With Tamil film Chennai 600028, music director Gangai Amaran's son Venkata Prabhu makes his directorial debut. The film is about the happenings in the Mandaveli-RA Puram area of Chennai (Pin Code 600028) where the director resides. Both producer SP Charan (veteran singer SP Balasubramaniam's son) and the director share a long-standing friendship, and their film's music is naturally an ode to natpu (friendship).
Yuvan Shankar Raja, the Chennai 600028 composer, has chosen well-known singers to render the seven tracks. The album is delectable fare, targeting today's youth.
The opening number Ulle vaa is topical as the central theme is cricket and the World Cup. It is a rap number with a cocktail of English and Tamil sound bytes. Yuvan has lent his voice for this number along with DJ Sathiya and Silverstar. Lyrics are by Vaali and DJ Sathiya, with JK Saravana taking care of the rap part. It has all the potential to become the anthem of cricket-crazy youth -- at least till India's fate is decided in the World Cup matches.
Un Parvai by Vijay Jesudas is melodious, though not in the usual soul-stirring genre which is his forte. It is a love song with a mild touch of hip-hop, the lover singing about how a look from his sweetheart makes him go weak in the knees. The track has impressive uniform rhythm and soft percussion. Vijay's voice modulation for the mildly racy number is commendable.
Natpukkullae is both a lament over a broken friendship and the resultant pain and at the same time a celebration of the bond between friends. Nothing, not even kaadhal (love) is stronger than friendship, the singer asserts. Yuvan Shankar Raja's rendition of this track with Western tune and a solo guitar as accompaniment is endearing. The meaningful lyrics are also by Yuvan himself.
Yaro yarukko is a romantic duet by SP Balasubramaniam and Chithra. Chithra is becoming a rare entity on the Tamil playback circuit, so it seems like a bonus to hear her honey-sweet voice again. SPB's voice modulation to suit the young tenor of the film as well as the music is awesome. Time has stood still as far as his voice is concerned, it seems. The drum-heavy percussion is lively, but does not drown the lyrics. There is a pensive feel, and the lyrics by Vaali are impressive.
The same number is repeated later, in the male voices of SP Charan and Venkata Prabhu highlighting not kaadhal, but friendship. Lyricist Vaali uses modern metaphors in this version.
When Yuvan is around, can a remix be far behind? The next track Jalsa pannungada is a remix by a slew of singers including Ranjith,Tippu, Prem Gi Amaren, Hariharan and Karthik. Lyrics by Gangai Amaran are laden with nostalgia. 'You are young only once, so make the most of it,' goes the theme. The importance of friendship is again emphasised. The rhythm gety pacy in the end, and the transition is pleasing. This number is also repeated later -- as the title track interspersed with rap -- in the different voices of Sabesh, Gana Ulaganathan and Gana Pazhani.
Oh! Oh! Ennanamo is in Western genre with mild rap in between, subdued but passionately rendered by Anoushka. Lyrics, again by Vaali, are about the euphoria generated by love. Guitar and flute patterns add to the track's charm.
Yuvan winds up with a mass number in the gana style, Saroja saman nikalo, by Shankar Mahadevan and Prem Gi Amaren. Gangai Amaran has garnished his lyrics with a few Hindi words. The percussion is robust, and guitar strains in the interlude and veena patterns are the highlights of instrumentation.
The orchestration overall, is excellent especially in the second version of Yaro yarukkullae.
Definitely, Chennai 600028 is an interesting album.