harris Jeyaraj
Singers: Shalini, Krish
Lyrics: Pa.Vijay

It is a short and sweet song and is the only song I instantly liked while listening to the soundtrack for the first time. The conversation between the vocals and Saxophone without any backing orchestration kick starts the song well. It further blossoms with another hippy melody, guitars and refreshing chorus as it proceeds and the song gets even richer towards the end with beautiful and apt orchestration.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

22. Un siripinil

Movie: Pachaikili Muthucharam
Composer: Harris Jeyaraj
Singer: Gautami Rao, Robby
Lyrics: Thaamarai

Recently, when we went for a trip to Kerala, we were playing just Harris Jeyaraj songs and to my surprise found that Harris’s songs are so easy and relaxing to listen to while traveling. Especially I liked this song so much. The leisure melody, the husky singing, apt rhythms and guitar strains are so soothing and relaxing than I thought or experienced when I heard it when the soundtrack got released earlier this year.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

21. Maayaavi Neeyae

Movie: Sivi
Composer: Dharan
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar
Singers: Shruthi, Haricharan

Want to know the meaning of a catchy song? Listen to this one. With a different structure, changing tempos, pleasing melody and adequate orchestration, Dharan finds a right balance between class and mass in this song. Usually, a song would have just one single motif other than the main melody or sometimes no motifs at all, but this song has got two beautiful motifs other than main melody and all is well packaged into the song. Dharan’s maturity is evident in the way he has used the bass guitar, the piano and the strings in right amount and at right places in the song.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

20. Sahana

Movie: Sivaji
Composer: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Vairamuthu
Singers: Chinmayi, Udit Narayan

Sometimes, it is just enough to listen to brilliant singer with a beautiful voice giving the best. No, I am not talking about Udit Narayan here and you know it. It is Chinmayi. It is the magic in her voice. It is the way she traverses all those octaves with ease and finesse. And ofcourse Rahman’s beautiful melody, simple orchestration and tabla bytes do the rest.


Vellithirai Soundtrack

‘Vellithirai’ is a remake of the Malayalam movie ‘Udayananu Tharam’. I saw ‘Udayananu Tharam’ and liked it very much especially for Srinivasan’s performance. But given the kind of script, there is very little scope for music in this movie and when I try to recollect, I don’t remember any of the songs from the Malayalam movie and after listening to the soundtrack of ‘Vellithirai’, I am afraid that we may not remember much about the music for the Tamil version either.

Though G.V.Prakash’s intention for experimentation is evident in some songs, overall it doesn’t work out well this time. The melody ‘Uyirilae’ and its female version ‘Vizhiyilae’ are is the only melody in the soundtrack that lingers for sometime in our mind. ‘Dhayarae’ is surprisingly Irish throughout and hence sounds fresh. ‘Kanjipaanayin’ is a bad one with unnecessary deviations and loud percussions. ‘Sooriyanae’ in the song in which Prakashraj is going to become a superstar and it would work better with the visuals.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

19. Pesugiraen

Movie: Satham Podathey
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singers: Viva Girls
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

Because every line of melody sung or played in this song takes me into a pleasant, soothing, calming ambience with the lyrics providing all necessary optimistic energy boost to move forward in life. Thanks to Selvaraghavan, Yuvan keeps coming up with philosophical classics.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

18. Oru Mugamoo

Movie: Bheema
Composer: Harris Jeyaraj
Singers: Naresh Iyer, Krish
Lyrics: Thaamarai

How can a hero get introduced in a movie with a song which doesn’t have big horns or trumpets blowing or have a full throttled orchestra reaching it highest possible decibels or thundering percussion pumping up the energy? Here is the answer. Harris got his formula right for the first time in ‘Karka Karka’ and follows it in this song too. With Krish and Naresh Iyer not once getting into their effeminate tones and with thumping e-beats, rocking guitars, clever layers of sounds and instruments, the song gives a polished and sophisticated sound to the introduction song of a Tamil hero.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

17. Valayapatti Thavilae

Movie: Azhaghiya Tamizh Magan
Composer: A.R.Rahman
Singers: Madhumitha, Naresh Iyer, Ujjaini
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

How often we get to listen to a song which is a jughalbandhi of filmy folk, Mallu folk, Carnatic, qawwali and Hindustani music? This mix doesn’t happen in just one aspect of the song, the orchestration, the vocal melody, the interludes everything pass through all different genres of music. In an attempt to mix everything Rahman never turns the song too experimental, weird or unconventional. Also, he does it all within the unwritten rules of a commercial dance number in a Vijay movie.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

