I am a Fool. My Endhiran Music Review is Stupid.

This post is inspired by Milliblog’s recent post, which he wrote as a reply to one of the derogatory comments he got for his Endhiran Music Review. I got a similar comment from an anonymous person for my Endhiran Music review. He or She says, “stupid review, don’t make a fool of yourself”. I usually stay away from replying to such anonymous comments. I was in a dilemma for past 2 days whether to reply or not to reply. Finally came to a conclusion that sometimes things have to be said.

I absolutely have no problem if you don’t like Endhiran music. You have all the rights to say that you don’t like music and all the more welcome to say “In my Opinion, Endhiran music is bad”, because you genuinely don’t like it. My arguments with fellow music listeners were never about why YOU don’t like Endhiran music; it has always been about WHY you don’t like Endhiran music. I only want to understand why a particular piece of music doesn’t work for some, how their mind approach and process it. Even to that commenter, please explain what was stupid in that review and why I am fool. If it is convincing enough, I will try to understand why I process the music in the way I do.

Most of the times, such conversations have reached a dead end or with a closing remark from the other side that I am a die-hard A.R.Rahman fan and that I can’t understand. I am really interested in knowing and understanding their reasons. The Reasons – something I don’t get to read. I am yet to read a review, where there is a clear reasoning for not liking Endhiran music (Please forward it to me if you have read one). It is not mandatory for everyone to explain and justify their stand, but just for the sake of my understanding – Please. I guess I gave fairly good number of reasons why some parts of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya music didn’t work for me and why I immensely enjoy listening to Endhiran music in the respective reviews.

Anonymous - if you are someone, who is engulfed by “I am too intelligent to like Endhiran Music” air of thought, I am sorry but I must say that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.


Endhiran Music Review

Endhiran Soundtrack opens exactly with those sounds that we were expecting to hear in it. Quadrupled robotic voices, e-tones, booming bass, flanger and phaser effects welcome us into the musical universe of a Tamil Robot – The Endhiran. Rahman tunes the words ‘Pudhiya Manidhaa, Bhoomikku Vaa’ like a religious verse sung to God, but, here, it instead, is a Mantra to a Machine. By introducing the main synth bass motif right in the beginning, Rahman gives us a holder to hold on to, while he and Khathija Rahman leisurely sing the verses set to an unpredictable phrase pattern, so that we can follow the path without falling down and reach S.P.B safely.

Ah! S.P.B. The Diction. The Expression. The Singing. The voice. S.P.B beautifully sings to Endhiran, Vairamuthu’s poetic Pros and Cons of Man and Machine. This song clearly tells us that this is a film soundtrack and not another music album. Listening to music, especially with the way the string section beautifully progresses through the song, it is easy to visualize how this song is going to play behind the montage of Scientist Vaseegaran giving birth to Chitti, part by part.

When was the last time, Rahman, took a pause within a song, to wander and explore new musical terrains in the interludes, that is totally cut off from the main song and one that in itself could be a complete music piece? He does that in ‘Kaadhal Anukkal’ with two varied exotic interludes. I could imagine Shankar telling Rahman about the places where he is planning to shoot the song. The melody, though isn’t of everlasting type, is quite engaging. The melody really gets uplifted by the boozed and dozed-off style singing, of the melody, by Vijay Prakash and Shreya Ghosal.

Rahman, interestingly, differentiates the love duets between Vaseegaran and Sanaa from that of Chitti and Sanaa, by orchestrating the song ‘Kaadhal Anukkal’ with all acoustic instruments – live string section, guitars, accordion, harmonica and what not, to lend a human touch, whereas in ‘Irumbilae Oru Idhayam’, which is a Chitti and Sanaa duet, it is all techno, there is absolutely no real instruments anywhere in the song.

It is not just the orchestration and beats; even the melody is composed to the character. In ‘Arima Arima’, while Sadhana Sargam connects the notes in the melody through curves, Hariharan connects them with straight lines, much like a robotic motion. There are no extra emotions, note slides or additional wavering effects in Hariharan’s voice throughout the song.

While Robot in ‘Arima’ is arrogant and masculine, in which Chitti proclaims himself as a Lion, Chitti in ‘Irumbilae’ is a sweet lover boy, and accordingly the melody is submissive. In ‘Irumbilae’, Rahman sings in short phrases of melody much like the short sentences of a Robot's speech. Like how Chitti’s human emotions are caught in a steel body, the emotions are caught within the limitations of the length of the phrases in the melody in the song. However, that suppression and suffocation of the feelings come out beautifully through Rahman’s voice. Making an impacting song, by stacking up such short phrases of melody one after the other for 5 minutes, with restrictive techno beats and sounds and without it ever sounding monotonous, is tough task, but, Rahman succeeded in doing just that in this song. Karki’s humanoid verses contribute equally well. If only, he had mixed the voices a little louder.

The opening of ‘Arima’, with trumpets, thundering snares and roaring chorus, would be ideal for a Rajini introduction scene. With strings stirring and rock guitars strumming throughout, the grandeur quotient never drops down. Though none of the instruments used in ‘Arima’ is used in ‘Kilimanjaro’, I would say, it sounds grand in its own way. Instantly captivating melody, tribal rhythms realized with fresh sounding percussions, musically rhyming verses of Pa.Vijay and interesting instrumentation make the song an easy winner. And those classical Tabla rhythms amidst tribal drumming – “Aaha! Aaha!”.

‘Boom Boom Robo Da’ is a fun song that sings praises of Chitti Robot. Though, this song, again, is bedded with all techno beats, it is much milder in sound than it is in the other songs and holds the sweet innocent melody gently throughout. The song is exotically packaged with multiple layers of sounds, beats and instruments. Song keeps throwing distinct music parts – rap by Yogi B, Mandolin flourishes in the prelude, Spanish guitars in the interlude, and keeps up totally engaged throughout.

It seems ‘Chitti Dance Showcase’ is a background score to Chitti’s moves of varied dance styles. Classical Jathis chopped and grated in synth saw is the major theme of this song. This Jathi-chopping is an experiment that Rahman has been doing since ‘Parthaalae Paravasam', but it finally finds complete justification here. How else can we score for a scene in which a Machine is performing a classical dance? Keeping experiments aside, that breezy string section sounds so ethereal, when it suddenly makes an entry amidst hard techno sounds. Especially when the rushing strings take a mellifluous flight with wood winds and angelic choir, I had Goose bumps.

I like Endhiran Music.