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Yuvan Shankar Raja disappoints
Saraswathy Srinivas | November 23, 2006 18:16 IST
Director Ameer gave us a musical bonanza in Ram, with music by Yuvan Shankar Raja, one of the top composers today. For his forthcoming film Paruthiveera also, Yuvan has done the music. Yuvan known to have something different in his kitty, and so with Ameer and Yuvan coming together again, expectations were very high.
But Paruthiveeran is a thorough letdown.
Yuvan himself proclaimed at the Paruthiveeran audio release that he wanted to do something different and decided to go folksy. But variety should not be for variety's sake. Folk music can be enchanting, as has often been proved by Yuvan's legendary father Illayaraja. It needs lyrical excellence, rhythm, music, and grace -- all in the right measure. Paruthiveeran falls well short in all these departments, except in the first track rendered by the maestro himself.
The opening track Ariyatha vayasu, rendered by Illayaraja, is all about youth who are not worldly-wise, and cannot analyse the vagaries of their own mind. Their whole life is focused on kadhal (love), and everything else is sidelined. This song is the album's highlight, mainly due to the maestro's voice and its haunting feel.
Sari sama pakuthi, by Madhumitha, Madhurai Saroja and Ameer, starts with a classical strain which is interspersed in between with a folk tune. The words overlap each other and one can hardly make out the lyrics. The legend on the cassette jacket mentions lyrics as 'compiled' by Ameer and Dinesan.
In Tanka dunga, both lyricist and music director try hard to capture the village ambience, with music typical of art forms like therukoothu, karakattam, drama, rituals, pageantry etc. The lyrics are too prosaic, devoid of all musical elements.
The most abominable part of this album, however, is the parody of P Susheela's yesteryear superhit Gangaikarai thottam. The way it is rendered as if in a drunken stupor, eulogixing presumably some village VIP called Ramalingam, amounts to nothing less than blasphemy. True, fly-by-night 'poets' emerge during village festivals, but to make a mockery of such a classic song even in the name of realism is taking poetic licence too far; you do not expect this from a composer like Yuvan Sankar Raja.
Iayyayyo, a romantic number by Manickavinayagam, Krishnaraj, Shreya Ghosal and Yuvan is just bearable. Kudos to Shreya Ghosal for modulating her velvetty voice to suit the folk number. But the lyrics are unsavoury, bordering on the obscene in places. Yuvan's voice, though, bears an uncanny resemblance to his father, IIlayaraja's.
Uroram puliyamaram, the concluding number is just sound and fury, signifying nothing. Ear-splitting singing and orchestration, with lyrics interspersed with unrefined words, create a cacophony of voices and noises. When the male voice orders niruthungadi (stop it, you!), the listener is also compelled to stop the album.
This album could have been topical, perhaps in the 50s or 60s. For today's audience, the Paruthiveeran soundtrack is a big yawn.
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