16. Megam Megam

Movie: Kannamoochi Yenadaa
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Singers: Haircharan, Swetha
Lyrics: Thaamarai

If you have heard the song ‘Nuvvena’ from Telugu film ‘Raam’ which was also composed by Yuvan, you would easily understand why this song is one of my favorites. ‘Megam Megam’ is in a sense feels exactly the same as ‘Nuvvenaa’ and yet it is a totally different song. Except for the beats and that motif on strings, every single phrase of the melody played by every single instrument and that sung by the vocals is reworked which neither sounds better nor worse but just as good as its older version.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

14. Yaaro Yaarukkul

(Chennai 28 / Yuvan Shankar Raja / Vaali / S.P.Balasubramaniam, Chitra)

In an attempt to recreate feel of Raaja’s romantic duets of earlier 80's, with live drums, strings, guitars and ofcourse SPB and Chitra, something fresh has come out in this song. It is like a sample of how a song would sound if Yuvan orchestrates a Raaja’s tune not in Yuvan’s style but in Raaja’s style. The rhythm pattern gives a whole new flavour to the otherwise predictable yet pleasant melody.

15. Kannan Varum Velayil

(Deepaavali / Yuvan Shankar Raja/ Anuradha Sriram, Madhusree)

I think this is the song which I was humming the most in 2007. It has a simple orchestration, a very simple and cute tune and especially the way each stanza ends is so cool. I am a big fan of Anuradha Sriram’s voice and it was so refreshing to listen her singing a melody and though she sounds struggling at higher pitches, her voice does add some magic to the song.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

13.Kaatrin Mozhi

(Mozhi / Vidhyasagar / Vairamuthu / Balram)

The melody just floating on a soft net weaved by the guitar refrains and bass guitar, kick starts this one of a gem that doesn’t walk its way to our soul often. When such melody kept afloat for sometime sits perfectly on a seamlessly joining percussion rhythm, the amount of satisfaction one gets cannot be expressed in words. The poetic lines of Vairamuthu are perfectly put into musical notes by Vidhyasagar. The words and the music are so light and easy to listen to and yet it is so heavy and deep in its inner meaning. There always is a right singer for a right song sung by the right singer. The right singer doesn’t always mean the best singer. It is the best voice that suits the tone, theme and texture of that particular song and that voice is Balram for this song. I can’t think of this song in someone else’s voice. Not even SPB.

25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

12. Kireedom Theme

Movie: Kireedom
Composer: G.V.Prakash Kumar

If you are one who listens to Hollywood scores, the orchestration and arrangements of this instrumental has nothing new to offer. And my reason for choosing this song is not its orchestration but its haunting violin theme. The song packages this main violin theme cleverly with snare rich percussive arrangements to start with and then turns soothing and calming towards the end, when the main theme is left afloat on violin, strings, cello and flute one after the other.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

11. Azhaigalin Osaigal

Movie: Rameshwaram
Music: Niru
Singers: Haricharan, Kalyani
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

Though on initial listening, it sounds like a pleasant romantic song, the melody actually makes a tight rope walk between the romance and pathos. With the breezy strings and pleasant orchestration taking care of sweet romance, the pathos feels is hidden deep inside the melody itself. Especially with the way Haricharan and Kalyani sing the melody, one can never say where the sweetness ends and the pathos starts in the melody.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

10. Sariyaa Ithu Thavaraa

Movie: Kalloori
Music: Joshua Sridhar
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar
Singer: Haricharan

Ofcourse, the song has a decent melody and a thumping rhythm that makes it instantly likeable. But what makes it stand apart from other such melodies is the heavy usage of string section. I don’t remember listening to a song in the recent past which uses strings almost throughout the song as it is in this song. The string section beautifully plays counter to the main vocal melody and is actually the soul of the song. I can’t imagine the feel and the impact of this song without the string section.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

9. Vizhiyil Un Vizhiyil

Movie: Kireedom
Composer: G.V.Prakash
Singer: Shwetha, Sonu Nigam
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

It is again a very simple melody which gets it flow right. Getting a melodic phrase is very easy but developing the musical phrase into a streamlined melody without any drastic twists and turns could be a daunting task for a composer. And only when you have such fragmented musical phrases to be put into a single song, one need to go for extra ornamentation, otherwise just an apt rhythm, the melody and good rendition of the singers is enough to make the right impact, as it is in this song. But, I have to admit that the Veena pieces in the interludes do add a serene flavour to the song.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

8. Ithu Enna Maayam

Movie: Ooram Po
Composer: G.V.Prakash
Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Alka Yagnik
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar

