Odiyan – Music Review (Malayalam Soundtrack)

Songs and musician credits at the end.

If one goes through singer Shreya Ghoshal’s Malayalam portfolio, one will notice that the composer who has employed her singing the most – by a considerable margin at that – is M Jayachandran. Not that it is any reason to complain of course, the team has produced some lovely songs over the last nine years or so. Two of which happened in Aami earlier this year; with Odiyan, the composer adds two more to that list. First one is called Kondoram – a lovely romantic melody that the singer delivers alongside an equally competent Sudeep Kumar. The breezy arrangement sort of takes me back to M Jayachandran’s peak era in Malayalam (Mamazhayile from Mayilaattam comes to mind, for one). The folksier Maanam Thudukkanu has Ghoshal going solo and acing her part – the orchestration is beautifully done, evoking a highland-ish sense of freshness; loved the use of woodwind in particular (Kamalakar, the musician).

Owing to the fact that odiyan comes from Kerala’s folklore, the movie’s soundtrack has a vein of folk/tribal music running across its length. That aspect comes to the fore most notably in the celebratory Enoruvan, sung by the movie’s leading man Mohanlal. While the actor manages to infuse a lot energy into the proceedings, it is his singing limitations that also end up dragging the song down. In Nenjile, M Jayachandran manages to leverage singer Shankar Mahadevan’s proficiency with the higher registers quite well. The composition itself, however, has nothing else in particular going for it, and ends up a daunting affair. M G Sreekumar gets behind the mic for Muthappante Unni – aside of the fact that the singer’s voice doesn’t exactly sound like a muthappan’s (or perhaps people like me who grew up to the man’s songs will never be able to imagine MG Sreekumar as a muthappan figure!), the gentle melody is delivered very well by the man and makes for an incredibly soothing listen. Folk percussion and woodwinds mimicking birdcalls et al dominate the sprawling backdrop, accentuating the song’s appeal.

Odiyan. Composer M Jayachandran rounds off his busiest year in a long time – and a pretty productive one too – with a soundtrack that works in parts. A movie of this scale deserved a more wholesome album, but this is a neat piece of work nevertheless, one whose soundscape stays very faithful to the movie’s settings.

Music Aloud Rating: 3/5

Top Recos: Kondoram, Maanam, Muthappante Unni

Musician Credits

Lyrics: Rafeeq Ahamed
Singers: Shreya Ghoshal, Sudeep Kumar

Lyrics: Lakshmi Shrikumar
Singer: Shankar Mahadevan

Lyrics: Rafeeq Ahamed
Singer: Shreya Ghoshal

Lyrics: Lakshmi Shrikumar
Singer: M. G. Sreekumar

Lyrics: Prabha Varma
Singer: Mohanlal

Programming: Mithun Ashokan, Antony George

Additional rhythms: Edwin, Renjith, Shruthi

Flute, recorder, duduk: Kamalakar

Sarangi: Dilshad khan

Solo violin & backing vocals: Unni Elayaraja

Violin & Viola section: Rex Issacs

Orchestra Conductor: Unni Elayaraja

Voices recorded at: Aravind Audio Garage Mumbai, My Studio Kochi

Recorded, Mixed & Mastered at Muziklounge studios Chennai by Renjith Rajan, assisted by Midhun Manoj

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