Music Review: 'Thandavam' songs deserve applause
Uyirin Uyirae, Will you be there, Yaaradi Mohini and even Shiva Thaandavam will make a lot of heads turn.
On one side, we have Director Vijay and Vikram coming together once again, and on another you have GV Prakash Kumar's 25th film. Things are looking rather good for 'Thandavam'. The film has 8 tracks for the audiences ranging from a folk song, to a wanna-be western almost-English song, and with them comes a lot of exciting music and unanswered questions. So, just like every new album, we will do some insightful digging and see if we have any musical gems waiting for us.
Oru Paadhi Kadhavu - Haricharan, Vandana Srinivasan
Oru Paadhi Kadhavu brings out some of the familiar melodies like Akkam Pakkam and almost like Hosanna. Haricharan and Vandana perform aptly, and are more impressive with the hums. The string interludes and the score, which precedes the second stanza, are promising. Beats are prominent and just soft enough to keep this one from turning into a more pacey number.
Haricharan and Vandana complement each other well with their renditions and the songs comes out pretty well, no matter how you categorize it. Romance duets are numerous these days, especially ones where the guy and the girl are delivering poetry about each other. But some interesting metaphors from Na Muthukumar, and some more than average lyrics make this song pleasing to ears.
Yaaardi Mohini - Rahul Nambiar, Megha
Ever heard of one of those songs that packs a lot of punch but makes you wonder if you have listened to it elsewhere? Yaaradi Mohini is 'Thandavam' leaf out of modern day techno pop music that's raging hit abroad. It is full of catchy and impulsive beats and keeps you attached throughout, but you can't shake the feeling that it's been inspired from something. But, other than that, it is quite fabulous.
Rahul Nambiar's lines lie right on the tunes and sounds marvelous, when paired up with the straight forward but club like beats. Megha meanwhile raps, hums and does everything in her power to keep the techno aspects of the song going. It almost sounds too modern, but a closer look at the lyrics tells you how things are still very much Indian at heart. Britney Spears and Justin Bieber may not turn a lot of heads in Tamil Nadu, but this number certainly will.
Anicham Poovazhagi - GV Prakash Kumar, Chinnaponnu, Velmurugan
After two traditional GV, like tracks, the album suddenly takes a turn and goes folk. Just when you begin to wonder if you are up against another 'Venaam Machchan', the songs become very positive. Percussions are reminiscent of 90s, and the style reminds of Pongal songs. With the beats taking the driver's seat, the chords, flute backing and chorus contribute to the village-side of the song without making it boring.
GV Prakash Kumar, sounds very casual and subtle, unlike Yaathe Yaathe or Unnai Kann Theduthe and not sure if it works well for him. Chinnaponnu, however is super apt and has come all out with her own style. The lyrics seem a bit outdated, and don't hide the fact that it is a celebration song, just like it was around 10 years back. The song might have worked in 1998 for Vijaykanth, but for Vikram? Audiences will only decide.
Adhikaalai Pookal - GV Prakash Kumar
This one is probably a small piece for introducting the heroine or when the hero decides to fall in love. GV lends his voice for the few lines, which speak about the dream-girl in the movie. Vocals standout on purpose and the percussions are highly subtle. Could have developed into a full size song, but looks like the Director has different plans.
A Poem for You - Instrumental by GV Prakash Kumar
This one's short piano version of 'Adhikaalai Pookal', that almost sounds like its unplugged, but has a few effects added in order to make it more soulful. Would probably appear several times in the movie as a background score.
Uyirin Uyirae - Saidhavi, Sathya Prakash, GV Prakash Kumar
Melodious and almost masterful from GV, this will probably end up becoming favourite song in the album, for one simple reason, it's classy. Carnatic music, paired with some enjoyable chorus from Sathya Prakash and GV, sounds similar Kanaa Kaangiren of 'Aanandha Thandavam'. Modern beats coupled with some traditional percussion used throughout the song attribute to the composer's resourcefulness.
Saindhavi gets one of the best tracks in the album, no surprises there. GV seems to take things a notch up when composing for her and it's very clear in Uyirin Uyirae. The way she reaches the low notes and still manages to stick with the tune is impressive. While the rest of the songs have commercial touches to it, this one focuses a lot on the music. Sounds great, as a result.
Will you be there? - Alyssa and Marie
Will you be there has some of the most refreshing vocals in the soundtrack. GV differentiates a normal track from an Anglicized one well, for the sake of Amy Jackson. Even the Tamil lyrics in the song sounds a lot like 'English-ey' and give listeners an unique experience and even manages to make you smile on a few occasions. However, the overall tune seems to be too similar to the Hindi song 'Ajab Lehar Hai'.
Exclaiming your love in both English and Tamil is fine, and the song does promise very interesting visuals, but the rhymes that fall with the lyrics are too flimsy, even for a very dreamy song. After getting two very foreign singers, and trying to make the song western, this is quite a letdown. But one has another decent track on the cards.
Shiva Thaandavam - SP Balasubramaniam
Very vociferous and outward, Shiva Thandavam resembles the dance of Lord Shiva, and also possibly Vikram's action in the movie. The composition stands out, but it is clearly not intended to be a chartbuster. The percussions involving the mirudangam and the kanjeera have been rendered beautifully. Musically, you don't really have to find faults with this one. It seems to have a greater purpose than selling audio CDs.
Who else but SP Balasubramaniam, you can ask to sing a song like this? The way he brings in so much expression into what is probably a vital song, the high and low tones that appear with the lyrics and the final high pitch lines are significant high points. It will be interesting to see what the film holds for this particular track.
In the end, 'Thandavam' is a fairly good compilation of songs. Uyirin Uyirae, Will you be there, Yaaradi Mohini and even Shiva Thaandavam will make a lot of heads turn. But, the kind of intensity we saw from GV in Aadukalam and Mayakkam Enna are missing. It won't be a surprise if any of these numbers don't become cult classics. However, the progress this man has shown over 25 movies is remarkable and deserves applause.
Rating - 3.5/5, for coming up with another set of prominent tracks that are certain to get some attention.