180 (Tamil movie soundtrack) – Music Review

You can buy the soundtrack here for as much money you feel like paying after hearing the samples. Nice, no? 🙂

One thing that has made many of Sharreth’s works stand out in the past is the unconventionality in arrangement. While there have been cases where he went overboard with this penchant for the unorthodox and ended up making the song indecipherably complicated (there is a song from this 1999 movie Devadasi called Sudha Manthram which Unnikrishnan once called one of the toughest songs he has sung. Click on the song title and you will know why. 🙂 ), in the right doses they have gone on to charm the audience. The soundtrack of 180 happens to be one that belongs to the latter group. In Rules Kidaiyathu, it is the selectively timed usage of the percussion that catches one’s attention, and that combined with Tippu’s exuberant rendition make this a perfect opener for the soundtrack. In the grandly orchestrated AJ¸ there are times when the background abruptly goes empty, or suddenly gathers pace. And a wonderful choice of vocalists in Ramya Kapadia and Vidhu Pratap. And at no. 3 comes the song of the soundtrack, the surreal semiclassical track Sandhikkaatha Kangalil set presumably to the raga Kharaharapriya. Once again one would notice how in the background there happens a shift across an array of percussive elements, chendai to ghatam to ilathaalam and so on. After a long time Unni Menon gets a song and what a song! He is given good company by the fabulous Chithra (wonder it its her rendition or the structure of the song that gave me memories of Theendai from En Swaasakkaatrae) and a superb cameo by S Sowmya in the second interlude.

Nyaayam Thaana is one song where the Arab-flavored tune with the drawn-out attempt at native-sounding vocals by Sharreth doesn’t quite hit the mark. Nevertheless the mystic-sounding arrangement here too is commendable, the drums (taiko?) in the interludes, the strings et al. The bhajan Radhe Radhe also is too short to make an impact, and follows much too standard a tune to show any creativity on the part of the composer. The singing by Ramya Kapadia and Ravishankar is impressive though. And then comes another act of brilliance, the fantastically orchestrated breezy track called Nee Korinaal. A bit of electronic, a bit of rock, Sharreth packs in a lot of elements into this one and the result is exquisite. To add to that is the splendid singing by Karthik and Swetha Mohan. The composer ends the soundtrack with an anthemic track called Siru Siru Kanavugal sung by a young set of singers formed by Vidya Shankar, former finalist at Idea Star Singer (a show judged by Sharreth), Master Aswath, P Ajith and Master Sharath. The orchestration is spot on as with the rest of the songs, the ubiquitous chorus (or is it a synth generating that lower note drone?) particularly haunting.

One of Sharreth’s best works in recent times that sees him in fabulous touch. Hope he contributes an equally wonderful soundtrack to Malayalam soon.

Music Aloud Rating — 8.5/10

Recommended Tracks — Sandhikkaatha Kangalil, Nee Korinaal, AJ, Siru Siru Kanavugal