8.01.2010

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.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very Good review

Anonymous said...

stupid review. don't make a fool of urself.

Ganesh said...

Suresh

Good review. You understand music

Cheers
Ganesh

Suresh Kumar said...

Anon 1, Ganesh - Thank you.

Anon 2 - :-)

Anonymous said...

really good reviw....Robot music interestingly new to Tamil...

dev said...

suresh - nice. could u translate lyrics..

Shiyaz said...

The music rocks !!!!!!!!!!!!
nice review

Ponraj said...

A Very great review...

your review shows you are really a Visualizer, because those who do not have any idea about the Sci. friction will talk bull shit of this music..

All the numbers are very precisely matched for this kind of movie.

Suresh Kumar said...

Dev - Thanks. Sorry, I can't. Blame it on restricted vocabulary in English.

Shiyaz - Yes it does. Thanks.

Ponraj - Thank you. I strongly feel that is what a "film soundtrack" is meant for. For "Visuals".

Ganapathy Ram said...

Nice review , i felt the same that the songs will be more nice when seen with visuals , as these kinda movies need it :)

Suresh Kumar said...

Ganapathy ram - I like the songs even now, without the visuals. Just that we need to keep the theme of the film in mind, while processing the music.

tifosikrishna said...

Nice review there. My favorite is pudiya manidha.... get the same feeling like another brick in the wall... especially the feel of song.... and background chorus.

Suresh Kumar said...

tifosikrishna - Thanks. Yes, all of the elements in 'Pudhiya Manitha' is subtle, mild and yet makes a solid impact.

Anonymous said...

You are probably the best Indian music reviewer (I'm from America, born and raised) so consider this HIGH praise! because you can describe the texture of music and have an ear for experimentation...also, unlike most Indians you don't consider a song's melody as something different/more important than its orchestration..you see it as a whole...keep it up...also, check out allmusic.com if you want to see some first class musical analysis

Ganapathy Ram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ganapathy Ram said...

I do like the songs , but wasn't excited at the first go thats it, i loved kadhal anukal and irumbile oru idhayam songs at the first go , but with the remaining i think i should go 4 repeated heraing, And moreover i'm too used to soft music , so have to retune my mind a bit :)

I mispelled the word excited as eicted in last post thats , why deleted it

Suresh Kumar said...

Ganapathy Ram - I can understand.

tajmahalbytes said...

Hi Sureshkumar,
This is one the best reviews of Endhiran and I could now understand more about the entire album and the reasons why it sounds like the way it sounds.
You are absolutely right about the fact that this is more of a film soundtrack and not a musical album.

Please continue to write more of these type of reviews and please dont waste your energy on something else, if you know what i mean.

Keep up the good job.

Cheers.

Suresh Kumar said...

tajmahalbytes - Thank you.

Dinesh said...

Good songs. I think, your review is bit hyped as per me for this album. For some reason,reminds me Black Eyed Peas albums. I have read your other reviews. You have done amazing work.

Suresh Kumar said...

Dinesh - Thanks.

Hyped - Have I written or praised anything that is not there in the music?

Shiyaz said...

Could you make a review on A R R's Komaram Puli (Telugu) or if u have already written it,please give me the link.

Suresh Kumar said...

Shiyaz - I haven't but I don't know if I would write one.

Selvam, Sivagangai said...

Hello Suresh Kumar, I honestly think this album is on the top 5 of ARR's worst albums list. I can't understand what people are raving about. The only think ARR had cleverly done is sprinkle the Hollywood sci-fi sounds from the 'Terminator, Alien, Predator' movie soundboard on all the songs. For the average Tamil audience who is not familiar with these hollywood movies, this is mind-blowing. Seriously, what is so interesting or unique about the songs if you take away those sounds that mentioned. Just because someone has attempted a sci-fi movie in Tamil for the first time doesn't mean the songs are great. Please, please, please.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious review
especially your thoughts on rahmans different take on human and robot tunes. really these fanatics are too much..last time when i had a good laugh was that shit movie dasavataram and how the fanatics dissected that shit

SUJATHA said...

Songs are very nice and awesome

http://coromendalqueen.blogspot.com/2010/08/enthiran-pre-release-review.html

Anonymous said...

i request the blog autnor to restrict selvam singaraj.

jUSt becoz u hate arr or any one it does not mean u can verbally abuse people writing comments on favour of the songs. You first go to mental hospital and check your head and advise others. Becoz people like you only will pass comments like this. the meaning of awesome is splendid. i praised the song two times with different words that s it. Who r u to criticise that. Mind ur words while writing comments in a public blog

SUJATHA said...

sorry not selvam singa raj it s selvam sivagangai. hey b careful with ur language when writing to a woman. I strongly condemn to the mail that you sent me.

Suresh Kumar said...

Sujatha - I deleted the comment, the moment I saw it.

SUJATHA said...

Thank you sir. I am sorry for the mess created for your post.. I really did not expect this.

Vasanth Gurusamy said...

MR.Suresh Kumar

That was a nice review.

kannan said...

Suresh, if u haven't seen the movie yet, do remember to stay for a few minutes of the end credits. There's a really beautiful orchestral version of Pudhiya Manidha that sounds really sweet (and unexpected). I don't really like the song too much, but the usage in the movie is really nice, especially with the orchestral version.

kannan said...

And by the way, any thoughts on Jhootha Hi Sahi soundtrack? I'm really liking a few of the tracks, some others haven't really clicking for me. I think this album has some of Rahman's most instantly catchy tunes in recent times.

Suresh Kumar said...

Kannan - I like all the songs of "Jhoota Hi Sahi". As, as you said, all the songs are instantly catchy.

Ganesh said...

Endhiran album is a mediocre composition. The earlier film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya was good with lot of melody. This is not of that rank. Mere synth loops dont make it musical.

Superheroes said...

I never say anything if A.R.R. Done it. Such a wonderful musician. I am very proud of you.
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Mp3 Music said...

I do like the songs , but wasn't excited at the first go thats it, i loved kadhal anukal and irumbile oru idhayam songs at the first go , but with the remaining i think i should go 4 repeated heraing, And moreover i'm too used to soft music , so have to retune my mind a bit :)

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