A catchy tune and Vishal Dadlani’s singing make his Tamil debut Oh Penne an engaging affair despite its various elements instantly traceable to the composer Anirudh Ravichander (who also joins Vishal on vocals). The arrangement is not without its highs though – particularly liked the way the santoor sound is used in the first interlude. And the song definitely scores higher than the remix-y International Version. Good job by the singers Arjun and Charles Bosco however. Anirudh and Andrea Jeremiah’s playful back-and-forth makes for a fun listen in Engadi Porandha, and the composer adds to the fun with a wacky percussion-led arrangement. The Chennai ode called Chennai City Gangsta has some interesting rap war between Hard Kaur (another Tamil debut) and Hiphop Tamizha but the arrangement is too techno for my taste; should work on the dance floors though. And cute to see vocal credits given to Country Chicken for the crowing samples used!
Ailasa Ailasa is a very hummable melody, and is neatly rendered by Anirudh alongside (a different-sounding) Suchitra. But what rules the song is the composer’s employment of
naadaswaram (it is apparently shehnai as per @milliblog, played by Balesh) – it is lovely the way it follows the vocals around that title hook. The alternate version of the song called Osaka Osaka is even better, seeing some fantastic employment of strings and flute in a folksy template. The composer sings this one too, alongside the Super Singer Junior girl Pragathi Guruprasad. Best of the soundtrack goes to the third Bollywood debutant of the soundtrack, Papon. Hey is a delightful foot-tapper mix of guitars and sax and Celtic elements. And Papon delivers the singing part in his usual style (even throwing in some native folk bits in his humming segments), ably assisted by Maria Roe Vincent.
It is indeed a hat-trick of winners in Tamil for Anirudh Ravichander , with Vanakkam Chennai. Must-hear soundtrack!
Music Aloud Rating: 8.5/10
Top Recos: Hey, Osaka Osaka, Engadi Porandha