Mudhi Mudhi is delightfully Raja-ish in its arrangement, Shilpa Rao doing an equally wonderful job rendering the buoyant number. Though fleetingly reminiscent of his compositions like Ninnu Kori from Agni Nakshatram and Three In One, the song charms in all three of its variants, the other two being an almost similary orchestrated Udhi Udhi again rendered by Shilpa, and a mellowed down Gali Mudhi by Shaan. But after that treat, things take a sober turn. Gumm Summ Gumm is a reproduction of Raja’s classic Malayalam composition Thumbee Vaa from Olangal, coming in the voice of his daughter Bavatharini. The 1982 track has found its reproduction in various forms in various languages, but none have so far managed to capture the magic of the original. Neither does Gumm Summ..,Â in spite of the clever improvisations like the jazz sequence in the second interlude.
The southie feel continues with the Muslim-styled Hichki Hichki rendered by Sunidhi. And the way it sounds it doesn’t seem to be of the type that will hold your interest for more than a couple of listens. Halke Se Bole sees yet another poor reproduction of an Ilayaraja classic of yore, this time Putham Pudhu Kaalai from Alaigal Olivathillai, the chorus idea turning rather unsavory. Mere Paa is not as enjoyable for the song part as for the novelty in Amitabh Bachchan‘s childish rendition. And the interludes by Ilayaraja. This song should turn much more entertaining with the visuals. The Theme song which closes the proceedings is a nice appealing tune, the same that appears in Mere Paa. The chorus version could have been replaced with a pure instrumental one though.
With just one truly exceptional tune in Mudhi Mudhi, Ilayaraja produces a just-about-average soundtrack for Paa, at least for his calibre. And looks like my dream to hear a totally non-recycled Raja album in Hindi will remain a dream forever!
Music Aloud Rating – 6.5/10
Recommended Tracks – Mudhi Mudhi, Theme Song, Gumm Summ Gumm
You can listen to Paa songs online here.
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