Rakshadhikari Baiju (Oppu) – Music Review (Malayalam Soundtrack)

Songs and artist credits at the end.

Only last week was I mentioning in my review of Ramante Edanthottam that Bijibal seems to be consistently nailing the yesteryear sound in his compositions. In Rakshadhikari Baiju (Oppu) the composer once again proves the point with a delightful throwback to the late composer Johnson master’s composing style in Aakasham Panthaluketti (the Johnson reference here is bound to be deliberate given the director Ranjan Pramod’s deep adoration of the composer; in fact Pramod’s 2006 directorial debut Photographer was one of the last released works of Johnson). B K Harinarayan’s words and Sudeep Kumar’s singing all wonderfully complement the song’s retro vibe. Njanee Oonjalil sung by veteran singer P Jayachandran and Chithra Arun too carries that retro-ish earthiness about it, but here the signature of Bijibal is often evident. I mean it in a good way of course, the song is again a charming listen, aided big time by the singers. Composer himself gets behind the mic with Rakesh Brahmanandan and Bhavana to deliver the maappilappaattu Mohabbathin Munthiri Neere. Standard composition as far as the genre goes, but also engages as such songs usually do. The arrangement features some fine harmonium!

Bijibal creates a beautifully haunting melody in Vellilapoovine and keeps the arrangement minimal, so the focus remains on Anakha Sadan (who is still perhaps most popular for her spellbinding rendition of Malargale Malargale on Amrita TV Super Star Junior). And the singer will make you resent the fact that song is just under 1.5 minutes long! Another short track goes to Anuradha Sriram (been long since I heard that voice!) Raasathi is a folksy Tamil track, right down the singer’s alley, and she delivers it in style. The lady still sounds in her element; wonder why she doesn’t sing much. Santhosh Chandran’s guitar work rules the arrangement of Kathiravan, which also features a fine female vocalist, Bhavyalakshmi (possibly a debutante). The motivational Jeevithamennathu that equates life with a 20-20 match, is the only track that doesn’t really work. The melody doesn’t stick, the arrangement is stereotypical and average. Sprightly singing by Arun Alat though.

Rakshadhikari Baiju (Oppu). Composer Bijibal’s fine form this year continues, and this is his best so far.

Music Aloud Rating: 3.5/5

Top Recos: Aakasham Panthaluketti, Vellilapoovinte, Njaanee Oonjaalil

Musician Credits

Keyboard: Madhu Paul, Aby Salvin, Vyshakh Bejoy, Sarathchandran, Justin Varghese, Jibin Gopal
Wind: Subhash, Rajesh Cherthala
Guitar: Santhosh Chandran
Ethnic percussion: Sandeep Natarajan
Violins: Francis Xavier, Herald, Josekutty, Francis, Karol Geroge

All songs mixed and mastered by Bijibal at Bodhi.

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