Kaaviya Thalaivan – Music Review (Tamil Movie Soundtrack)

kaaviya-thalaivan-posterYaarumilla starts off sounding a little like Jashn-e-Bahara, before taking its own route, dominated all the way by Shweta Mohan with her singing (backed by Srinivas) and Raju on the clarinet. Oh, and there is that stunning second interlude. The joy of bilahari raaga and the percussion-heavy (thavil, mridangam and morsing mainly) arrangement from A R Rahman make Vaanga Makka Vaanga a fitting welcome song. Add to that the brilliantly nuanced singing by Haricharan and Dr. Narayan! Haricharan is apparently Siddharth’s voice in this movie, like Mohit was for Ranbir in Rockstar. In Aye Mr. Minor, Haricharan is joined by Shasha Tirupati and this pair too excels at the vocals (shades of maand raaga in the tune). The retro arrangement is quite soft on the ear with a lot of nice sounds, especially the mandolin (Seenu); here and there you can sense ARR channelling Vennila Vennila (Iruvar). Rahman keeps things simple and classical for the Thiruppugazh adaptation (I thought there is shuddha saveri raaga somewhere but @sdhrshn tells me there isn’t), and lets Vani Jayaram take the lead, which she does beautifully.

Sollividu Sollividu seems to be quite situational by its lyrics (Pa. Muthukumar penning a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in Kurukshetra) and arrangement that abruptly goes from a dark, frenzied mode to a slow lament (that second bit seemingly in charukesi raaga). Mukesh, the man who previously sang Theekkuruvi for ARR in Kangalal Kaidhusei, gets to sing this one and he pulls off the complex rendition with apparent ease. Sandi Kuthirai is a hoot; Rahman seemingly doing a nod to MSV’s rock n roll-based yesteryear style with some wacky inclusions of his own. And Haricharan matches the wackiness of the song with a frolicky rendition. Looking forward to seeing this one on screen. Finally there is Alli Arjuna, the thoroughly engaging dramatic take on the marriage between Alli and Arjuna, music in this case being a 10 and a half minute string of bit songs, all penned by late Vaalee and the singing divided between Haricharan and Bela Shende. I am no expert in Tamil but I could figure out the light-heartedness in Vaalee’s lines from some of the rhymes. The tune and style understandably keeps varying with each bit, if I were to pick my favourites they would be Alli Varugiraal (sivaranjani?) and Naan Annathooviyil. This is another song that would be totally worth watching.

One of the year’s most awaited soundtracks, and A R Rahman delivers in style. Big props to the singers (not just Haricharan) for a top class effort! Kaaviya Thalaivan. Go listen!

Music Aloud Rating: 9/10

Top Recos: Yaarumilla, Sandi Kuthirai, Aye Mr. Minor, Thiruppugazh

Musician credits (via @narvind0110)

Nadaswaram – PK Thirumurthy
Harmonium – Prasad, Kovai Natraj, Kuldeep
Guitar – Pradeep kumar
Tabla – YP Prasad, Sai Sharvan
Flute – Shashank, Kamalakar
Melodica & Recorder- Kamalakar
Shehnai – Balesh
Clarinet – Raju
Trumpet – Babu
Dilruba – Saroja
Veena – Devi
Mandolin- Seenu

Chennai Strings & Sunshine Orchestra – Conducted by VJ Srinivasamurthy
Recorded at AM Studios, Chennai

Additional Programming
Jim Satya, Satish Chakkaravarthy, Hentry Kuruvilla, TR Krishna Chetan, Marc, Santhosh Dhayanidhi


Panchathan Record Inn, Chennai
Suresh Permal, Srinidhi Venkatesh, T.R. Krishna Chetan, Jerry Vincent, R Nitish Kumar
Vinay S Hariharan

AM Studios, Chennai
S.Sivakumar, Kannan Ganpat, Pradeep, Karthik Sekaran, Anantha Krishnan

Mixed by KJ Singh
Mastered By – S. Sivakumar

Music Supervisor – Srinidhi Venkatesh
Project Manager – Suresh Permal

Musicians’ Coordinators – Vijay Iyer, Noell James
Musicians’ Fixer – R.Samidurai

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