Ulidavaru Kandanthe – Music Review (Kannada Movie Soundtrack)

Multiple people have recommended this soundtrack to me over the past week, and on giving it one try I could see why. Hence I decided to write a review despite the movie soundtrack releasing three weeks back (my bad, for some reason I thought the movie is already out).

You can listen to the soundtrack here (link via @oomahe).

In some ways, Kanna Muchhe reminded me of Luka Chhuppi, there is a similar kind of tenderness in the tune and delicate treatment by composer B Ajaneesh Loknath, and a back-and-forth of sargams at the end (aced by singers Shankar Mahadevan and Vani Harikrishna). Gatiya Ilidu has a predominantly 90s sound to it, but for the Latino/Middle Eastern tweaks that the composer adds V places. Vocal credits have been given only to Vijay Prakash though there is a definite second voice. Vijay gets a more engaging second track too, Male Marathu, a sinister piece that is smartly arranged by Ajaneesh with some particularly neat use of keys. The singing is unsurprisingly flawless.  One of the soundtrack’s most interesting tracks goes to Shreya Ghoshal. Kaakig Banna Kantha has a highly intriguing arrangement, combining violins and synth and the occasional cawing! And Shreya has little difficulty handling the sensuous, languid rendition. Paper Paper has the kids’ energy working for it, though even that doesn’t save it from sounding repetitive after a while. It is quite possibly the Taratino fan boy inside the director Rakshit Shetty that led to Knock Knock, a fairly obvious take on Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang (which was in Kill Bill’s OST). Neat adaptation by the way, well sung by CR Bobby but for the slightly accented English.

Huli Vesha/Tiger Dance starts on a surf guitar-led Wild West-esque prelude, segueing into a brass band section that sounds straight out of Shankar Jaikishan’s Raga Jazz Style if not for the folk percussion (quite possibly going with the tiger dance that the title indicates). The Final Showdown follows a similar style but produces much more engaging results, Ajaneesh adeptly layering Arabic elements over a folk percussion-led base (this time more aligned to theyyam it would seem, except I could not discern a chenda sound). Even the promotional title song has a similar percussion format (this time with a proper chenda melam) but the limited singing capabilities of the composer and director drag the song down considerably. Richie’s Theme has a lot of interesting sounds, but is majorly functional in its entirety. The auto-tuning of the composer and director’s voices irks in the title track, but the arrangement and the sing along-ish tune help mitigate that problem. The theme song is another wonderfully done instrumental piece where Ajaneesh brings together guitars and violins and brass in a fabulous anthemic fashion, after a very Sound Tripping-evocative start. Couldn’t figure out what the chorus keeps chanting, but that adds a nice effect to the song.

I don’t know how good Ajaneesh Loknath’s debut soundtrack Shishira was, but if Ulidavaru Kandanthe is anything to go by, this is one talent to watch out for!

Music Aloud Rating: 8.5/10

Top Recos: Kaakig Banna Kantha, The Final Showdown, Theme Song, Male Marathu

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