Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sivaji album's beta release - ARR finally gets it right, courtesy Shankar

Regular readers of this blog know how big a fan of Thalaivar I am and in fact, the name of this blog was named after the real boss, Sivaji. I was feeling bad that I wasn't writing anything about the movie after naming the blog after it. But the real culprit was Shankar and not myself. Until now, the release date of the movie has not been officially announced and all we know as of now is the audio release date of April 4th.

But today morning, I start browsing and come across the news that AVM has released some promo CDs with 3 songs to a select group of people and some folks from among them have taken the burden to upload the songs to a site from where we could download them. The tension in the air was almost unbearable as I was downloading the songs. After almost 15 months of waiting, these 3 songs were the first feel of how The Boss has shaped out. Shankar had successfully quarantined us from any news about the movie for these 15 months and I have been hating him for that. But all those thoughts vanished as I started listening to the songs. Though it is not a moral thing to download stuff from the net, I went ahead & did it bcos I know for sure that I will buy the audio CD of the movie whenever it comes out. So, no feelings of guilt in this.

First thing to note is that I am not going to review the songs. Being the Thalaivar fanatic that I am, I can not 'review' the songs. Rather, I will go about appreciating the highlights of the songs and that is what this post is. I mean, when it comes to anything associated with Thalaivar, rational thinking and reasoning just disappear. You get so much involved in it that its is difficult for me to pass a measured judgment.

Before I start writing my thoughts on those 3 songs, I have to mention that IMHO there has not been a better album for a Thalaivar album since Annamalai got released around 15 years ago. And ARR frankly has been a major disappointment in that regard with his first 3 albums for Thalaivar - Muthu, Padaiyappa and Baba. Except for the awesome intro music for the Oruvan oruvan mudhalaali song, ARR has nothing to show for. To bring in a cricket analogy, scoring music for a Thalaivar movie is to be able to be playing a Sehwag innings. Though his technique is suspect, not all of his shots are just wild slogs. Basically, his innings is a good mixture of textbook cricket shots and some wild slogs too. Same is the case when it comes to scoring for Thalaivar's movies and frankly nobody has it done better ever since Deva gave us Annamalai. Vandhendaa paalkaaran is still my favorite Thalaivar intro song (may be the way it was picturized too had something to do with). There are 2 melodies in Annamalai - Annamalai annamalai, Rekkai katti parakkudhaiyya annamalai cycle and I still love listening to them. Then comes the Thalaivar thathuva songs in Vettri nichayam and Oru penn puraa. And the album signs off with the song for the masses - Kondaiyil thaazhampoo. What an album it was...

But the problem with ARR is that he is someone like Dravid who only knows to play classic shots and so when ARR tries his hand at composing a Thalaivar-style mass song, he completely messes it up (say, the En peru padaiyappa song or the more notorious Baba…cinema cinema song). He is basically caught in the middle of nowhere when it comes to scoring music for Thalaivar songs. But that definitely appears to have been changed with Sivaji. And I feel that the man behind that change is none other than Shankar. He is clearly the one who is calling all the shots and all these 3 songs have Shankar written all over them. But to me the hero of the album so far has been Vairamuthu. He has come up with some awesome lyrics in all the 3 songs.

Oru koodai sunlight - Typical Shankar song though. This is the song that was shot in Spain with Thalaivar in all those funny costumes and get-ups. Highly techno song. Only sore point is the presence of the beats which we have become familiar with the karu karu vizhiligalaal song from PMC. There is no tune as such in this song. There is someone smiling at couple of places in the song. Wonder if its Thalaivar. No matter who actually smiled, I am already looking forward to Thalaivar flashing his magnetic smile on-screen. The lyrics in the song sing Thalaivar praises all through. So, here is how it goes:

ada ada ada asathudhu un style
nada nada nada nadapadhu un style
gada gada gada siripadhu un style
pada pada pada pesuvadhu un style
suda suda suda thoduvadhu un style
thada thada thada adhiradi un style
adikadi mudi kalaivadhu style
vara vara ellamay style....

I loved the way the stanza ended - vara vara ellaamey un style. Awesome. Thalaivar is the epitome of style. Everything the man does is style and what better way to put it than this way. And then the songs ends with these 2 lines:

hero hero heraadhi hero
staro staro nee superstaro

Whenever the mention of Superstar is made in the lyrics, I just get so excited and it is no different here.

Sahana saaral thoovudho - I don't get this. Looks like neither does ARR. What in the world makes him use Udit Narayanan for Thalaivar. We already have a bad experience in Muthu. I can't understand how Shankar let this happen. There is this 60 year old man called SPB who could have done a great job with this song. But the good thing is that we do not have too much of Udit sodhappalgal in this song. Awesome melody. Better than the Vaaji vaaji song. This truly is a vintage ARR melody. Easily the best melody that ARR has composed for Thalaivar. ARR pitches in the interludes for the theem thana thana na bit. I loved the female voice in this song. Don't know who it is. Would have enjoyed and appreciated this more if somebody else had sung this instead of Udit.

Vaaji vaaji Sivaaji - One of those rare ARR songs that is instantly likable. I wouldn't go as far as saying that this is a trademark ARR melody since the freshness is definitely missing. Charanams are rather average. But the plus side of this song is that ARR has got the Thalaivar factor right. This song will go down well with Thalaivar fans. Hariharan is perfect for this song. The aambal aambal...mouval mouval chorus is catchy. I am sure there will be a big research launched by Thalaivar fans as to what the words aambal and mouval mean :)

No matter how the songs are, we, the mighty army of Thalaivar fans, will lap it up and make the sure that the audio becomes the biggest hit in the history of Tamil cinema. I am sure that is going to happen with this album too. I have already listened to the songs almost 15 times. One thing is for sure though - the songs are sound so much better than the songs in Chandramukhi. There are reportedly 6 songs in the album and thus the SPB song and the song which Thalaivar has sung are still pending. Just can not wait for them to be released.

The Boss has started his reign ,starting with our ears, in style...

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