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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rahman’s torrid tryst with techno

Intro: With the most saleable star in India, an innovative, trendsetting director known for his visual grandeur, an Oscar-winning composer and a technical crew that any director would love to have at his disposal at the helm, Enthiran has been raising a lot of eyebrows ever since the day it was launched. The music album was launched recently amidst much fanfare and was attended by the who’s who of Indian cinema. The music, however, seems to be a big letdown!

1. Pudhiya manitha, rendered by SPB, ARR and his daughter Khatija Rahman appears to be the opening song of the flick. The Rajini-SPB-ARR combo has delivered the best of songs in the past, Oruvan Oruvan, Emberu Padayappa and Balle lakka to name a few. The expectations for the opening song of this flick sky-rocketed as expected and unfortunately, Rahman leaves us disappointed. Even the ever-reliable Vairamuthu disappoints with this one as he has unnecessarily penned lines like ‘En thanthai mozhi tamizh allava’. SPB’s spirited rendition proves to be the only saving grace in this song in which musical sensibilities are taken for a ride and the listener’s ears seem to be ill-fated victims.

2. Kadhal Anukkal, a breezy romantic duet is an aural treat. A pleasant prelude that’s marked by a stupendously pleasant strumming of the acoustic guitar reminds us of the Rahman we know. Vijay Prakash is slowly establishing his stranglehold as Rahman’s favourite. This song though, belongs to Shreya Ghosal. With this one, she can safely stake her claim as India’s best female singer. The song progression and the classy interludes weave tales of euphony(@soupy: machaan, is this Bilahari by any chance?) in the listener’s heart and this is surely the standout track of this album. But thalaivar singing about neutrons, electrons seems a bit hard to digest and I have been trying to visualize the picturisation of the song and it has proved to be a thorny task!

3. Irumbhiley oru irudhayam, sung by ARR is a DJ’s work! This song seems to have been completely conceptualised by the sound engineer (Resul pookutty?) and this song can’t be termed a “composition” by ARR! The rap lyrics add to the discomfort. Another hugely disappointing number that doesn’t warrant a second listen.

4. Chitti dance showcase is an intriguing experimental piece which seems to have worked in Rahman’s favour. This mini-instrumental, power-packed with konnokhole, rhapsodical guitar work and soothing fillers dominated by violins and flute is definitely an appreciable piece of work!

5. Boom Boom robot da is the worst song of the album and is a total disaster. Nothing goes right for this song right from the beginning. Be it yogi b’s irritating rap, the deliberately childish rendition or the incredibly fussy lyrics, every single aspect of this song is atrocious. Rahman has paid a heavy price for over-experimentation with techno and the result is a cacophonic string of notes that tries its level best to qualify itself as a song. Statutory warning: Try listening to this one at your own risk!

6. Arima arima is one of those songs that flatter to deceive. The pompous start signaled by the grand trumpeting gives way to weak vocals (surprise surprise: hariharan!) Sadhana sargam’s tamil rendition would give Kalaignar a heart attack fo sure! But listen to this one for it’s spirited instrumentation and an engaging chorus. You can forgive the boring stanzas and force yourself to sustain interest and listen to the full song!

Rahman’s over dependence on techno and the imposition of a blanket ban on other genres is this album’s greatest weakness! The men behind the mayhem are bound to come up with excuses like “this is a sci-fi film” and “the script demanded techno and experimentation”. But these are definitely not sufficient explanations for the composition of bad songs. This is surely not the composer who enthralled us with the revitalizingly new sounds in the film “New”. A big thumbs down!