You can listen to the songs at the end of the review.
Adhaaru Adhaaru, the song that released earlier in December, follows the tried and tested folk route, something that always gets your feet tapping despite the familiarity. Vijay Prakash and Gana Bala’s energetic rendition of Vignesh Shivan’s quirky rhymes helps majorly mitigate the heard before-ness of the tune and arrangement. Mazhai Vara Pogudhae hits its high point in the second interlude with the uncredited female humming and the veena strains in the background. The song is otherwise very much Harris Jayaraj, and not in a good way. The singing by Karthik (with the occasional assistance from Emcee Jesz) is well done though. The title song starts well with its intriguing techno arrangement, but the allure doesn’t last long despite a spunky job by Devan Ekambaram, Mark Thomas and Abhishek.
It is in the other half that Yennai Arindhaal soundtrack starts showing some semblance of belonging to a Goutham Menon movie. I am waiting for the visuals to help me make sense of the incongruous bits that make up Maya Bazaar, but the individual sections are all wonderful. First off there is a trippy dubstep segment which leads rather abruptly into a beautiful retro-styled melody, which the composer reprises in a waltz-based fashion in the last bit of the same song, and in between the two sections there is a fun folk piece highlighted by its employment of the naadaswaram–thavil combo. Not sure who sang what part, but the four singers credited are Aalaap Raju, Priya Subramanian, Velmurugan and Krishna Iyer. Unlike the other techno tracks, in Yaen Ennai the composer gets his act totally right – the electronic elements are not noisy (the sax is a super addition), the tune is engaging and the choice of singers is excellent. Both Sunitha Sarathy and Kharesma Ravichandran render the song the way it should be (accented Tamil notwithstanding). Finally there is the lovely melody Unakkenna Venam Sollu that gets the rare fresh treatment from the composer. Special props for using Benny Dayal as the lead singer, I have felt that his ability to deliver the softer songs and the classical-oriented ones is very under-rated and under-utilised. And his singing here is proof of that. I was also glad to see Mahathi among singing credits after a long gap, but her role in the song is quite minimal. An alternate and equally fabulous version of the song titled Idhayathai Yedho Ondru has Chinmayi behind the mic. The treatment is slightly different, flute adding to the charm this time.
Yennai Arindhaal. Not the best to have come out of the Harris Jayaraj-Gautham Menon combo, but has some musical goodness in offer.
Music Aloud Rating: 7.5/10
Top Recos: Unakkenna Venam/Idhayathai, Yaen Ennai, Maya Bazaar