You can buy the soundtrack on iTunes here.
Familiar Rahman sounds abound in the anthemic Nenjae Yezhu, complete with that signature scale change in the second half. But the orchestral grandeur (particularly the strings) and ARR’s own rousing rendition ensure that the song works as it should. Sonapareeya has its appeal built around the nifty arrangement elements like the processed naadaswaram hook (played by Thiru Murthy whom I previously heard in Ranjit Barot’s Bada Boom, and MK Nataraj) but otherwise fails to make a lasting impact despite the talented Haricharan and Javed Ali leading the vocals (along with Nakash Aziz, and Sofia Ashraf who does a rap cameo). Not sure what Sonapareeya means, but it gives the feeling of a non-Tamil word and seems awkward. I Love My Africa, which might well have been a sly tribute by Blaaze to the land he grew up in, stays true to its title both in terms of orchestration and lyrics. The song however fails to deliver much beyond the functional value.
It is in the remaining four tracks where Maryan’s music really hits the mark. While the naadaswaram and African music fail to take the song all the way in the previous two instances, in Kadal Raasa Naan Rahman brings the two together with an awesome bass riff to create an addictive product. Yuvan Shankar Raja may not be the best singer in town, but he does a pretty decent job here in his debut playback for ARR. Yenga Pona Raasa features little else apart from Shaktisree Gopalan’s soft crooning and Keba Jeremiah’s guitar, and do they nail the song or what?! The nearly one minute stretch from 1:42 is my favorite bit. The best two of the soundtrack both feature the brilliant Vijay Prakash. Innum Konjam has some lovely interplay of strings, accordion and ghatam (played by Umashankar Vinayakram, son of Vikku who had featured in Rahman’s Jana Gana Mana album as well) in a folksy setting, backing the impeccable rendition by Vijay and Shweta Mohan. And Naetru Aval which is my current favorite, has Vijay joined by another equally talented singer Chinmayi Sripaada, both of whom do a splendid job on their part (get a strong feeling that there is a second male singer too). The arrangement is once again stunning – the soft strains of piano and accordion, the soaring violins, a slight hint of sarangi(surprisingly short bits) in a couple of places, the subtle use of chorus – beautiful combination.
Maryan. Definitely not on par with A R Rahman’s previous soundtrack that had similar settings, but at least a couple of songs are here to stay.
Music Aloud Rating: 8/10
Top Recos: Naetru Aval, Innum Konjam, Yenga Pona Raasa