Shivaji- The Boss has finally arrived. Shankar, A.R.Rahman and RajiniKanth have got together for the first time. This was the highly expected album of the year. Thorough professionals they are they know the pulse of the nation. Rahman had given some evergreen hits and musical gems for Shankar and Rajini Kanth before. But this time around they all come together under the AVM banner and the result is mind blowing music. Let me give my thoughts regarding the music.
1) Balleilakka : (S.P. Balasubramaniam, Raihanah, Benny & Chorus)
Additional Voices: Swetha & Darshana
Lyrics: Na. Muthukumar
A perfect start to this album. Rahman has given a pure folk song in his own inimitable style. The song starts with the chorus “Sooriyano chandirano. Yaar ivano sattena sollu” and gradually gathers momentum and its nice to see S.P.B sing after Rahman’s experimentation with Shankar Mahadevan in Baba. Lyrics deserve a special mention here as this song throws new surprises on each hearing. It’s truly amazing how S.P.B sang so effortlessly holding his breath (or it’s a clever use of technology). Percussion has been used intelligently with the clever mix of dholaks, tablas and wind instruments. Here again one can notice the usage of nadhaswaram and the majestic horns in all grandeur. This song is already a hit and bound to grow on you.
2) Sahana: Udit Narayanan, Chinmayee
This is what most people expect from Rahman. A great melody rendered beautifully by Udit Narayanan and Chinmayee. This song reminds the Rahman of early 90’s. Frankly speaking after listening to the leaked tracks I thought Rahman had made a mistake in choosing Udit. But when I heard the final version it sounded so beautiful that even the flawed pronounciation of Udit goes unnoticed. Rahman always has this penchant for mridangam that he uses in all his semi classical compositions. Effective usage of mridangam and the strings section elevates this song to great heights. Special mention on Rahman’s “dheem thana dheem thana” in one of the interludes and followed by French Horn…Wow…He truly mesmerizes us. Chinmayee is at her best. A lovely duet.
3) Style: Rags, Tanvi, Suresh Peters, Blaaze
Lyrics: Pa Vijay
This is the most unorthodox song of this album. Rahman is known for breaking conventions. It’s only through this way he had set trends that only he can break. Though this track is very off beat, I am not that impressed with this track…People may disagree with me. This is a great fusion in Hip-Hop but at what cost?…Should tamil be butchered for this song? Anyway it’s a great attempt. The song picks up momentum as soon as the bass guitar picks up. Voice morphing is at its best in this song. This song is already a hit and it’s sure to top the charts with the visuals.
4) Athiradee : (A.R. Rahman & Sayanora)
Additional Voices: Karthik, Mohammed Aslam & Naresh Iyer
Additional Production: Ranjith Barot
Rahman teams up with his old buddy Ranjit Barot for this song. The song starts off with an interesting prelude with the motorbike acceleration effect and then jumps into a heard before rhythm pattern (thanks to Ranjit Barot). Though people may claim this song’s rhythm is dangerously close to JAM/Dangerous, Rahman had used this kind of rhythm early in his career in “Kabhi Na Kabhi”. It has been tweaked to great effect. But these so called similarities are only for half a minute and after that both Rahman and Sayanora rule the song. Great guitar along with Rahman’s energetic singing and Sayanora’s stylish singing makes this song a clear favorite. Rahman has embraced Middle East rhythms here and there and as a singer has improved a lot and has taken a break from his usual slow paced melodies. This time he comes with a bang. My all worries are now how RajiniKanth is going to dance for these numbers. Highly addictive.
5) The Boss: Blaaze, Naresh Iyer, Raqueeb Alam
The theme starts of with the usual “swoosh” effect panning across the speakers and gradually proceeds to modulated claps and then comes the electric guitar. The theme is very good and it straightaway depicts that it’s for the action scenes. With great-synthesized beats, this is a great attempt. Again the Horn had been put to great effect. It adds to the grandeur of this piece. But as everyone expected I expected the theme to be like the majestic “Ratchagan- Theme music”. I always believed that track was best suited to Rajini. Anyway movies are different and this theme is best in its own way.
6) Vaaji Vaaji :Hariharan, Madhushree & Chorus
The song starts off with a prelude, which gives the impression that it’s actually a melody in Mandarin but as we know Rahman can throw in surprises. What follows next is a decently paced melody with beautiful string section and bass section. Vairamuthu shows his prowess in Tamil by using pure tamil words like “Poombaavai aambal aambal punnagayo mouval mouval”. Hariharan has given his best for this song. Though Madhushree’s pronunciation is flawed, her “Vaaji Vaaji Vaaji” (the second one) is good to hear. Look out for the less prominent distortion guitar at the background. Its nice to hear. This song has the touches of Hindustani Classical here and there and it’s a very good melody.
7) Sahara: Vijay Yesudas, Gomathi Sree & Chorus
This is the best song in this album. After hearing Vijay Yesudass version, I only hoped he could have sung the duet version too. His voice is so divine like his dad that the song does something to your heart. The song starts off with a great prelude with strings section and flute and V.Yesudass has given his best for this great number. This is a pathos number and he has poured his emotions into this song. Commendable chorus section aptly supported by great music makes this a soulful number. The thirupaavai bit by Gomathi Sree is great. I only wished the song could go on and on. Great number.
This album has exceeded the expectations and it is on the verge of breaking several records. This is a nicely packaged album with the right mix of dance numbers and melodies. Hats off to the entire team for providing such a good commercial album