Sunday November 29, 2015
Originally published in The Hindu.
Kanjaadai – Anjala (Tamil – Gopi Sundar)
Gopi Sundar started with Malayalam, aced it and is now producing fantastic music in Telugu as well, with soundtracks like Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju and Bhale Bhale Magadivoy. His Tamil soundtrack and repertoire continue to stutter, though, for some reason. But the man does produce sparkling music even if the overall soundtrack is not up to the mark at times, and Kanjaadai is a fantastic example. There’s an easy-going charm in the catchy tune, marked by V.V.Prasanna’s exaggerated ‘O o o’ and a flow that throws a surprise at almost every turn, complete with a beautiful spot in the anupallavi where Gopi overlays Vandana’s vocals over Prasanna’s as the latter is just ending his lines.
Akkare ikkare – Thilothama (Malayalam – Deepak Dev)
Deepak uses the oft-attempted fisherman-song sound to great effect to deliver a rhythmic folk’ish song in Akkare ikkare. The repetitive nature of the tune works in its favor easily, steadily building from a spartan sound to eventually add layer by layer the song’s full rhythmic beauty that wears its Malayalee identity beautifully. Sannidhanandan’s rustic vocals is perfectly complemented by Roopa’s singing.
Kanulu kalanu piliche – Abbayitho Ammayi (Telugu – Ilayaraja)
The man is 72, for heaven’s sake! So yes, age is just a number. The song is an extremely soothing, simple waltz’y melody that Ilayaraja has explored a lot of times in his long career. It’s 2015 now and what this bring forth in a listener depends on your age. If you grew up in the 70s, 80s, the song should be a massive nostalgic trip into the best of Raja. If you are growing up now, it should be a lovely melody soaked in love, with mesmerizing interludes.
Suryudne chusoddhama – Tanu Nenu (Telugu – Sunny M.R.)
Sunny M.R., who made an outstanding debut in 2013 with Swamy Ra Ra, followed it up with great soundtracks that had a dramatically different musical sensibility than the one prevailing in Telugu films currently. With Dohchay, earlier this year, he tried going mildly ‘mass’, but that didn’t work all that well. In Tanu Nenu, he’s back to doing what he does really well – produce intimate, likeable tunes! Suryudne chusoddhama has that languorous sound that Sunny pioneered, and sounds like something Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy would produce! Along with the captivating guitar strumming it sounds so good, in Arijit, Sunny and Harshika’s vocals!
Chenthengin – Two Countries (Malayalam – Gopi Sundar)
With its easy-on-the-ears catchy lilt, the song could easily be mistaken for something by Vidyasagar. But get to the interludes and Gopi’s familiar and identifiable quasi-Middle Eastern sound makes its presence felt. Najeem Arshad, sounding a lot like Karthik, does a commendable job in handling the tune. The small nuances add tremendous value too, like that ‘Oho’ chorus that Gopi employs – it is exactly the same piece, but seems apt at the end of two very different lines, across the pallavi and anupallavi!