Kangalum Kavipaduthey is another Tamil film with the title borrowed from a hit song of the 1960 comedy caper, Adutha Veettu Penn (remade in Hindi as Padosan in 1968). Both the crew and cast of Kangalum...including director K Chandranath are novices in the field, except of course music director, Ilayaraja.
In Katrathu Thamizh the maestro held us spellbound when he sang for his composer son Yuvan Shankar Raja's unforgettable Paravai enna.
Kangalum... on the other hand has no such surprise. Only a reference to Yuvan's concert in connection with the wedding of the protagonists in the film!
One always expects the superlative from Ilayaraja's repertoire and when the sky-high expectations plummet, proportionate disappointment sets in. Just 'better' or even 'good' is not enough for the music buff. That is the case of Kangalum... album.
Take for instance the very un-Ilayaraja like opening number, Hey Mamu Machi. You search vainly for the maestro's touch in this traditionally tuned track. Palanibharathi's lyrics also are cliched. Karthik, Tippu and Haricharan go ballistic while rendering this racy piece which comes to its finale with loud joyous laughter. Orchestra too is suitably aggressive in the track obviously targeting the modern youth.
Malai Nila is vintage Ilayaraja and the best of this five track album. But even here the master does not reach the summit you expect from him. Still it is an absorbing melodious number with tender lyrics. Manjari joins him with equal ease. Lyricist Vaishali Kannadasan, daughter of veteran poet-lyricist Kannadasan, impresses you with poetic imagery.
In Nalai Inneram too you find the maestro moving with the times. It is the wedding eve of the protagonists and so celebration time. The lyrics and tune are composed accordingly in a joyful, light-hearted vein with a folk touch. The revelers rave about the girl's beauty and the bridegroom's luck in getting her as his wife. Mu Mehtha's lyrics are simple and include a punch line that in connection with the nuptials next day, there would be Yuvan Shankar Raja's music concert! Both the tune and orchestration are traditional.
Sollum Varai Kadhal is a melody oriented love duet rendered by Tippu and Manjari. Pa Vijay's lyrics are meaningful and sentimental. Tippu whose forte is racy stuff impresses in this genre too. Instrumentation too is enjoyable. The whole package has an easy flowing quality. But it evokes a 'heard-of before' feel.
Then there is an instrumental theme piece. Knowing the maestro's mastery over instrumentation, it could have been an aural treat. But for some strange reason, it is not included in the CD, only in the cassette.
The concluding track Pottumela Pottu by Krishnaraj and Malathi with rural flavour is in connection with the wedding revelry. It is a lively piece with vibrant orchestration, energetic drum beats, flute and saxophone expositions, good rendition and Muthulingam's lyrics in praise of the bridegroom whom he calls 'one in a thousand'.
In spite of being an Ilayaraja album, there is nothing exceptional about Kangalum music.