Director Thankar Bachan's Pallikoodam is based on his own novel, Kalavupona Paguthikal. The movie stars Narein in the lead role as a district collector, with Sneha as a schoolteacher. The director himself dons the greasepaint in the film, said to be a nostalgic look at school days. Composer Bharadwaj's soundtrack fits this theme.
The 6-track album kickstarts with Meendum pallikku pogalam, a nostalgic look at school life. But the composer seems to be still reeling under the euphoria of Gnyapagam varathae and the unforgettable Ovvoru pookkalumae from his own Autograph. Though Meendum pallikku is different in tune, it is those two Autograph tracks repackaged in genre, spirit and content, including the clapping towards the end. Snehan's lyrics too follow the same pattern. Still, the number rendered by the composer himself, featuring interesting instrumentation and a good chorus, is listener-friendly. Children reciting the school prayer and the ringing of the school bell in the background help to create the ambience. The track is repeated later, perhaps as filler, though it doesn't have much rewind value.
Kadu padungiromay by Ramji's Isai Mazhalai (Ramji's children's music troupe) is rhythmically rendered by children, yet thought-provoking. Simplicity is the keynote of Vivega's lyrics. It expresses the joys of school days and the children's fears and grievances, like the teacher letting out his anger against his wife on the children, and the parents, insensitive to their progenies' aptitude, making them prey to their high-level ambitions etc. It is also a telling commentary on today's educational system. The composer has used the chorus effectively and, in between, added a folk touch to the orchestration.
The following Indha nimidam by Srinivasan and Janani, in a mellow yet intense style, has a hypnotic quality. Na Muthukumar's lyrics ably convey the lovers' anguished longing and their anxiety about whether their moment of togetherness will last. The composer effectively uses western as well as Indian instrumentation, with the rendition gliding smoothly towards a classical bend at the end. The tune has an appealing old world aura.
The brief and somewhat fast-paced 9manikku 9manikku again by Ramji's Isai Mazhalai which comes next is also about school life.
Manasu maruguthey by Subiksha and Narayanan, along with the earlier Indha nimidam, is the toast of this album. The lovers are awestruck yet confused by the sensations within them and wonder whether it is love or infatuation. It is sheer, soul-touching melody with awesome instrumentation. The flute-guitar-violin interpretations, impressive chorus and the classical touch are the distinctive facets of this track. The whispery yet emotional style of Subiksha and Narayanan is very much in keeping with the sentiments of Thenmozhi's lyrics. The delicate structure of Subiksha's voice combines well with that of Narayanan, who almost sounds like SP Balasubramaniam when he hits the high octaves.
Rosemary neeyoru, by Gana Ulaganathan and Suchitra Raman, is a straight lift from the TMS-P Susheela hit Naanamo innum naanamo, from MGR-Jayalalitha starrer Aayirathil Oruvan. The orchestra and rhythm remind you of western club dances, and duets sung on horseback in yesteryear cinema. Some lines in an irritating voice pop up suddenly, making the whole track sound flippant.
Not a bad album, with a couple of absorbing tracks.