Cast- Dulquer Salman,Nithya Menon,Kanika,Prakash Raj
Music: A.R Rahman
Lyrics: Vairamuthu,AR Rahman,Mani Ratnam,Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam
A Mani Ratnam-AR Rahman musical needs no introduction. Let us see how the album has turned out:
Singers: Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam,Darshana,Shashaa Tirupathi
‘Kaara Aatakkara’ became familiar to the ears ever since it featured in that bubbly trailer and looked like an instant winner. Here comes the twist to the tale. The song which has an infectious hook to start off with goes on to become an extended rap by Aaryan Dinesh. And for most parts, the rap has a jaded makeover because of the lack of acoustic environment. It reaches a point where the listeners would prefer ‘Kaara Aatakkara’ to be played again instead of the ‘nama nama’ rap which seems to go on & on. In all probabilities, this track would feature as the title track (Remember ‘Magudi Magudi’ & ‘Veera Veera’ ?). Despite all its flaws, it is still infectious thanks to the pallavi.
‘Aye Sinamika’ is a blissful offering from ARR. Karthik delivers yet another soothing rendition supported ably by a packed guitar backing and chorus portions. There is a layer of pan flute along with the vocals near the end of the song which is bound to get noticed only after repeated listening. The breezily woven interludes deserve a mention here. Vairamuthu’s lyrics propel the song to better heights (But what does Sinamika mean?). A highly guitar driven track that sounds glossy!
Parandhu Sella Vaa
Singers: Karthik,Shashaa Tirupati
The album’s best track! ‘Parandhu Sella Vaa’ is a slow,rhythm based track on the lines of Majaa Majaa(Jillendru Oru Kaadhal) & Thazhuvudhu Nazhuvudhu(Anbe Aaruire). ARR completely unleashes himself giving the singers a free reign to improvise as the track progresses. Both the lead singers have rendered the track in a delightful manner. With delightful pacing, no ear jarring arrangements, this track stands out as the outright winner of the album. Watchout for the ‘ah ha ah ha ah’ part which is totally addictive!
Mental Manadhil (Male)
Singers: AR Rahman,Jonita Gandhi
Hugely popular already! People have already gotten crazy about this track thanks to the promos and Rahman’s singing. ‘Mental Manadhil’ has some of the irrelevant lyrics in recent times and yet the song holds up because of the zingy tune. There are shades of ‘Highway’ in the arrangements but the tune is instantly catchy and addcitive. Chartbuster!
Mental Manadhil (Female)
Singers: Jonita Gandhi
In all probabilities, this version might feature only as a background track or during credits. Jonita Gandhi takes over the same tune and gives it her own flavor. The lyrics have been changed a bit and the voices have been autotuned. A free spirited twist to Rahman’s version!
Singers: Shashaa Tirupati,Sathya Prakash
The first thing that the listeners would notice in ‘Naane Varugiren’ would probably be Shashaa Tirupati’s vocal adroitness. Sathya Prakash’s pitching during the interludes is remarkable. The complexity of the tune somewhat takes away the lyrics and some of the ‘jadhis’ seemed forced. This will go down as yet another slow poison of ARR which will take some time to get settled down among listeners.
Singers: Chitra,AR Rahman
It has been quite some time since Chitra sung in a Rahman composition. The duo returns with ‘Malargal Keten’ which comes across as a bit underwhelming considering the track history of the duo. The flute interludes sound amazing and fresh but the basic premise of the tune is jaded. Didn’t work for me. Might work after repeated hearing or with the visuals!
Singers: AR Rahman,Nikitha Gandhi,Darshana
‘Theera Ulaa’ is ARR trying a Coldplay! With completely processed voices, the track’s Rahman rendition sounds almost robotically rendered (Yes, autotune). And suddenly out of nowhere, we bump into ‘Alaipayudhe Kanna’esque segment rendered by Darshana overlapping the trance backgrounds. Vairamuthu’s lyrics add great value to this track where the theme of the movie gets conveyed subtly. Works greatly on multiple listening!
Maula Wa Sallim
Singers: AR Ameen
A Qawwali in a Tamil flick! Although not an instantly ‘sing along’ type track, it has an earthy attribute to it. The way ‘Maula Wa Sallim’ is going to be placed with this film needs to be watched out.
On the whole, ‘OK Kanmani’ is an album that has tracks that didn’t amalgamate in our imaginations. Being a return to roots romance movie for Mani Ratnam, the songs were expected to be simple. But ARR has delivered some of the most complex tracks in recent times and relieves himself out of his recent debacles. Although nowhere near the combo’s previous movies (definitely nowhere near Alaipaudhey along which the movie seems to draw parallels), the songs indeed sound fresh and has an aura around them. One has to stay the team missed out delivering a knockout album by delivering few tracks that complicated themselves. It is not Rahman’s best but even a half blazing ARR is miles ahead of the rest. Now the songs have piqued our interest a lot more towards the movie.
Picks from the album: Parandhu Sella Vaa,Mental Manadhil,Aye Sinamika,Theera Ulaa,Naane Varugiren
Album Verdict: Rahman redeems his form with Mani’s help!
Album Rating: 3.5/5