Starting on a majestic piano rendition a la Piano Guys (the African chant adds to the feel), Enthaara Enthaara is a 4 minutes 41 seconds long goose-bump fest! The piano is joined by the strings and the synth bass and percussion and myriad other ethereal sounds (lovely use of sitar in between), and then there is Shadab Faridi (that super-talented fellow who has perennially been sidelined to chorus in Bollywood; really happy Ghibran gave him lead vocals here) and Chinmayi carrying off the vocals like nobody’s business – this song is one hell of a keeper. More awesomeness follows with the Carnatic-based Kannukkul Pothivaippen (mix of ragas – one seems like hamir kalyani, one could be thodi) set to a curious arrangement that combines ghatam and jaltarang (or marimba/xylophone?) among other things, even as Charulatha Mani, Vijay Prakash, Sadhana Sargam and Dr. R. Ganesh do a fabulous job (loved that playful tone Charulatha takes on at one point towards the end) behind the mic. Assisted by an uncredited Bengali singer who sings some endearing folk bits, Yazin Nisar is at his soulful best rendering Yaaro Ival. In the background Ghibran goes about making outstanding use of violins; that second interlude is a beauty.
Rayile Ra’s grooviness makes interesting in parts, but the overdose of techno elements kills the fun more often than not. Even on vocals, Nivas, Haresh and Ashwitha do a fair job but the person leading them all, Bonnie Chakraborty, sounds oddly sub par. Of the three songs, Chillendra Chillendra is the one that Ghibran has most to contribute to in arrangement, and he does it very well too, just that he ends up making it sound very ARR (more like ARR via Amit Trivedi; Ha Raham from Aamir is what first came to mind). And doing a near-flawless rendition of the song are the composer’s favourite man Sundar Narayana Rao and Kaushiki Chakraborty, the only hitch being points where Sundar seems uncomfortably high-pitched. Khwaja Ji and Zikr are both traditional pieces and mostly Arifullah Shah Khalif-e-Rifayee and his group’s show, Ghibran keeps the arrangement keeps simple and minimal (Zikr is in fact the same piece of which ARR had done an adaptation for Bose The Forgotten Hero).
Composer Ghibran continues his amazing form in 2014 as well, pulling off another winner in Thirumanam Enum Nikkah.
Music Aloud Rating: 8.5/10
Top Recos: Enthaara Enthaara, Kannukkul Pothivaippen, Yaaro Ival