Anbe Aaruyire - A Musical Review
Ok before i start off let me give out the standard stuff.Im not conoisseur of music.If your taste's dont match mine, well i care two hoots :-) , and if it matches mine well i can say that you are in august company :-)
Without much ado here we go.
1. Anbe Aaruyire : This is the title song.It beats me as to how and on whom this song would be picturized.This sounds more like rahman announcing to the world, and to tamilian fans in particular, that he is alive and kicking and most importantly, the music in this songs speaks for itself ! a brilliantly rendered layering here.He starts off in his trademark high pitch vocal and then meanders into a not so high pitch.The background beat sounds slightly familiar though. Must be from Uriah Heap or one of those bands.Listen carefully for a bubble like sound towards the end of the first stanza that is not repeated again anywhere in the song ! Rahman again proves his mastery over mixing sounds ! Oh well it would be wrong to say that he is just a sound engineer !
2. Mayilirage sung by Madhusree, Naresh Iyer.One wonders why rahman chose madhushree for this song.She kills the pronunciation for the word "Tamizha".It sounds more like grating sandpaper over steel and i instantly feel like running over and throttling her ! But credit goes to rahman for a brilliant mix of thavil, that quintessential tamilian instrument with tabla.If you remember right he gave a brilliant song with thavil in the movie Gentleman for the song ottakatha kattiko.He again starts off with the nadhaswaram, thavil and tabla.Overall a nice melodious song.Naresh iyer is a new find but his voice breaks up in the high pitch vocals.
3.Varugiraai sung by hariharan and chitra.This is a standard rahman song in a sense that it has all the "God" hariharan's vocal twists and turns.Sounds real pleasing to the ear except that rahman could have toned down the instrument part in the background.
4.Thigu… Thigu… This songs starts off pretty cool in a sufi(?) like opening and graduates into trademark rahmania type song.Decent listening.sadhana sargam seems to have done a pretty neat job though
5. Thazhuviudu sung by SPB and sadhana sargam. What can one say about SPB anymore ? At 60 years of age and after 32,000 songs one can just listen spell bound at the way he squeezes more and more out of his vocal chords ! Man this guy *is* something.And he just adds sheen to rahman's music.Listen to his high pitch shouts, though i do have my doubts as to whether it was indeed SPB himself.Knowing rahman and the capabilities of his studio, anything is possible ;-)
6. Maramkothiye sung by shankar mahadevan, blazee, shalini and vasundhara das.Blazee these days seems to be a permanent rahman fixture.Oh well this is IMHO the surprise packet of the whole album.It is a remix of a song in this same album, a remix of the Mayilirage song.Rahman for S.J.Surya's earlier movie "New" pulled out a remix of the MGR classic "Thottal Poo malarum".In fact if you listen to this song carefully he easily defines a new way of remixing songs ! Some stunning techno music.And without doubt foot tapping ! Blazee does a neat job of the rapping part.But it is Shankar mahadevan and vasundhara das who effortlessly waft through the song.And blazee starts off with the words "Woodpecker" In case you are left wondering why he does that, well the title of the song "maramkothiye" means woodpecker in tamil ;-).Watch out the for the neatly done guitar and drums combo.If Illayaraja redefined the disco song scene in film music way back as early 1980 even before the hindi fellows came up with disco, rahman has simply destroyed the way remixes are being done and in the process redefined it ! Also watch out for the fading effect on the Shakar Mahadevan's voice.To many this would seem that this is close to the "Yakkai Thiri" song from the movie "Ayudha Ezhuthu" but fret not, it is nowhere close !
Throughout the whole album one gets a feel that all the songs have a strong classical base, either carnatic or hindustani.If you wonder as to how someone can put carnatic in a rap like song, well check out the song "Dating" from the movie "Boys". Rahman unleashes Hamsadhwani on blazee's rap to give a superb combo ! And most of the songs showcase his primary strength, in that of fusing various instruments to give a new sound !
At the end of the album one thing is for sure.He is back and is back in no mean terms.But back with a bang.For all those doubting thomases and wannabe contenders, he does serve you a reminder with the title song itself.
You may want to be a contender for the top musician of the tamil music industry, but you better contend with rahman first and they try to scale up to the raja Illayaraja himself !
Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 5:54 PM