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Ilayaraja is soulful in Naan Kadavul

By Pavithra Srinivasan
January 22, 2009 12:25 IST
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Maestro Ilaiyaraja is the music director of Bala's most awaited Tamil movie, Naan Kadavul (I am God), produced by Vasans Visual Ventures. Lets find out how it fares:

The clash of urumi and pampai reverberate in your ears as Om Sivo Ham begins with a ritual Sanskrit chant on Shiva, making you sit up eagerly in anticipation. Vijay Prakash makes an impressive beginning, his voice properly emotional, projecting a certain religious fervour. Vaali's lyrics are interspersed with Sanskrit chants, both intertwining to create a hypnotic effect. To those who're familiar with the composer's predilection for mantras, this will come as no surprise. A brief percussion segment follows ending with a clash of cymbals. The tagline Aham Brahmasmi makes an appearance as well.

Up next is Vaali's Kannil Paarvai which begins in an intriguing fashion. The medley of violins combining angst and sorrow,  and Shreya Ghoshal's voice suits the melody. There's a distinct North Indian flavour to the tune, and some segments remind you of eighties' Ilaiyaraja hits. The lyrics are touching, aided effectively by the notes, which do sound familiar and rather contrived at times -- but you're able to overlook those, as the maestro's touch adds a different feel to them.

Madha Un Kovilil rendered by Madumitha seems a simple, straightforward tune, written by Vaali, and is the shortest track in the album.

Ilaiyaraja has penned Pichai Pathiram and the opening segment is an ominous mixture of suppressed emotion, with flutes aiding the feeling. It's a tune you've heard before, used very well in movies like Pithamagan but its still effective here. Madhu Balakrishnan starts off with characteristic depth, and the pace changes briefly, before returning to the original, steady rhythm. Madhu retains the gentle sorrow that's the flavour of the whole song, making this one a pleasant listen.

Amma Un Pillai picks up where Madha Un Kovilil left off, this time in Sadhana Sargam's nasal voice. Vaali has penned the lyrics. The music has a distinctly late eighties feel, reminding you of Mouna Raagam days. It's a steady number, proceeding at a brisk pace but the tune is something you've heard often, and an Ilaiyaraja mainstay, you could say. Still, the maestro's worked magic with violins and the veena and those segments work wonders not to mention the lyrics themselves.

Oru Katril is essentially the male version of Kannil Parvai, rendered this time by Ilaiyaraja himself. Vaali has penned the lyrics. 

Some of the tunes might be familiar, but you can't deny that Ilaiyaraja manages to produce appealing music from his vast repertoire. He has been assisted ably by lyricist Vaali. Its angsty, sorrowful and practically bursting at the seams with emotions, and there's nothing peppy about this collection. It does tug at your heart-strings  which is what it's meant to do.

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Pavithra Srinivasan