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Kanthaswamy's music is not Devi Sri Prasad's best

By Pavithra Srinivasan
June 03, 2009 11:19 IST
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Kanthaswamy, the Tamil movie produced by V Creations and directed by Susi Ganesan, has super hero Chiyan Vikram and Shriya in the lead. With pop-up figures and a push-flap that ejects CD and songbook simultaneously, the special effects almost make the purchase worth it. But let's see what the album tuned by Devi Sri Prasad has to offer:

The synthesized sighs and moans set off Excuse Me, and when Suchitra Karthik Kumar kicks off with less than stellar tune, and then goes into a rough and ready duet with Vikram, yelling "Poda, Podi!" you're less than impressed. Vikram hasn't been put to too much trouble, and his piece is performed without too many complications. Viveka's lyrics are strictly nonsense, and serve their purpose, with plenty of conversations stuffed in between. Looks like the Vada Mappillai song's hangover still persists for the composer. In fact, you're better off listening to that song.

Mambo Maamiya almost kicks off where the previous number left off; complete with a medley of rhythms and chorus that's a wee-bit interesting, until Rita's voice buzzes into your ears like a wayward fly. Thankfully, Vikram does much better here.  Fortunately, the peppy beats save the number from complete ignominy, along with the star's infectious enthusiasm. Possibly, the almost Caribbean music, interspersed with Latino beats adds to the appeal not to mention the funky guitar interlude. The vocals don't really add anything to the song but who cares, as long as the orchestration manages to keep pace?

Possibly the only thing that grabs your attention with Idhellam Dupe is the inexhaustible energy Vikram and Viveka bring as they rattle away every single food, relative, emotion and names in one, breath-taking monologue. Naturally, these lists are interspersed with a not-very impressive refrain of synthesized music and humming but at least, the lyrics save you. This one might make waves -- not for the extraordinary musical quality, but for the gimmicks.

What sounds suspiciously like a cackling hen cavorts around the pallavi, as the Murugan Temple Team's rhythms jives along with the synthesized beats to begin Kanthasamy's theme song, rendered by Devi Sri Prasad himself. In the middle arrive inexplicable Arabic tunes, presumably to add some variation which is a rather neat addition. The lyrics are typical of any hero-oriented number: the hero is the harbinger of all things good, ends evil and is generally god on earth. Worth a listen for the racy instrumental score.

Allegra begins with strains of western classical chorus, shifting neatly into a throbbing medley of trumpets and trombones aided by a Spanish frenzy, while Rita floats in with her suitably sensual voice. You settle down for a good listen, until you realise that it's an "inspired version" of Shakira's chartbuster Whenever, Wherever. The lyrics are all about her hotness, alleviated a little by the catchy refrain. A neat flute interlude takes you by surprise, and the composer seems determined to introduce as many different styles as possible -- an ambitious attempt that succeeds at times. Obviously this one's meant for the dance floors, and if you can forget Shakira's smooth moves, worth a listen.

Vikram and Priya Hemesh join hands for Meow Meow, suitably mingled with a cat's mewls, and possibly a number that reminds you, both in rhythm and lyrics, the raunchy number in Dhool. It is obviously a nod to the frontbenchers. 

En Peru Meenakumari begins with a hideously remixed version of the evergreen Chandrababu's Bambara Kannale, rendered enthusiastically in a high pitch by Malathy. The charanams are, thankfully, a welcome deviation from the rest. By the end, though, you become sort of reconciled to this mish-mash of old and new.

Taken together, it looks like Devi Sri Prasad has decided to bow down to the pressures of a commercial entertainer, and come up with an album that's a lot of sound, fury and (borrowed) tunes. The hullabaloo surrounding the fact that Vikram has sung all the songs is over-rated: the star has barely exercised his vocal chords. Kanthaswamy's picturisation might improve the songs but this is not really DSP's (as he styles himself) best.

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Pavithra Srinivasan