Para Para Kili

Yesterday, I finally got to listen to a soundtrack that I have been eagerly looking forward to listen to for quite sometime. First few songs of the soundtrack played easily on my ears and they were quite good but nothing prepared me for the stunner that was about to come. That song totally occupied my mind and enslaved my senses for next few hours. I guess I would have heard the song repeatedly for 20 times in one stretch. There are songs that we like, and that we don’t like and there are songs that overwhelm and possess us forever, this song is one such. I am talking about Karthik Raaja’s Rettai Suzhi soundtrack and the song is ‘Para Para Kili’.

Though we have heard such stuff many times before from Karthik Raaja himself, the precision, restraint and minimalism in the orchestration as it is in this song hits me like a thunder bolt every time. The light flight mood of the song in instantly expressed in the first line of the melody. How fitting it is that the song is devoid of any hard percussions, sound loops or rhythm layers - the usual elements in a song that add a hefty derma around to carry the melody. The bass celesta riff and the subtle ticking sound that kick starts the song keeps looping around to sustain the mood of float. And oh! Those double bass that is plucked in beat on every bar of the melody to add an infinite depth and gravity to the featherlike melody.

How a song on flight could be made without having the breezy registers of strings bowed. The string section does come in soon subtly swirling around its way into the song. The overwhelming gooseflesh moment of the song for me happened when a huge tide of cascading strings curl over each other behind those lines that go ‘Mazhaiyadikkuthu Veyyiladikuthu’. The other exhilarating moment in the song arrives just before the song shifts to first interlude when Karthik Raaja unhinges the melody of just the three words ‘Para Para Kili’ and sways it up and down in air like a feather would after it is let off in the air.

As expected, strings take the centre stage in the first interlude playing the waltz and settles down with the appearance of Santoor the strings of which are lightly hammered to pronounce the improved version of the subdued bass celesta riff that set the song in motion in the beginning.

And that was about 2 minutes of the song. For the rest of the beauty – go, figure it for yourself.

Every single note of the melody, the structuring and packaging of the song, the instruments chosen (celesta, vibraphone, strings, tubular bells, Santoor, quintessential Karthik Raaja Violin) and almost every single thought that has gone into making this song is to achieve one goal of making the listeners feel lightened, lifted and floated in space.

At the end when all layers die down with Deepa Mariam’s voice solely lingering on the melody to bring the curtains down, my heart started beating in ¾ and it continued in that rhythm for next few hours. Even the softest of the melodies are now being set to a foot-tapping beat but Karthik Raaja creates a song that doesn’t ask our foot to tap in the ground instead it asks our foot to flap in the air. I did.

Damn commercial success. Karthik Raaja – Go, take rest now. With ‘Para Para Kili’, you have done enough for this year.


krubha said...


about Rettai Suzhi Audio. Not Detailed as urs,my views.

Vinith said...

I'm yet to give these songs a listen. Not finding enough time to listen. Nice to see such a detailed review for single song! :-)

By This sunday, i must have listened to rettai suzhi songs thoroughly. Target set! LOL.

Btw, no yuvan songs review :-( Heard full paiya album?

You can at least write about the list of recent songs that are in your playlist! :-)


Suresh Kumar said...

Krubha - From ur review, though it is not detailed, i can sense that you like Karthik Raaja's music just as much as I do. That is all that matters. All these detailed writings on music are just to show off.

Suresh Kumar said...

Vinith - Heard Paiyaa many times and I have been constantly tweeting abt those songs. This song 'Para Para kili' particularly created that urge to write and so I did.

The albums that I listened to in the last 2 weeks

1. Alice in Wonderland
2. Paiyya
3. May Madham
4. Kadhal Virus
5. Raghu Dixit
6. A Single Man
7. Couples Retreat
8. Rettai Suzhi

Muthuvel said...

A whole post on a single song. Now I must listen it ASAP.
BTW... why Anoushka Shankar's name is tagged in the post? has she played any part of the arrangement of the song?

Suresh Kumar said...

Muthuvel - Sorry. I typed Shankar (the producer) but it automatically took 'Anoushka Shankar' from the tag list

Shankar said...

Suresh, similarly, I was blown away by "Yen Unnidam" from Chakravyuham. The only downside to that song was Karthik Raja's vocals...imagine if it was Karthik instead!! But from a composition perspective, that feathery, floating melody that you speak about was very much there. Beautiful song...didn't get much notice though!!

Suresh Kumar said...

Shankar - Oh! Yes. That was another great melody. Even last week, I searched for this song in my ipod and heard it repeatedly for a while. Sainthavi's singing made it up for Karthik Raaja..

I have written quite a lot abt this song in my blog.. just search for 'yen unnidam'...

abhi ram said...

Wow just love this man!!! and love this article , Thanks for putting up this and by the way can you please suggest me where I can Buy online music cds of his with good quality