Merselaayitten has some good bits in its arrangement – that violin in the second interlude is my favourite – but the obscene level of vocal processing for Anirudh (not so much in case of Neeti Mohan who does the backing) pretty much ensured that I will not hear much of this one. Pretty much the same story with the remix. The chorus bit that kicks off Ladio sounds very promising (unintelligible singing apart), before the song switches over to standard techno fare. Good singing debut by Nikita Gandhi nevertheless. What could have been the song of the soundtrack riding on the back of Rahman’s haunting piano-led orchestration (that also sees some lovely guitars and strings in the latter half), Ennodu Nee Irundhaai is marred by Sid Sriram’s patchy rendition which seems to oscillate between brilliant and awkward. Wish Sunitha Sarathy had a longer part to play, it is hardly that one gets to hear her of late.
The Reprise version of Ennodu is where the soundtrack actually starts looking up. The arrangement is watered down to a pop-flavoured one (mildly evocative of Ek Mohabbat Hai I felt), but with a touch of ambient – the backing vocalist’s (uncredited – Natalie Di Luccio?) humming adds an ethereal feel to the whole thing. Even the lead singing is top class; Chinmayi is brilliant as ever, and even Sid sounds way better here. Aila Aila has an interesting tune which is supported by an equally enticing orchestration – elaborate orchestral elements coming together with a techno base, a very nicely employed chorus and even some Punjabi thrown in for good measure. Another debutant on vocals, Aditya Rao (who previously sang Shankar Tucker’s Mann Mohini cover) does a good job but the show-stealer is Natalie Di Luccio whose Tamil may be accented but the operatic singing is splendid! In Pookkalae Sattru Oyivedungal we have the best of the soundtrack, a charming melody (shades of Mohanam in places, I think) that is nailed by Haricharan and Shreya Ghoshal. The composer adds a lot of lovely touches (like the dripping of water) to the guitar-led arrangement that make it totally irresistible – this should make for quite a visual treat given the way Shankar treats his romantic songs.
I. Three winning songs in a half-and-half soundtrack from A R Rahman. Still would rate in the lower half of the ARR-Shankar repertory.
Music Aloud Rating: 8/10
Top Recos: Pookkalae Sattru Oyivedungal, Aila Aila, Ennodu Nee Irundhaal (Reprise)