Listen to the soundtrack here.
Kamal Haasan’s spirited recitation of his own lines with a Kadavul Paathi-esque intonation, Shankar Mahadevan’s jaijaiwanti-based main tune (what a singing!), the chorus all blend in quite beautifully to form the kathak-based piece Unnai Kaanadhu. The arrangement sees an equally commendable mix of instruments – the sarangi, bassline, harmonium and the time signatures being the highlight. That mild reminiscence to Mukunda Mukunda which probably arises from the raga I am willing to ignore given the beauty of the song. The title song utilizes Suraj Jagan’s rock-style rendition quite well amongst smart segues into the chorus-led Arabic segments (punnaagavarali raga, I think). And Loy’s son Shane Mendonsa (who has in the past done remixes for SEL in Bunty Aur Babli, Don etc) remixes the song with an interesting mix of techno genres, I particularly liked the shift to dubstep for the Arabic portions.
Another pick of the soundtrack is Thuppakki Engal Tholile with its particularly slick use of strings, be it in the breezy section where Benny Dayal aces the English-Tamil delivery, or the Arabic-flavored part backing Kamal Haasan’s singing. Even the percussion is quite neat even as it shifts almost imperceptibly between drums and darbukas. The composers bow out with another winner Anu Vidhaiththa that gets off to a breathtaking start with Alma Ferovic’s ethereal voice, before moving onto Nikhil D’Souza and then to Kamal Haasan. Kamal in this one reminded me of the epic title song of Anbe Sivam – impactful on almost the same level, particularly in the soaring anthemic portions. And that harp hook present all through, adds to the dreamy charm of the song.
The Shankar Ehsaan Loy soundtrack I was looking forward to most this year, and they make the wait totally worthwhile. If Chittagong was the best SEL have sounded in a long time, Vishwaroopam is one step ahead. Must listen!
Music Aloud Rating: 8.5/10
Top Recos: Unnai Kaanadhu, Anu Vidhaiththa, Thuppakki