In Delhi-6 soundtrack, Rahman shows us the beauty of simple melodies, elegance of eclectic orchestration, gives us hookiest of the hooks to help us understand his experiments, takes us to a newer musical zones and much much more.

The beginning of 'Arziyan' was surprising with simple Tabla beats and natural harmonium pieces, because Rahman has the tendency to make such songs with thick layers of orchestration stuffed with synth bass, strings, sometimes e-sounds, and even the Tabla would sound a little harder and heavy in such songs. But I always wanted such a simple tune just simply presented without Rahman's usual ornamentation, and in this song, for those initial 2 minutes, the serene melody on contrasting vocals of Javed Ali and Kailash Kher was intoxicating to listen. Rahman soon returns to his usual elements of adding layers but thankfully it doesn't burden the simplistic beauty of the melody as it normally would, and the lighter feel and touch of divinity prevails till the end. A song lasting for almost 9 minutes without much of variations in tempo or deviations in its structure, could easily get tedious after a point but Rahman cleverly makes it more accessible by bringing in the 'Maula' hook at regular and right intervals. It is one of those hooks that I can listen to on and on non-stop for a whole day.

The opening alaap which later turns out to be the main motif of the song, the rhythm on Congo drums (the percussion instrument that became the most clich├ęd sound in Indian film songs long back, sounds so fresh and strangely befitting in the context of this song) and beautiful accordion solo pieces sprinkled throughout (performed by Rahman himself) in 'Masakkali' takes us on a liberating journey into the old world. The intentional casualness, the dynamics and attitude in the singing of Mohit Chauhan, adds charm to the melody. The highpoint of the song of course is 'Udiyon na' that appears twice in the song where the additional folksy percussion layer, the singing and Prasoon's musical word play make the listeners jump with joy. There is no single instrument or sound which is not used or heard before, but by the way he puts them all into one homogenous layer backing the beautiful melody, Rahman once again reminds us what the term 'Rahman sound' actually means.

'Delhi hai mere yaar' is catchy from the word go and yet it is an unconventional anthem for Delhi. It is unconventional in its pace for a song that wants to be an anthem. But the love for the place has been cleverly conveyed with one funky and hooky phrase after another. There is Tanvi's 'Delhi hai mere yaar' which is the main motif (why Rahman always puts Tanvi's voice in some sound machine), there is bass heavy Blaaze's hook, there is a French hook (which instantly reminds us of the song Jhoom le from Ghajini) and all these come one after the other in different order and finally Tanvi's bit turn victorious taking the pride of slightly getting modified and sounding heroic with trombones and timpani backing it.

Nothing prepares you in a song that starts so light with soft beats, for the shocker of a sound that is about to start in the most unexpected beat of the rhythm. I am talking about the way Rahman starts 'Rehna Tu' on the softest registers of his voice, which sucks your attention instantly into the song. After a very strong beginning with a very identifiable and hummable melody the song slips into a very innate melodic zone which sounds as if Rahman just sang the song instantly after seeing the lyrics, with whatever melody that came to his mind. And being quite aware of the fact that these lines may put off the casual listeners, a guitar motif is brought in, and that fills for any possible gaps that fall in between the unpredictable journey of the melody. Even if a listener initially travels into the song holding on to this motif, he/she will soon recover and be able to travel through the main melody without its help. In spite of being so experimental, it is this concern that Rahman has on his listeneres that makes him a composer that he is today.

Rahman says 'Come with me, I will take you to a place where you haven't been before' with the song 'Dil Gira Daftan'. The contrasting pace of the gorgeous main melody and the addictive guitar motif that loops (it was repeatedly playing in my mind for one whole day) throughout the song, the eclectic interlude (Celtic, Irish folk, Chinese, western classical and Indian strings put together to create an alternate musical universe around you) and the softness in the Ash King's voice all takes us on a exhilarating romantic ride. And Chinmayi's counterpoint is another pinch of beauty and brilliance. As in 'Rehna Tu', here too the melody sounds very innate and spontaneously developed but development and movements between phrases sounds more organic and measured.

'Hey Kala Kala' is the funkiest song of the soundtrack with lots of catchy hooks sprinkled at right spots throughout the song. While Karthik and Naresh Iyer enthusiastically croon for most part of the song, it is Srinivas and Bony Chakrabarthy who leave their impression with their breathless singing towards the end of the song. In 'Noor' Rahman provides an apt celestial aura around Prasoon Joshi's poetry. I don't know how much of A.R.Rahman is there in other songs but they add variety to the soundtrack and raise our expectations on the movie. With 'Bhor Bhyae', Shreya Ghosal proves once again why she is a legend in the making. 'Ghendha Phool' is extremely charming folk song that gets a techno twist. The devotional 'Aarti' to Delhi-6 is what 'Ik Onkaar' was to Rang De Basanti.

