Songs and credits at the end.
Adhara Madhura’s fusion arrangement runs along familiar lines but the dark, grand sound is impactful all the same, aided by Teenu Treasa’s commendable singing. What elevates the song however are composer Manoj George’s violin solos, especially in the prelude where he expertly switches between Carnatic (panthuvarali raga) and Western modes. The equally dark Urvi Theme Song – which even references Adhara briefly – is short, but more imaginative by way of arrangement. Bangalore-based indie musician Sylvester Pradeep lends his voice for this one. My limited knowledge of Kannada prevents me from figuring out a lot of the lyrics in Kelu Ranga Kelu but I caught mythological references, and given the general light-heartedness in the arrangement and rendition, the song sounds like accompaniment to a humorous stage act of sorts. Fun track.
Manoj delivers his best for the soundtrack in the remaining two songs (both incidentally loosely based on raga kalyani/yaman). Thili Prema comes in two versions – the main version features Madhushree Narayan and Charan Raj, man who delivered two fine Kannada soundtracks last year. Neat melody, and the arrangement is splendid, ruled by the composer’s violin and Nikhil’s flute; they do a particularly fine job in the interludes. The second one titled guitar version has Madhushree going solo with Sandeep Mohan’s guitars for support. The melody is good enough to carry off the unplugged style arrangement too, though I prefer the original one. Finally, Kanna Hani has K S Chithra delivering a spotless rendition as usual, while the composer layers multiple violin tracks (all played by him) in a chamber orchestra-eque setting. The result is exquisite!
His second Kannada soundtrack coming after a gap of nine years, and Manoj George delivers a winner! One wonders why this is only the third soundtrack in the man’s entire career (Athmeeya in Kannada in 2008 and Vaadhyar in Malayalam in 2012 aside of the background score for 2000 Malayalam film Kharaaksharangal). For those unfamiliar with the man’s works, I suggest that you YouTube for Manoj George 4 Strings.
Music Aloud Rating: 3.5/5
Top Recos: Kanna Hani, Thili Prema, Adhara Madhura
Flute – Nikhil
Guitars( Acoustic and electric)- Sandeep Mohan
Keyboard programming – William Francis & Manoj George
Solo Violin – Manoj George
All songs composed and arranged by Manoj George.
Revolution Studios, Bangalore
New Wave studios, Bangalore
Krimson Avenue studios, Chennai
Tala Studio, Bangalore
Oshin Green Studio, Kottayam
Praveen Studio, Thrissur
Mixed and Mastered by Sujith, Krimson Avenue Studios, Chennai
(Urvi Theme song mastered by Ricky Kej)