It does hurt a bit to hear Kavalam Narayana Panicker’s words treated the way they are, in Lucky Ali’s non-Malayali tongue, but I am more than willing to forego that pain for the brilliant bluesy arrangement from Prashant Pillai that features some kickass guitars by Alok Kulkarni and harmonica (played by Lucky Ali himself). And that diction factor apart, Lucky Ali pulls off a super job in Vattolly, complete with that guffaw at the end. With just finger-snapping and bass for most part and a wonderful choir comprising of Kavita Mohan, Shwetha Mohan, Preeti Pillai and Sanker Sharma, Prashant presents a brilliant church music flavored Aathmaavil. Preeti Pillai and Sreekumar Vakkiyil (of Anuraaga Vilochananaayi I am guessing) rule the other Christian song Solomonum Shoshannayum; Prashant providing a haunting tune that could easily pass off for a traditional hymn. Orchestration is fairly non-existent, but for Mahendra Kamble’s woodwind cameo in the latter half. This song alone has lines (pretty neat ones at that) by PS Rafeeque.
Pampara Pa Pa is the song that came out as the Shaapp video (full video shot in a single take it seems!) a few days back. Kavalam’s lines are given a folk tune, but the arrangement remains Prashant trademark – a fab guitar hook to which brass percussion (Tao Issaro, who also featured in David) adds on as the song progresses, building to a crescendo. Sopanam Anil, Sopanam Satheesh, Remya Nambeesan and Nithin Raj do their part with equally fitting exuberance. Meen brings to fore the other Non-Malayali debutant, Alyssa Mendonsa. The accent is better in this case, and in any case the voice quality makes it worthwhile. Arrangement is once again of the minimal-yet-magical kind, the composer neatly bringing together accordion, finger snaps and ukulele. The Theme of Amen is elevated above its situational value by an interesting shift in styles and prominent use of percussion (taiko drums by Tao Issaro again, I am guessing). The church music flavored segment is my fav; would have been happier had the whole song been on those lines. Behind the mic are Sanker Sharma, Alphons Joseph, Prashant and Preeti Pillai. Karuthiku Thithai is the only song which didn’t quite work for me, the noise levels not quite to my taste. That said, lively job from Sopanam Anil, Sopanam Satheesh, Nithin Raj and Sanker Sharma.
For the third time in as many partnerships, Prashant Pillai delivers a winner for Lijo Jose Pellissery. And this is the best so far.
Music Aloud Rating: 8.5/10
Top Recos: Vattolly, Aathmaavil, Solomonum Shoshannayum, Pampara Para Para, Meen