Selvaraghavan’s Aayirathil Oruvan, in the making for over 2 years is one of the most anticipated movies of the year and apparently represents a different genre. A different movie requires a different feel and music which was one reason why Yuvan Shankar Raja was replaced in midst of the movie and replaced with the young GV Prakash. GV was turned in an album which is very difficult to classify. Highly unconventional and imaginative, there is however an undercurrent on introspection in the songs, with most of them veering towards classical and slow numbers.
Contrarily though, the album starts with a peppy number Oh Eesa – Composer’s music rendered by Karthik and Andrea. Karthik is his usual ebullient self, belting with great gusto while Andrea chips with English lyrics. However, what makes this song unusual is that one is unable to determine the kind of song it is. At certain portions, it seems like a hero intro kind of song while the song in itself resembles one of those SPB devotional song rendition. Certain portions lead to that feeling especially lines like “Make Way for the Lord” and a chant of “Govinda Govinda, take me higher Govinda”. A different song sets the tone for the album
Maalai Neram Mazhai starts off promisingly well with soft guitar strings setting up the tone. With minimal backing, the song flows slowly. Andrea is the vocalist and its more like she is talking rather than singing. But the effect is very nice. Her voice tends to get a bit husky as the song proceeds which is not quite natural but GV’s chorus is nice and does not stand out and complements Andrea’s voice. A slow nice number with subtle background music, this is a song that will grow on the listener as long as one does not get too irritated at Andrea’s English accented way of pronouncing Tamil word
Un Mela Aasadhaan sounds like the kind of song that a hero would sing as is the trend nowadays (I am looking at you, Vikram). I was partly right. It is not sung by Karthik, hero of the movie but by Dhanush. While he has got an amazingly irritating acting voice, he does a fairly decent job. In fact the song is quite catchy. Not too fast, its got a tone and pace of its own. Its got some mildly offensive lyrics but its a fairly good listen.
The first instrumental piece of the album is The King Arrives and has all that pomp and splendour initially and then descends into some fairly heavy guitar (of the head banging variety) but still retains an element of grandeur in it.
Cholan Ecstasy is a heavy classical number with old Tamil pronunciations and sung by Nithyashree and Vijay Yesudas. Nithyashree dominates as always and is highly impressive. Vijay Yesudas does a good job especially when going solo though he gets overshadowed by Nithyashree’s magnificence. The song’s tempo varies, slow to fast to slow again and is quite lovely. Hardly understood any lyrics, but it was very catchy and the ending sequence is very strong. Definitely one of the songs of the album.
Pemmane Perulagin was one of the songs talked even before the album was released as it features the yesteryear singer PB Srinivas. However, he takes his own time to make an entry. Before that however Bombay Jayashree stamps her influence on this slow song with astoundingly powerful lyrics. Its one of those songs which are like the motivational songs before a war or a great struggle and again one in which the voices dominate the music (a rarity nowadays).
The second instrumental piece, Celebration of Life uses some different instruments and the effect is quite impressive, especially when it coalesces with the beats. The song’s tempo increases and makes for some good listening. There is a 15 second burst towards the end where there is just one instrument playing which is a contrast from the beats previously.
Vijay Yesudas returns for the song Thai Thindra Manne which is another slow song with old Tamil dialect with a beautiful combination of the flute and the tabla. Vijay Yesudas is almost in a chant mode for 50% of the song, while conveying pain and suffering exquisitely. (An aside: After listening to the last 2 songs, which were the slow kind, one tends to get tired of this song especially as it is a 7 min song. This song should be listened seperately to appreciate it fully)
After all the heavy songs, Indha Paadhai Enge is a light breezy melody. GV himself sings it and again beautiful guitar work, be it the lead, the bass or the chords, marks this song. Again this does seem to be a mildly introspective song but one really is unable to pay much attention to the song as it moves fairly quickly.
A remix version of the composer’s mix rounds up the album with more importance to the Govinda part. Thankfully though, its a pretty decent remix and not of the cringing variety.
GV Prakash has come a long way and is cleary unafraid to experiment. Like his uncle (ARR), he is at home composing classical stuff while infusing it with enough elements to get the young generation also hooked on. Aayirathil Oruvan is one of the really different albums of 2009 and is a fairly unconventional album. A must listen.
Rating – 8.5/10