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A half-hearted attempt

October 14, 2008 13:29 IST

With its mottled yellow-brown cover, Ayngaran International Films' Diwali release Aegan, is touted as the remake of Shah Rukh Khan's Main Hoon Na. Ajith wears a skull cap, beard and totes a gun -- all of which raise a lot of expectations, not to mention the presence of Nayanthara in this Tamil flick.

Nowhere, however, does the CD ever mention the lyricists. Let's see how the music, tuned by the current hot composer, Yuvan Shankar Raja, fares:

Hey Salaa begins with a recital of emotions, morphing into a catchy beat of rap and synthesised rhythm where Blaaze is supremely comfortable. Naresh Iyer and Mohammad Aslam assist him in making you tap your feet to this number, and it must be said, it depends  a lot on its edgy beats, rather than a tune (which is almost non-existent.). Not much can be said about their pronunciation either -- intentional as it is.

Shades of Nimirndhu Nil echo here, especially in the chorus It's not exactly new or scintillating but in typically Yuvan fashion, even if it contains familiar notes, this piece still makes you want to jive.

More high-pitched voices and synthesised rhythms, rendered collectively by Suvi, Ujjaini, Sathyan, Ranjith and Naveen, characterize Yahoo Yahoo. Going by the college-themed lyrics and general feel, you may find that this song is the equivalent of Chale Jaise Hawaiyen. Yahoo seems to be the catchword and though it has a sprinkling of fast-paced beats and words meant to capture the teeny-boppers, you can't really say the tune does anything for you.

Shankar Mahadevan's Hey Baby begins with a Broadway-esque feel, complete with piano and a jazz-y notes. With its uber-40s set-up, it does capture your attention; the flute interludes a departure from the usual formula. On the other hand, you get the feeling that Yuvan has floundered a bit; his trademark touches and verve are missing. It seems that he may have wanted to use the music badly but has lost inspiration. Shankar Mahadevan gamely keeps up his pace. Still, the impact lessens towards the end.  

A chorus yelling Freedom! begins Odum Varaiyil, sung by K K and Bala Shende. It seems like a poor man's version of Nimirndhu Nil -- with its potpourri of synthesised music, the female lead takes over without warning. Yuvan tries his hand at blending subtle romantic melody with a swift beat; it works only when you really set your mind to it.  

Kichu Kichu begins with Vasundhara Dass's clipped voice, which gives way to Arabic melodies that remind you vaguely of old snake-dances. Yuvan takes over suddenly, asking if he can "bite Mallika like a nellika". With a mixture of tribal beats that give away to Vasundhara again, the tune shifts between sensuous to mundane. Then there's a random meowing cat, to boot. Hardly encouraging as such, but perhaps it'll work with picturisation.

Post Saroja, you suppose expectations from Yuvan Shankar Raja are certainly high, but you can't really say that this album is scintillating. Perhaps the composer had to bow down to a film that comes with star-trappings.

Even a half-hearted attempt of Yuvan passes muster in the listening test. That is what this album is: half-hearted.

Rediff Rating: 

Pavithra Srinivasan