Aaryan Dinesh Kanagarathnam and Sri Rascol’s rap game is totally on point in Showkali; there are some insane tongue-twisty phrases that the duo deliver brilliantly! Wish the song was as impressive though, the arrangement is just too convoluted for comfort. The only place where it really works is just after the Nee Kulingi Nadakkum segment (that came out as teaser a while back) with the kuthu beats joining the proceedings (takes me back to Pettai Rap, that portion), before getting abruptly cut off. Aditya Rao handles the melodic bits in between. Aditya Rao gets a more prominent role in the much more appealing tuneful duet Idhu Naal with Jonita Gandhi. There seems to be something of a throwback to Hosanna at times, especially the interludes, it is a nice listen nevertheless. Thalli Pogathey too features some excellent singing, this time from Sid Sriram (supported by Aparna Narayanan and Aaryan Dinesh Kanagarathnam). The familiar sound that exists about the song works against it this time, though.
It is the remaining two songs that make the what-we-thought-might-never-end wait for Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada’s soundtrack worthwhile. And I particularly love the fact that both the songs have violin solos playing a prominent role. Avalum Naanum has a simple melody that is tenderly delivered by Vijay Yesudas (there seems to be an interesting pattern in the way A R Rahman uses Vijay’s voice), amidst the brilliantly employed flute and Western style strings section (Chennai Strings Orchestra) led by R K Prabhakar on solo violin (also conductor of the orchestra). And then there is Rasaali, the song where composer masterfully incorporates Carnatic elements into an atmospheric setting. What starts with an instantly appealing melody gets elevated to another level come interlude that features Ganesh’s (of Ganesh Kumaresh I assume) violin rendition of the Patnam Subramania Iyer composition Valachi Vachi, joined midway by flute and Swaminathan Selvaganesh on kanjira. Topping it all off is the astoundingly nuanced singing by Sathya Prakash and Shashaa Tirupati!
Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada. A R Rahman does not manage to deliver another Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya to director Gautam Vasudev Menon, but he does give him two special songs.
Music Aloud Rating: 7.5/10
Top Recos: Rasaali, Avalum Naanum, Idhu Naal