The song has got a pleasant melody with beautiful piano chords running behind. The flute and strings move in and out of the song at the right moments. There is nothing in this world that is as calming as the sound of a grand piano. The sound of Piano spreads a positive energy, a divine aura and vibe in our soul. I don’t remember many songs in the recent past which used the grand piano as much as it is used in this song. Cleverly GVP keeps the beats subdued; giving prominence to the sound of the reverberating piano chords.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

7. Mounamae Unnidam

Movie: Mozhi
Composer: Vidhyasagar
Lyrics: Vairamuthu
Singer: Srinivas

As we all know, this song is composed in the same meter as the old classic ‘Mounamae Paarvayaal’. It is a song that best defines the term ‘Genuine Inspiration’. I was wonderstruck by the beauty and simplicity of this melody and when I came to know about its inspiration my respect for the song grew further. Words and music beautifully complement each other. The song placement and the visuals in the movie further enhance the dignity of the melody. And ofcourse, Srinivas is at his soothing best.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

6. Para Para Pattampoochi

Movie: Katradhu Tamizh (Tamizh MA)
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Lyrics: Na.Muthukumar
Singer: Rahul

The truly haunting melody, the passionate singing of Rahul, the intricate orchestration marrying Indian elements with Chinese instruments, Na.Muthukumar’s poetry together made this song an instant classic. While searching for a pattern in my favorites, I also found what makes a song a classic. It is an innate feeling that you get the instant you hear the melody. You feel like listening to a fresh melody which you have heard and felt in your heart for years in your mind. I got this feel the moment I heard the Harp piece with which the song starts. The innateness is there even in the orchestration. The pizzicato strings that starts running in the background when the line ‘Kanneril midhakkum’ starts, adds a deep emotion in the song, it isn’t a filler layer, it is a part of the song, it is the song, the song isn’t what it is without those mild strings. It doesn’t happen always in every song where more and more layers are added just as fillers.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

5. Naaanthaanaa

Movie: Ninaithaalae
Composer: Vijay Antony
Lyrics: Vairamuthu
Singer: Sadhana Sargam, Rahul Nambiyaar

This song is no equivalent to the classic ‘Nuvvenaa’ song from the original Telugu version of the movie. It is full of familiar rhythms, flute pieces and strings and is a big bouquet of clichés we associate with a romantic duet. You can easily guess where the melody is leading and when a flute will start to flourish. Yet the flow in the simple melody and the feel that the flow gets us into makes even the clichéd orchestration work. Vijay Antony continues to deliver such simple delightful melodies.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

4. Eureka

Movie: Thoovaanam
Composer: Isaac Thomas
Singer: Harish Raghavendra

The song is about a boy’s Eureka moment of finding his girl. The USP of the song is that the melody, rhythm and orchestration goes through a lot of variations, it takes a twist in almost every third line, beautifully tracing the random emotions and ecstasy of a boy falling in love. Inspite of its variations, the song never falls out of stream. Also, Harish Raghavendra’s expression and rendition is in synch with the variations.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

3. Unnai Charanadaithen

Movie: Ammuvaaghiya Naan
Composer: Sabesh-Murali
Singer: Harish Raghavendra, Kalyani

Mellow beats, intriguing orchestration, ludes and fill ups with solo pieces on ever pleasing instruments like piano, sitar, sax and flute, melody strongly rooted in a classical raaga and two beautiful singers giving their expressive best, poetic lyrics and you need nothing more to make a soulful and soothing romantic song.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

2. Maarghaliyil Kulichu paaru

Movie: Onbathu Rooba Nottu
Composer: Bharadwaj
Singer: Srinivas
Lyricist: Vairamuthu

With just a chord on Piano looping rhythmically in the background and solo instruments filling in the interludes, ‘Maarghaliyil Kulichu Paaru’ is one of those rarest gems that comes out of a perfect marriage between melody and the lyrics. Bharadwaj gives a rock solid proof of how satisfying a film song can get when the words sit perfectly on musical notes of the melody. Simple and earthy words conveying deep philosophical meanings in the lyrics written by Vairamuthu is obviously the soul of the song. Even Thangar Bachaan’s picturisation is beautiful and is at par with the standards of the music and lyrics.


25 Favourite Tamil Songs from 2007

Billa Theme

Movie: Billa
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

What makes this short piece work is that it doesn’t wander on with a single theme and it ends at right time with right punch. It has an ultra cool, techno orchestration which is in synch with the feel of the movie. Initially, we get a mysterious e-tune (like the one from Manmadhan theme), a rock guitar takes over giving us a head shaking rock bit and only when the solo guitar piece starts almost at the end, we come to know that all those variations are to build up to this ultimate guitar theme. Even though it is short, I sense that completeness in this song.

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