Cast: Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari, RJ Balaji
Music: AR Rahman
Direction: Mani Ratnam
AR Rahman, Mani Ratnam and Vairamuthu combination is back and they are celebrating 25 years of music together with ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’ album. Rahman always reserves his best for Mani sir and it is evident from ‘Roja' down to 'Ok Kadhal Kanmani'.
Singers: Haricharan, Jonita Gandhi, Arjun Chandy
Lyrics: Madhan Karky, Nanveeth Virk
Azhagiye’, was released as a single, right in the mould of ‘Sandi Kuthirai’ from the composer’s Kaaviya Thalaivan. (The prelude chorus even has the same sound samples). Set to swingy background arrangements and slightly redundant lyrics by Madhan Karky, ‘Azhagiye’ knows what it needs to be and is no doubt foot-tapping from the word go. The pace of the track drops during the bhangra-ish interludes but is picked up by Jonita Gandhi’s refreshing vocals. If it gives the impression that it is ‘just another boy band song’, that opinion is to change in the next couple of days.
Singers: Shashaa Tirupati
Vaan is ARR at his dribbling best! The song is sure to grow on the listeners the same way hundreds of other Rahman songs grew on us in the past. Vaan is supposed to be a ‘damsel is waiting’ song. Vairamuthu, who has been slightly off (Bairavaa,Wagah,etc) propels the tune to a whole new level here (take time to notice how every sentence ends with the same letter). The tune, in itself, has a hypnotic ooze that is compounded by Shashaa Tirupati’s glowing rendition. The strikingly ‘wow’ factor in the song has to be the interlude that plays out with a fusion of flutes and chorus.
Singers: Tippu, AR Raihana, Nikita Gandhi
Evoking his early 90’s style and his ‘Taj Mahal’ days, ARR delivers one nicotine of a song which is based on a traditional Malayalam folk melody. The song straight away sets the ‘wedding’ tone and catches on the listeners pretty quickly. Tippu’s male vocals (welcome back!) give an extra dimension and the wholesome energy spent on the song gives us an enjoyable listen. In terms of addictiveness, easily the best song of the album!
Singers: AR Rahman, Tejinder Singh, Rajakumari, Shikara
‘Jugni’ opens up with trance like arrangements and the synth lead takes the tune to a rap eventually. Bombastic to listen to, thanks to the terrific mixing quality and the trippy after-effect, the song surprises us with its Punjabi flavour which serves as an extension to the rap portions. The last couple of albums from the duo – Kadal and OK Kanmani, both had rap numbers (Magudi & Kaara Aatakkara) that got used in the rolling titles. ‘Jugni’ could have had its origin from those two. We don’t care as long as the track works for us. It does!
Singers: Haricharan, Diwakar
‘Tango Kelaayo’ had to be there in the album because the trailer featured the lead couple dancing at a ball. So, we have got a tango track. The last Tamil track to incur tango influences was ‘Kaal Mulaitha Poove’ from ‘Maatraan’. The song opens up with riffs that remind us of ‘Sundari’ from Kannathil Muthamitaal. The official track list doesn’t tell us the name of the female singer. The Telugu version tells us it is Tanvi. Haricharan, on the other hand shoulders the tune as it goes through the crest and troughs. Owing to its unusual style, this track needs a little bit of time and few reruns. Remember, an operatic style picturisation is also on the offing.
Singers: Sathya Prakash, Chinmayi
‘Nallai Allai’, probably would have the least takers while compared to the rest of the songs in the album. Built on simple guitar strumming and minimal background arrangements, the tune invokes an inspiring mood but fails to get going beyond a certain point.
‘Kaatru Veliyidai’ marks the 25th year for AR Rahman in the Tamil music scene. That, invariably means it has been 25 years since Mani & Rahman joined hands for the first time. The duo still has enough gas in them to surprise us and deliver an album that could make us look back and take notice. The best tracks in the album are already popular and that has indeed raised the stakes of the film. Fresh effervescence, stamp of authority, signature style, foot tapping numbers, and simple yet experimental tunes – the album ticks most boxes easily. It is very hard to not like this. And, guess what? The social media is going ballistic.
Album Verdict: A knockout album!
Album Rating: 4/5