Saturday 24th June 2017
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Kadal – Music Review

The highly-anticipated soundtrack for Mani Ratnam’s upcoming film "Kadal" released today, and there are some truly brilliant compositions by AR Rahman on the album.

Kicking off with a baby’s cry, "Chithirai Nela" is a real grower. It takes a while for the song to pick up – it’s really only just before the 2 minute mark that the song is elevated to a whole new level. That said, Vairamuthu’s beautifully-written lyrics and Vijay Yesudas‘ delicate singing maintain a level of elegance in the track from start to finish.

In a similar vein to "Aaromale" from "Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya", "Adiye" is a bluesy number with vocals by US-based singer Sid Sriram. The lyrics are stellar, and Sid has rendered the track – with its numerous vocal runs – effortlessly. It’ll be interesting to see how the visuals come together for this one.

"Moongil Thottam" is a mellow, lilting song with brilliant vocal peformances by both Abhay Jodhpurkar and Harini. The orchestration and interludes of this song add an air of sophistication to what is essentially your average love song, and Harini’s voice is simply spellbinding.

There’s not much to be said about "Elay Keechan", which reached the number 1 position on the iTunes chart shortly after its release. With lyrics in a rural dialect of Tamil, the folksy track is a foot-tapping number with vocals by the legendary AR Rahman himself.

"Nenjukulle" went down a storm after it was first performed on MTV Unplugged last month, and the beauty of it has not yet worn thin. Everything from the lyrics to Shakthishree Gopalan‘s voice is on point in this elegantly-composed ballad. 

Haricharan provides the vocals for "Anbin Vasale", a high-intensity Christian hymn with lyrics by Madhan Karky. The use of the Chennai Chorale gives the song a sense of grandeur, but it is Haricharan’s performance that is the stand-out element of this song. While "Anbin Vasale" may tick all the boxes for what is needed in a "typical" Church song, the ‘ARR touch’ ensures that it is anything but a run-of-the-mill hymn.

Sid Sriram isn’t the only international independent artiste to be featured on the Kadal soundtrack; Sri Lanka-based musician Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam takes the mic for "Magudi Magudi", an electro track. Chinmayi and Tanvi Shah provide vocals on the track as well. The focus is more on the beat than on the lyrics or melody, but it remains to be a catchy track that’ll get your head nodding along.

While it’s not the best we’ve heard from AR Rahman, there are some outstanding tracks on the Kadal album (such as my personal pick of the album, "Adiye") that are sure to go down a treat. 7/10