First album in 2013. That too, in Tamil. Bliss, I would say. My pick, arranged in the intensity of raping the replay button.
1. Nenje Yezhu – ARR
Maybe Bharatbala wanted Vande Maatharam to be remade, in 2013? Nenje Ezhu has all the elements that gave me goosebumps when I heard Vande Maatharam, many many years ago. Again, reminds me why I love the man’s voice so much. Despite my dad keeps saying, music composers should just stop at composing. His slight nasal squeak at high pitches, firm pronunciations, stressed punctuations, closed eyes – you could take them all. Each time he stresses Nenje Ezhu (rise mind @ heart), you could feel the energy rising within all your cells. Almost like the Chakde India theme song effect. Poetry by Kutti Revathi is flawless here. Though I’m not a big fan of hers, but looks like ARR handpicked the best ones from her. The love mentioned here could be as superfluous as love of a man for his woman, or in a larger context; love for his nation or the Lord, even. Definite motivational song.
Even if thousand suns burn you with their heat,
Even if the color of grace fades,
Even if your soul gets ripped by pain,
Your love (when it’s true) never dies.
2. Innum Konjam – Vijay Prakash, Swetha Mohan
I’m bad at instruments. I’m zero at raaga’s. But I’m definitely good with folk. This is a winner folk, from all aspects. God knows how long more I’m gonna rape the replay button, for the opening music alone. Is that flute? When my neck automatically moves along with the rhythm, Vijay Prakash glides in with his husky voice. Damn, what a teasing voice! I almost missed Hariharan, but that’s just the biased fan in me. Of course, in 90’s my favorite duet combo were Hariharan and Sujatha. Who knew, only her daughter could replace her? Swetha has this silky, naughty voice – inherited directly from her mother. Long live, nepotism!
The man tries to tease his lady, buying more time to spend with her. Freedom to meet your loved one, before marriage rarely exist in conservative community. The little time you get to spend leaves you yearning for more. The two of them, hanging by the beach, inhaling the sea breeze that they both love. The lady shamelessly admits she is hopelessly smitten by him, swims in his thoughts round the clock, knowing that he may not be equally smitten by her. The man tries his luck to ask for her hand and a little more intimacy, knowing that she’s totally into him. Being an conservative Indian woman, she playfully reminds him of patience and reassures that she’s only his.
It’s a pity I’ve never really followed Kabilan’s poetry. But he does seem to inherit some linguistic skills from his father. His references to fishing community in barely few lines to convey the importance of their surroundings to them. I personally loved the closing stanza of the song. Pure egoless honesty, uttered in pure contentment.
You must be like my eyes; You must father my child;
Our children should play by the waves.
I should get you, effortlessly; Everything that you said should come true,
We should create our own world to live in.
3. Sonapareeya – Haricharan, Javed Ali
Catchy catchy catchy! Only word to describe this number. Sona = Gold, Pareeya = Angel. Yet to know the real intention behind using this term, in a native southern Indian setting. Needless to say, this must be the opening song where Dhanush lends his dancing skills with a group of fellow fishermen. Yes, one can’t stop from comparing this to Elay Keechan. The best thing about this number is the choice of singers. Haricharan and Javed Ali sync to another level. The last time such duet worked was in Aiyayo (Aadukalam). Javed grooves with his classical touches in the Sonapareeya chorus, distinguishing himself from Haricharan. The lyrics leave nothing much to be desired, though. Which is a shame actually, considering it’s Vaali who penned.
4. Kadal Rasa – YSR
Much waited song, by both ARR and YSR fans. ARR said in an interview that he always want Yuvan to sing in his composition. Perhaps, he waited for the perfect song. And it has arrived. Yuvan fits the song to a T. He potrays the protagonist’s frustration in being in a foreign land all alone, yearning to be back in his homeland and the slight pride in being the one who conquers the ocean. Dhanush is multifaceted. In my opinion, he did full justice to the song and perhaps to the movie as well. It is understood that he is forced to be in a foreign land, with strangers who know nothing about his ocean life back home and failed to connect with them. Give him two more years, the man would direct his own artsy movie. Such talent.
5. Engge Pona Raasa – Shakthisree
No doubt. The next big thing, when you get two best songs from the maestro, from two albums back to back. The song opens with an unplugged version of guitar backing her voice. If a voice could be sultry, it could be Shakthisree’s. She oozes with passion, leaving a trail of mystery. The song is about a girl waiting for her beau to return, after a long day at work. Every man wishes his partner to wait faithfully by the door, with food served on the table when he’s back from work. Call me traditional, but there’s a beauty in a woman choosing to leave her independence behind for her man.
If you and me get together; the sky would celebrate.
If you and me get together; life will be a boon.
Time freezes within me; Tears gets mixed with the sea,
I’m searching for your face and body,
This is a bad time for me.
Where are you, my love? What do I do, without you?
6. Netru Aval – Vijay Prakash, Chinmayee
Okay, I admit. On first go, it was a tad too slow for me. I’m guilty of being impatient. This song reminded me of VTV theme. Almost like a poem recital. A pair of lovers get separated physically and missing each other badly. They’re reminiscing their days of being together and yearning for them to return.
Yesterday I only breathed in your love in the air,
Yesterday there wasn’t this grief,
Yesterday my bangles only sang your music,
Oh sky, please return those yesterdays to us.
Yesterday you were here; I was here too.
Thousands of moons in the sky; Everywhere flew pigeons of love,
Air filled with her sweet voice, Land bloomed her soft body.
7. I Love Africa – ARR, Blaaze
Done with national anthem for India, here he makes a promotional song for Africa. A creative way of using the choir, I’d say. I always thought ARR enjoys making odd sounds while mixing. Like he feels, there’s something fun and crazy needed to spice up the song, and he comes up with something nocturnally. Put him with Blaaze, this is what they come with. A fun number to accompany your bottle of beer, the next time you drink by the beach.
FINALLY, I loved the music and singers selection in Mariyaan. It feels like Rahman heard my pleads for more raw and authentic Tamil melodies. So he granted Ravanan, Kadal and now, Mariyaan. To satisfy us, the fanatic 90’s fans. However, one blaring minus will be the lyrics. The Tamil freak in me wants more native poetry with depth. Maybe that’s where Mariyaan stands a few steps behind Kadal.