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Yuvan not at his best
Pavithra Srinivasan

A scene from Siva Manasula Sakthi.
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February 03, 2009 14:11 IST

Siva Manasula Sakthi (shortly addressed as SMS), a Vikatan Talkies Production, has been making news for Yuvan's music, lyrics by Na Muthukumar, and its release on Valentine's Day.

Here's a look at what the Tamil album (which comes accompanied, helpfully, with a lyric-booklet), has to offer:

A gentle medley of guitar strings, synthesized music and a steady rhythm begins MGR Illeenga, the mandatory hero-and-friends introductory piece, where Harichandran and Group sing about life, love, ambition, cutting classes, watching movies and sticking out tongues at authority figures. Fragments remind you of Enakkoru girlfriend venum from Boys and in fact, there's very little of Yuvan's distinctive touch here; more like a hotchpotch of A R Rahman and Harris Jeyaraj.

Oru Adangapidari begins with a blast of flutes and banging beats. Napoleon and Naveen have gone to town with the instruments while Shankar Mahadevan [Images] and Shwetha take turns chewing up the lyrics and spitting them out; appropriate, since it's all about a strong-willed brat of a girl who's taking the hero on a wild ride about town. It's a song that's been calculated to appeal to love-struck youngsters, even if it does seem a rip off of Come On Do The Boogie's refrain (remember the dance piece in Punnagai Mannan?)

Clinton and Nruthya render Eppadiyo Maattikitten. Even if this one seems to be an inspired version of Kadhalikkum Pennin Kaikal from Kadhalan, at least the music and rhythm are sufficiently interesting to make you give in to the melody. Interspersed are Punjabi beats, with a mixture of English, which is sure to captivate its target audience. This one's sure to be a chart-buster; it's got all the ingredients, even if it does imitate another chart-buster in its turn.

Oru Kal takes you a bit by surprise with its mildness and piano notes. Yuvan sings it in his characteristically nasal and slightly hip-hop voice. It's a typical ballad, complete with I'll-die-for-you lyrics and notes that stop just short of being syrupy. There is a catchiness (particularly in the piano-violin segment) to it that suddenly seizes your heart. It might be an oft-heard tune, but it does leave a mark.

The next number takes us back to Yuvan's potpourri of synthesized music and rap. Thithikkum Theeyai, sung by K K and Swetha, has a rap section that grabs your attention, rather than the song itself, which seems pretty run-of-the-mill.
Adnan Sami [Images] brings back another version of Oru Kal, and you have to admit, it gets better as you listen to it again.

Ranjith's Oru Paarvayil, finally brings Yuvan's touch to you in the form of his signature tune. Even if it's the last, shortest and possibly familiar track, it possesses that long looked for earnest sweetness.

Yuvan Shankar Raja is usually known for trying to bring in something new to even the most ordinary numbers, but here it looks like he's stopped short of that. Instead, he's played around with familiar melodies or taken inspiration from other songs, hoping to produce his brand of distinct music. Sometimes, the result falls flat; at others, even if it's attractive, it falls just a bit short of his unique style. Perhaps it was just the script that didn't do it for him. Either way, it lacks his usual pep. Hopefully, the picturization might add to what's missing.

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