At the end, Rahman makes us exclaim - What a beginning!!


Jai Ho Rahman

3 Oscar Nominations for A.R.Rahman. Original Score, Jai Ho and O Saya. Pleasantly Surprised. Way to Go Rahman.

Why Rahman deserves it for Slumdog Millionaire Score?



The song ‘Mella Oorndhu oorundhu’ that sounds like a simple kids rhyme on surface (ofcourse the song seems to be backing a kid’s journey in search of something) is so intricately orchestrated with amazing vocal harmonies, keys, consistently running guitar strains and bass lines. Raaja usually just freaks out in his interludes and goes out far from main melody, but it is pleasantly surprising to see him playing with so much restraint on a brief guitar motif that appears on different instruments with little variations in the ludes and this brevity and restraint works so beautifully for this simple sounding intricately woven song.

With the movie titled ‘Nandhalaala’, how could you not have a song with abundant flute pieces in it and who can use flute in its true sound in the songs better than our Raaja. ‘Onnakunnu’ begins with a flute piece and ends with a flute piece but what Raaja does with it in between is something we haven’t heard much or atleast I don’t remember listening much. The flute at times follows the main melody backing the lead vocals (smoothly rendered by K.J.Yesudas), sometimes it takes its own route and travels all the way around to reach back to the main melody, sometimes it just fills in the space between the lines and sometimes it is louder than the main melody, sometimes it is there and yet it is not there leaving just a haunting presence felt from behind. For a song that sings a lot about companion, and a companion of love, there can’t be a better substitute than a flute and a Raaja’s melody on it which serves as the perfect companion for the main melody and remains as its soul till the end.

If only the song ‘Thalaattu’ as a whole could have evoked the same feel as the flute piece that starts off the song (that sounds like a derivative of the flute piece from the classic Nayagan theme) it would have a much greater impact on the listener. Not to mean that the song is bad, but something is missing, and the melody doesn’t hit us with the emotion like say a ‘Kannil Paarvai’ did in Naan Kadavul. Ofcourse, Raaja’s voice and singing naturally has that pinch of sadness and added to that the instrumental pieces in the interludes and that appears along the vocal parts are indeed emotive, just that all just don’t fall right together to have a greater effect on listeners. May be the situation demands such a sound which is less sentimental and which gets more sensitive and meaning when it becomes rightfully functional in the narrative. I am not going to arrive at any conclusion until I watch the movie.

I can’t stop listening to ‘Kai Veesi’ song which is catchy from the word go. The effervescent melody that just doesn’t sit easily on the rhythm, the omnipresent keys and strings, the ambient flute ludes, all sum up to an entertaining musical journey. For the kind of atmosphere that the song tries to paint, it is set in a surprisingly slower tempo but for it the feel in the melody and its unpredictable flow manages to compensate. And talking about the flow, it is amazing how the flow of the melody is as unpredictable and yet as beautiful as the nature that the song exclaims about.

‘Oru vaandu kootamae’ has an instantly relatable melody in the beginning, with right amount of innocence and casualness but the grip fades in the later parts. The interludes hugely deviate from the main feel of the song, which may be because Raaja wanted to match the music with situation in which the song was going to be placed in the movie, but with the song being excluded from the movie, we won’t get to know the real intention behind those deviating interludes.

The gypsy song ‘Elilae Elilae’ with strong vocals of Saroja Ammal is an effective piece of music, but it is difficult to understand the intended emotion.


