V V Creations' Tamil film, Pandhayam, directed by S A Chandrasekaran and starring Nithin Sathya as a Vijay fanatic has been raising expectations among the new crop of audio releases chiefly because it has been touted as the movie that brings back Surangani, the gana mega hit that still has the power to reign supreme among listeners.
So let us look at what the album has to offer:
The audio's USP, so far, has been the return of one of Tamil's greatest hummable tunes and the queen-mother of gana songs of all time: Surangani, by Ceylon A E Manohar. Naturally, you sit up and listen with great expectations to the remixed version, rendered by Balaji, Megha and Maya.
It starts, somewhat to your surprise, with the words Surangani Remix. Soon, it is back to the peppy number which made everyone do a jig years ago. Though you've heard this song many times before, the charm of this number interspersed with random chanting and a guitar piece remains intact. Despite the rather 'modern' additions of 'oohs' and 'aahs', the staccato beat and simple lyrics still work.
Kadhal Theeviravathi starts rather intriguingly with a piano piece, hinting at emotional angst, in Vinaya's fluid voice, with Jaidev for company. It's a predominantly melody-based piece, less of instrumental antics, and soon descends into an oft-heard tune. Priyan's lyrics depict a familiar romantic landscape; some lines remind you of the romantic number in Dhool. Strains of a harmonica alleviate some of the been-there-heard-that sensation you experience. It's not new but still makes for a good listen.
Christopher, Ramya and Chorus kick-start Lusimbara with a slam-bang blend of song and synthesised music that reminds you of early 90s club-music -- very hip and happening. Annamalai's lyrics are plainly meant for the IT crowd, with lines like Mannil vantha magnet nilavae and then, suddenly, there's an interlude of Dum Maro Dum, which, somehow, goes well with the general tone of the song itself. In fact, the song ends with those lines once again. This one is for the club-set.
Ammane begins in Arabic, reminding you of Himesh Reshammiya's nasal soundtracks reinforced by a really catchy tune and dance-worthy lyrics that make you want to start jiving immediatedly. A few minutes into the song and then it hits you -- the song is a straight rip-off of Ammaneh, Lebanese-Emirati singer Diana Haddad's famous hit.
There are also certain suggestive groans and moans by Nithesh Gopalan, Belliraj, Dhinesh and Vinita that leave you imagining all sorts of eye-popping interludes. Wonder how this one is going to be picturised.
Chinna mamiye, once again is the modern version of Ceylon A E Manohar and Eknath's yesteryear gana classic rendered this time around in an equally peppy fashion by Christopher, Balaji, Shobha Chandrashekar and Vinaya. After so many years, it still manages to be a raunchy number albeit an amusing one.
Vijay Antony seems to have gone out in providing a commercial fare -- more than half the album is comprised of two past mega-hits, and one international hit. The album works because of these original artists. Regretfully, he can't claim credit for creating the 'remixed' songs (unless you take in lewd lyrics and remix credit). Pandhayam wouldn't make any impact without them.