Debut music director Yugendran's Tamil album Veeramum Eeramum has hardly any 'veeram' (energy/bravery) in it. His music at the best is mournful and at the worst funereal.
Yugendran, singer Malaysia Vasudevan's son, tries to follow the Ilayaraja route, choosing folksy tunes and imitating the maestro's style. Comparisons are odious, but you have say this -- whereas Ilayaraja's compositions are soul-stirring, Yugendran's fail to touch even the periphery of the soul. It is mood music but the mood throughout is melancholy and satiating. And that is the bane of this album.
The film Veeramum Eeramum is reportedly based on the life and death of Venkatesa Pannaiyar, who was killed in a police encounter in September 2003. Pannaiyar was a good samaritan to his supporters and a don to his opponents and the police.
Director Sanjayram has found the Pannaiyar's rollercoaster life colourful enough to produce and direct a film based on it. He has penned the lyrics too and is also doing a pivotal role in it.
Saravanan, who gave an impressive performance in Paruthiveeran, is the Pannaiyar in the film and Sonia the female lead.
The somnolent predilection of Yugendran from the word start puts you off. It was indeed delightful to see Chithra's name as singer of the opening duet Maanae Mayilazhakae with Yugendran, as she has become a rarity on the playback scene these days. But Cithra sounds different in this number. What has happened to her dulcet voice? Does the fault lie with the recording? The track ends like a lullaby. Though the lyrics are full of tender sentiments, minimum instrumentation dominated by flute notes and subdued orchestra only add to the cheerless mood.
Oru Kshanan by Harish Raghavendra and Srilekha Parthasarathy though a romantic duet, also goes the gloomy way. Harish Raghavendra as usual has been able to bring out great feeling. His voice suits the depressing tune. Srilekha goes through the whole exercise in a deliberately casual manner. Much cannot be made out of the lyrics as they are drowned by the orchestra.
The folksy duet Purusha Payalae by Karthik and Prasanthi is the only track in this album which can boast of a tiny bit of life and energy. Instrumentation is again subdued and it is a mellow Karthik you find in this number. Prasanthi's baby-voice is irksome. The track brings to mind Simbu's ever popular Loose Pennae though the tune is totally different.
If the tone was mournful till now, it slides into funereal with the next Yugendran solo VaanamThottu Uyarndhaviya. Yugendran follows the Ilayaraja style of singing in this number. But the comparison stops there. He could infuse neither the maestro's artistry nor emotional content in his rendition.
Sapam Pudicha Payya, the short piece starts with ringing of the bells and blowing of the conch shell typical during a funeral procession in Tamil Nadu. Swarnalatha's voice has depth and no false notes. Her open throated rendition brings out in full measure the heart-wrenching pain and pathos following a loved one's death.
The album comes to an inauspicious close with a very brief dirge rendered by the composer and Deepan Chakravarthy together, wailing over the death of, probably, the protagonist.
Yugendran is able to bring out feelings and emotions in his compositions. What is lacking though, is variety, originality and individuality of style.