Playlist 2008

Aada Vandha nokkam (Uliyin Oosai)
Aagayam Kaanamal (Sadhu Miranda)
Aavaram Poo (Poo)
Aavaram Poovukkum (Arai En 305il Kadavul)
Aazhiyilae (Dhaam Dhoom)
Adiyae En Vannakili (Thozha)
Adiyae Kolluthey (Vaaranam Aayiram)
Aganthayil (Uliyin Oosai)
Anal Mele (Vaaranam Aayiram)
Anbe en Anbe (Dhaam Dhoom)
Anjala (Vaaranam aayiram)
Dheena (Poo)
Dost Badaa Dost (Saroja)
En Kadhalae (Pudichirukku)
Idayathai Kaanom (Chakravyuham)
Ippavae Ippavae (Raaman Thedia Seethai)
Kaadhal Siluvayil (Subramaniyapuram)
Kallai Irundhaen (Uliyin Oosai)
Kallai Mattum Kandal (Dasavatharam)
Kanavilae (Nepali)
Kandaen Kandaen (Pirivom Santhipom)
Kangal Irandaal (Subramaniyapuram)
Kannanukku yenna vaendum (Dhanam)
Kannil Vandhadhum (Vazhthukkal)
Kathala Kannalae (Anjathey)
Kattilikku Mattumdhaana (Dhanam)
Maaman Yengirukkan (Poo)
Manasukkul (Anjathey)
Marudhaani (Sakkarakatti)
Mazhai Nindra Pinbum (Raaman Thedia Seethai)
Mukunda (Dasavatharam)
Mundhinam (Vaaranam Aayiram)
Naan Varainthu Vaitha (Jayamkondan)
Needhaana Needhaana (Sadhu Miranda)
Nenjukkul pidhidum (Vaaranam Aayiram)
Pulargindra Pozhudhu (Uilyin Oosai)
Saaral (Kuselan)
Solladi (Kaadhalil Vizhundhaen)
Taxi Taxi (Sakkarakatti)
Thaen Thaen (Kuruvi)
Thendralukku nee (Arai En 305il Kadavul)
Thozhiya (Kaadhalil Vizhundhaen)
Ummela aasapattu (Vazhthukkal)
Uyirilae (Vellithirai)
Vallamai Tharayo (Vallamai Tharayo)
Venmegam (Yaaradi nee mohini)
Yele (Sakkarakatti)
Yen Anbae (Sathyam)
Yen unnidam (Chakravyuham)
Yengeyo paartha (Yaaradi nee mohini)


Naan Kadavul Music

Om Raaja Om, Om Raaja Om
Raaja Naamam Bhaje hum, Bhaje hum

Listened to ‘Naan Kadavul’ songs atleast 50 times and still Listening.


YMMA 2008 Goes To

After so much contemplation and about how to pick the winners, here is presenting the YMMA 2008

Nominees in Best Soundtrack and Composer Category are

Uliyin Oosai - Illayaraja
Vaaranam Aayiram – Harris Jeyaraj
Subramaniyapuram – James Vasanthan
Poo – S.S.Kumaran
Chakravyuham – Karthik Raja

And YMMA for Best Soundtrack and Composer goes to

.::$ Uliyin Oosai – Illayaraja AND Vaaranam Aayiram – Harris Jeyaraj $::.

Nominees in Best Singer (Male) Category are

Sriram Parthasarathy (Aganthayil Aaduvatha - Uliyin Oosai)
Shankar Mahadevan (Kaadhal Siluvayil - Subramaniyapuram)
Hariharan (Venmegam – Yaaradi Nee Mohini)
Haricharan (Kannil Vandhadhum - Vazhthukkal)
Naresh Iyer (Uyirilae – Vellithirai)
Tippu (Solladi – Kaadhalil Vizhunthaen)

And YMMA for Best Singer (Male) goes to

.::$ Sriram Parthasarathy (Aganthayil Aaduvathaa – Uliyin Oosai) $::.

Nominees in Best Singer (Female) Category are

Sudha Ragunathan (Anal Mele – Vaaranam Aayiram)
Sainthavi (Yen Unnidam – Chakra Vyuham)
Chinmayi (Aavaram Poo – Poo)
Kalyani (Mazhai Nindra Pinbum – Raaman Thedia Seethai)
Sadhana Sargam (Mukunda – Dasavathaaram)
Shreya Ghosal (Aavaram Poovukkum - Arai En 305il Kadavul)

And YMMA for Best Singer (Female) goes to

.::$ Chinmayi (Aavaram Poo – Poo) $::.

Nominees in Best Background Score Category are

Uliyin Oosai - Illayaraja
Subramaniyapuram – James Vasanthan
Saroja – Yuvan Shankar Raja
Anjathey – Sundar C.Babu

And YMMA for Best Background Score goes to

.::$ Sundar C.Babu (Anjathey) $::.

Nominees in Best Lyrics Category are

Na.Muthukumar (Aavaram Poo - Poo)
Thamarai (Vaaranam Aayiram)
Vaali (Kallai Mattum Kandaal, Mukunda – Dasavathaaram)
Mu.Metha (Pulargindra Pozhudhu – Uliyin Oosai)
Yugabharathi (Kandaen Kandaen – Pirivom Santhipom)

And YMMA for Best Lyrics goes to

.::$ Thamarai (Vaaranam Aaayiram) $::.