Kaalam Yen Kadhali has very few moments that truly entertain, and in its entirety the song is pretty underwhelming. Benny Dayal is energetic as usual however, with a good chorus to boot – it is their rendition of the refrain around the 2:50 mark that is one of the song’s few high points. Punnagaye gets off to a beautiful start with that prelude (I assume those strings belong to the kora played by Keba Jeremiah) and Shashaa Tirupati’s excellent rendition of a haunting tune that does a very brief throwback to the opening line of Kulirudhu Kulirudhu (A R Rahman even seems to deftly touch on hindolam raga to correspond with Vairamuthu’s mention of the raga!) at one point. Haricharan’s entry with that Adi Aathi portion however dilutes the mesmeric effect. The song engages otherwise, particularly Kamalakar on the flute. Evocation of Omana Penne aside, Mei Nigara’s arrangement is rather in keeping with the futuristic setting of the movie. And quite interestingly too, riding on that synthesised odaadhe hook and the voices of three competent singers Sid Sriram, Sanah Moidutty and Jonita Gandhi. It is only the dissonance between the said hook and the lead vocals that turned me off the song in its second half.
Shaktisree Gopalan delivers the lullaby Aararoo. Not without flaws, her rendition, but the tune and the simple arrangement (Keba’s astounding guitar work, largely) are alluring enough for the song to work. It is in the other melodic piece that Rahman produces the soundtrack’s best. Naan Un Azhaginile has a beautiful melody that is soulfully rendered by Arijit Singh and Chinmayi, and the composer backs the duo with some gorgeous strings by the Sunshine Chamber Group (good to see ARR use them in movies now). My Twin Brother is effective as a theme – dark, grand, thrilling and helped on its way by the Ayushman Bhava chants by Srinivasa Krishnan and Hriday Gattani.
24. Unlike Suriya’s previous outings with A R Rahman, this one impresses only in part.
Music Aloud Rating: 7/10
Top Recos: Naan Un, Aararoo, Punnagaye