As I was compiling a list of top songs from 2010, inevitably it sequenced into a list of top AR Rahman songs of the year. It does help that no other composer comes close to the range and sheer variety of songs (across languages) that he produces in the year (It also helps that with ARR’s name behind an album, there is this built-in rating system that systematically rates his songs a notch higher than any other composer). Hence, this list is sequenced into Top ARR songs for the year and another post with top non-ARR songs for the year
Top 5 ARR songs for the year
5. Hello (Jhoota Hi Sahi): It’s a no-brainer that any song featuring Karthik & ARR would easily be among the top of any list that I make. Hello is one of the most quirkiest as well as the most unusual sounding song in the list. Karthik’s whispering voice (almost sounding back of the throat) lends an almost surreal tone to the song. However, this is mere seasoning to the song where the real flavor comes from the music itself. No one could use ring tones, dial tones, engaged tones and still make the song as enticing as ARR could do. The combination of Karthik’s eerie haunting voice and ARR’s synthetic telephonic music makes for an fundamentally awesome song
5. Beera (Raavan): An African styled chant and high energy beats, all echoing to Vijay Prakash’s awesome authoritative voice make for a heady folksy thumping song. In fact, like most ARR’s songs, its heavily layered, around 50 seconds into the song, there is a very soft stringed section which begin which segues into a klarionic burst around 1.18 mins into the song. Sheer brilliance
Note: I know I said top 5 but it’s such a difficult choice to make with ARR that I have decided to break my own rules and hell, if I can’t break my own rules.
4. Behne De (Raavan)/ Usure Pogudhe (Raavanan): This is really one of those songs in which one can notice a profound change in ARR from, lets say 10 years ago. The ARR of 10 years ago would have probably have started the voice in around 20-25 seconds but here he draws you with the music, makes you wait, almost to the point of tense-ness from where Karthik takes over. And what a brilliant take. Almost rhythmically flowing into the song with a voice expressing pain and anguish as well as wonder, Karthik is way beyond phenomenal.
3. Call me Dil (Jhoota Hi Sahi): A soft melodious number, right up ARR’s alley. Soft lilting acoustic strings and Rashid Ali’s brilliant voice lend an ethereal charm to this song, and the lyrics are simply astounding and to an extent, pain filled. An exceptional song, easily one of the best of the year.
2. Naan Varuven (Raavanan)/ Jaare Udjaare (Raavan): Surprisingly left out of the album, my first introduction to the song was during the movie climax and needless to say it was love at first listen. ARR has simply become really the master of slow soft melodious numbers with his interplay of the piano and guitar strings. But where he really shines is he does not let the instruments intrude into the song and allows the singer (in this case ARR himself) to carry the song. Again, he gets the whole African flavor to creep in, especially when he goes “O Beera”. High marks for the lyrics especially in the Tam version, Loved those 3 lines of “Oru Pillai…. Athil Artham….Artham Puriyum…Vazhuvu Maaruthe”.
1. Aaromale (Vinnaithandi Varuvaya): Wattay song, truly, wattay song. Truly one of the most different songs to have been composed by ARR. Almost reminiscent of a slow English rock song, this song is maverick-esque (if there be a word) in nature. Alphonse’s voice again is a non-traditional voice and seems to be a perfect fit for the song. The real beauty of the song is the mixing of the Western Rock as well as the Indian classical music. Malayalam lyrics with a violin accompaniment adds even more layers to what is already a mulit-layered song. A simply once-in-a-lifetime-out-of-the-world experience
1. Hosanna (Vinnaithandi Varuvaya): Another of the genre transcending music pieces by ARR. Starts off softly with a rap piece in between (in both English & Tamil) and again segues in a soft piece. Vijay Prakash again strikes gold for ARR along with Blaaze (on the rap) while special mention has to go to Suzanne for her mesmerizing humming lending an out-of-the-world experience to the song. The best part is just when you think the song is about to end (around 4:10), its picks up tempo and carries for another 90 seconds and the violin pieces really stand out. Truly astounding
Other notable ARR songs for 2010:
Raavan – Thok De Killi & Kata Kata
(Komaram) Puli (Telugu) – Amma Thale & Maaralante
Enthiran – Kadhal Anukkal, Arima Arima & Irumbiley oru Irudhayam