Thursday, January 08, 2009

Naan Kadavul - Music Review

On hearing the songs of Naan Kadavul for the first time, I sensed the underlying theme in the songs is one of either theism or empathy with the blind and the weak. Let me go one by one:

Om Siva Om Om Siva Om Ruthira
Vijay Prakash

The tone of the song is as given in the title is one of Rudram. This tone is initially set by the blowing of conches and the sounds of Udukkai at the start, which is then brought down by the Om Chants in praise of the Rudra Shiva; the vocal then continues the praise of the Lord. A noticeable fact about the song is that it is entirely composed in Sanskrit (need to confirm this, but lyrics is nowhere in Tamil). When I was thinking the song will keep on increasing its tempo, it slows down to include another 30-40 seconds of slokas. In spite or may be because of this break in the tempo, the song, post the slokas, builds up the tempo quickly in tune with the tone of the song. When the first utterance of 'Aham Brahmaasmi' occurs, the tempo reaches its crescendo and it does make one remember the gems of Thiruvaasagam. I adore this song for the number of Omkaras and the Rudram in it .


Kannil Paarvai pona piragum
Shreya Goshal

After the ferocity in tone of the earlier song, this one is exactly opposite. With a mood of pathos, a nice melodious tune, yearning voice of Shreya Goshal and the simple, powerful lyrics will make one empathize with the plight of blind orphans. The melody in the song is not allowed to flow owing to the strong thumping background beats which probably are conveying the pathos tone of the song. There is one small note in the song which I guess is a direct copy-paste from one of Thiruvaasagam's songs. At some points in the song, I thought Shreya's voice was too high pitched and the words at those moments were not legible as they were in the other segments - which get exposed more so because Ilayaraja sings the same song in his own voice later in the album.


Maatha Un Kovilil Mani Deebam
Madhumitha

Probably the shortest song I have heard - this one runs only for 42 seconds. With hardly a couple of lines of lyrics, the song I must say is really well sung with the tone being slightly more upbeat compared to the earlier song. This song reminds me of the 'good' (good as in good, with absolutely no pun) songs sung in the electric trains of Chennai by blind people, this I say with utmost respect to every one involved in the song and to the blind singers. I say so mainly because of the clarity with which every word of the song is uttered by the playback singer.


Amma Un Pillai Naan
Sadhana Sargam

The tone of the song is one of reverence and self-pity backed up by excellent lyrics. Though the content of the song is such, the tune is more merrier than the earlier songs and hence the mood is light while the lyrics are not so. I wonder what the reason of this mismatch of mood and words could be. The main spoilsport of the song, though, is the playback singer. Sadhana's high pitched voice towards the end of one stanza is appreciable, but the pitch does not come down for the start of the next stanza and the lyrics are not legible in multiple places.


Oru Kaatril Alaiyum Siragu
Ilayaraja

No one can bring life to a song with his/her voice like the maestro. This one is with the same tune of the earlier song "Kannil Paarvai pona piragum", with 90% similar lyrics but this one is much better than the earlier one; every single word of the lyrics is legible unlike the one sung by Shreya Goshal. I somehow get to feel this one is kind of a eulogy to the character singing the earlier song.


Pitchaipaathiram Yenthi Vanthaen
Madhu Balakrishna

This is a purely devotional song praising the almighty and praying for complete surrender. The lyrics of this song are simple and conveying the meaning exquisitely. I must admit I mistook the singer, Madhu Balakrishna, to be someone who is related to the great Balamuralikrishna. It is not the sweetest voice around, but definitely reminds me of another great KJ Yesudoss. To me, this song is the best of the lot.


As a regular listener of Ilayaraja's Thiruvaasagam, I could not resist comparing the present one with His magnum opus and I was able to observe some common notes between the two. This could have been so just because of the similarity in the tone of the songs. Overall, I would say the music album of Naan Kadavul is definitely a must-have, must-listen one. I think the songs with female singers could have been better sung. Ilayaraja, I guess, is still unable to find a replacement for S Janaki. The album has only increased my expectations for the movie, Naan Kadavul.


Snippets of Naan Kadavul lyrics I liked:

Vidhiyenum yezhuthellaam vizhi neeril azhiyumo?

Pengalai silaiyile thozhuginra ulagame, yaen sol?

Kanaavil kooda inbam, kaanaathathu enna jenmam..

Oliyai pole oru thunai, vanthu sendra thunbam yaarkkum undo?

Engengum inbam irunthum, un pangu ponathengey?

Porulukku alainthidum porulattra vaazhkaiyum thurathudhey

Pitchaipaathiram Yenthi Vanthaen
Pindam enum elumbodu sathai narambuthiramum adangiya udambenum
Pitchaipaathiram Yenthi Vanthaen

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