Monday, January 18, 2010

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa-My thoughts


Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya has finally struck the audio stores... It was released with much fan fare on January 10,2010. This album is very special for A.R.R fans due to various reasons..

* Its the first album of A.R.Rahman in tamil after his "Double Oscars" last year..

* Its for the first time that the classy Gautham Menon has joined hands with our "Mozart of Madras" after parting ways with Harris Jayaraj..

* Moreover this album has the dubious distinction of being the first tamil album to be released abroad at the legendary BAFTA theatre..

Though officially released only on 10th of this month, the songs were available online much earlier..

Does the album live up to the hype?? Has Gautham made the right decision...Lets take a sneak preview into the songs..

1. Omana Pennae Singers: Benny Dayal, Kalyani Menon

This was the first song that was used in the promos of the film and it was officially used as a teaser in the VTV website.. Don't know how to brand it..May be a soft hip hop..along the lines of Enigma..Benny Dayal is an apt singer for this song..Voice morphing adds beauty to the song..Though, initially I didn't like the song, now I have started liking this song..A slow song, sounds great on headphones. Kalyani Menon's FM radio processed voice adds a different sound to this song. If one observes closely, one can find a synthesised Nadhaswaram by Natarajan or is it the Continuum?? It squeezes its presence amidst the gentle beats and strings section. Bells continue throughout the song along with synth bass creates a nice reverb feel to the song..The post lude is again an experimentation in Tamil(Remember Rehna Tu-Delhi 6???).A feel good song to start the album..

Rating: 8.5/10

2. Anbil Avan Singers: Devan Ekambaram, Chinmayee
While the first song was a soft soothing number, Rahman shows his class in fast rhythms..Its a great energetic song aimed at the younger generation but the maestro still experiments..The song has a pulsating beat with neat choir chorus section. Rahman has mixed his favorite mridangam along with the rhythm section.Devan and Chinmayee are at their best particularly Devan is at his expressive best after a very long time..The song clearly explains the scenario where the hero falls in love with a Malayali christian girl..Here Rahman is at his best fusing both the church organ and the our own traditional Hindu wedding music..A nice upbeat song..

Rating: 9/10

3. Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa Singer: Karthik Additional vox : Vivek Agarwal

The song has a strong blues feel to it..Its nice to hear acoustic guitar after a very long time. The song has minimal orchestration but it has a feel good factor to it..It weaves magic and its a aural pleasure to hear the classy Karthik render the song so effortlessly..Its one of those Beatles' sounding classy number and Karthik just carries this song to greater heights.. Subtle usage of Music box, reverse cymbals,brass,horns and strings adds beauty to the song..Thaamarai's lyrics are classic as usual..A dream song..

Rating: 9.5/10

4. Hosanna Singer: Vijay Prakash, Blaze, Suzanne
This is my pick of the album. This is pure vintage A.R.Rahman stuff. Rahman has created a startling melody number hovering around the word Hosanna. This song captures the listeners instantly.The prelude stars with strings section and lovely flute well complemented by nice harmony section. The beats remind us of "Azhagiya Cindrella". But the similarity ends there. Vijay Prakash again stamps his authority in this song. He renders so effortlessly and rap section by Blaaze is very refreshing..Suzanne does a commendable job. Thaamarai's lyrics are great describing a man's love towards his lady love..The string section and subtle arpeggios deserves a special mention. Rahman keeps on experimenting with different world genres..It sounds like soft hip hop or is it reggae???

Reverse cymbals,flutes,guitar strummings throughout the song elevates the song. Vijay Prakash's singing after 4.40 is absolute aural treat. String section,flutes,church bells/gamelan and brass/horn end the song in full flourish..

Rating: 10/10

5. Kannukul Kannai Singer: Naresh Iyer

Kannukul Kannai is again an uptempo fast paced song aimed at the disco generation. Rahman's experimentation never ceases..This time, he starts the song with nice Celtic styled strings..Naresh Iyer is at his energetic best.
Thaamarai's lyrics spell magic. Very unconventional tune. It has an international feel to it. Rahman has done similar numbers before. It sounds deja vu at certain places. It slightly reminds me of an old Rahman number "Ilamai" in God Father. Rahman’s vintage style is evident in his catchy rhythm section. The Eurogate like sequence and electric guitar complement the song adequately.

Rating: 8.5/10

6. Mannipaya

Singer: A R Rahman, Shreya Ghoshal

Finally A.R.Rahman strikes another gold in this magical number. The maestro weaves magic along with the sweet Shreya Ghosal. She is a standing testimony to all her counterparts as she takes extra care with her pronounciations. She is an absolute treat to hear. Thaamarai's lyrics tell another story about a women's apology to her lover.Usually Rahman croons the best in his album, but for the first time, I thought Srinivas or Naresh Iyer would have been a better choice.
A.R.Rahman has again experimented with this song. He has always broken set patterns and sounds in his songs.
Again this song has no Charanam and Pallavi. Its a bit of gamble and it has paid off. Thaamarai seems to have relished the challenge. The orchestration is top class. Horns, Strings,flutes,cymbals, electric pianos, guitars and soft beat section with bass adds majesty to this song.

Wait the surprise is yet to come..

Suddenly from no where, we hear Thirukkural couplets emphasising on forgiveness and love..A great song to hear..This will remain as one of ARR's vintage classics for times to come..

Rating: 10/10

7. Aaromalae (Malayalam song) Singer: Alphonse

As Guatham Menon mentioned in one of his interviews, this one was added after Rahman had moulded a Mallu rock number rendered effortlessly by Aphonse , a music director himself. Lyrics in Malayalam is penned by Kaithapram. The songs starts off in a "Single Wild West Glide" style. The song falls on the lines of Psychedelic Rock and has shades of Pink Floyd ("Wish you were here") and has shades of Led Zepplin and Jimi Hendrix . It seems the wizard has again experimented with raag "Bhagyashree". This is a classic example of "Psychedelic Rock" meeting raag Bhagyashree (who can forget "Kannum Kannum Kollai Adithaal" from Thiruda Thiruda set in Sivaranajni??) Its an absolute magical number that Rahman can alone create..

Rating: 10/10


Harris' loss is Rahman's gain. More than Rahman, its Gautham Menon's gain. Together GVM and Harris Jeyaraj have given memorable numbers but this is something special. Rahman relishes challenges and he delivers best under pressure cooker situations. The another remarkable observation is GM seems to be an avid lover of acoustic guitar. So many songs are guitar based. We observed the same in his previous movie also..He has struck gold with this release. As some reports pointed out, Amazon has received a record booking for this album and the audio has been declared a mega hit by the trade pundits. Its upto Guatham to complement the wizard's score on screen..

Pros: Unconventional music, vintage ARR score, neat lyrics,classy startling melodies, never ceasing experimentation with world musical genres.

Cons: Too much experimentation. Too much class in the songs..








Sony Music

Hosanna : Blaaze, Suzanne, Vivek Agarwal, Dr. Narayanan, V.V. Prassanna, Haricharan Sesh

Hosanna : Choir by KM Music Conservatory

Nadaswaram on Omana Penne : Natarajan

Guitar : Johny, George, Sanjeev Thomas

Solo Violin : Ganesh Rajagopalan

Bass guitar : Keith Peters

1 comment:

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