Originally published in The Hindu.
Aayiram aayiram – Maya (Tamil – Ron Yohann)
Maya is a debut for Ron, if you discount his earlier attempt at composing in another name, for a failed movie that vanished without a trace. Aayiram aayiram is almost like the power version of a classic Bond theme tune. Chinmayi handles the singing marvellously, sounding uniquely different from all her songs so far. Composer Ron builds an eerie prelude into a pulsating guitar-piano laden rock tune that is complex and aptly mysterious, in sync with the film’s horror theme.
Charuseela – Srimanthudu (Telugu – Devi Sri Prasad)
There is a distinct Michael Jackson effect in Charuseela, crooned with the right nuances and attitude by Yazin Nizar. Devi Sri Prasad’s music is just more of what he usually – and always – does, with his limitations, but the man knows how to infuse his songs with foot-tapping energy. The tunes sometimes don’t play along, but in this song, it works perfectly, conjuring something that you’d instantly move your feet to. Interestingly, in the second interlude, Devi seems to be mixing Ilayaraja’ish violins and Michael Jackson!
Carbon copy – Drishyam (Hindi – Vishal Bhardwaj)
We have had directors with a great sense of music, but Vishal is a rare breed, composing his own music — like Satyajit Ray — while also directing with a certain class. One look at the song’s title and the composer, it is easy to deduce that the lyrics are by Gulzar. The song’s lyrics are everything you’d expect from Gulzar – quirky and wonderfully colloquial. Vishal gets Ash King to sing the delightful tune, loaded with a scintillating guitar backdrop. Meghna Gulzar is credited with the whistling in the song, incidentally.
Aazhi alai mele – Vizhithiru (Tamil – Satyan Mahalingam)
Debutant composer has an interesting proposition in Vizhithiru’s soundtrack, roping in as many as 7 other composers to sing songs for him, while also making each song almost fall in a similar pattern to each of those composers’ style! The soundtrack’s best, however, is Aazhi alai mele, sung beautifully by Vaikom Vijayalakshmi. It’s a haunting tune that goes perfectly with Vijayalakshmi’s range and is backed by mesmerizing orchestration from Satyan!
Kankankalil – Madhura Naranga (Malayalam – Sreejith-Saachin)
Debutant composing duo Sreejith-Saachin’s Kankankalil is an instantly pleasing melody, almost like a heady combination of A R Rahman’s Netru illaadha maatram (Puthiya Mugam) and Putham pudhu bhoomi (Thiruda Thiruda). The flute, ambient backgrounds and even Vijesh Gopal and Swetha Mohan’s vocals evoke a strong whiff of early-Rahman. The lyrics make for an interesting study too, with Swetha singing in Tamil and Vijesh in Malayalam, making the blend seamless and exquisite!