Kadal | 2012

Composer: A R Rahman

Author : Srivathsa

Synopsis: “Kadal”’s music engulfs us with a passionate ocean of music.

It is sometimes a very odd feeling that runs all over your musical brain, when you are eager to listen to a particular music, which you’ve been expecting for a while to listen to.; the dilemma, if you’ve to be a fan, listening to music and help yourself to enjoy the music; or to listen to the nuances of a composition, understand it and make you critical thought about it. I decide to let it go the first listen, as a fan of the composer and be more critical in the subsequent listens. Well, it worked; Listening to A R Rahman’s “Kadal”, is one such experience and the contentment lies in the thought that it is a film by the ace Rahman extractor, Maniratnam.

The album welcomes us with a comforting “Chithirai Nila”, sung by Vijay Yesudas, who tries to be accented rustic. While partly victorious with the accent, he succeeds with his voice. The song starts leisurely enough to grab your attention on the lyrics and repeats itself once more. The percussion commences along with a hallow wind instrument striking balance and it subtly reminds me of Rahman’s title track of “Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa”. Somewhere in the background at the foundation, we hear a sarangi, which makes us wait for the rest. Ambient composition, lyrics that were written to inspire, “Chittirai Nila” triumphs more as the song progresses, with the chorus and Vijay’s melodic vocals.

“Adiye” is the killer track. It is something that only Rahman can pull off. This singer’s song sung astoundingly by Sid Sriram, starts off wildly with a soulful vocal piercing out. Unhurriedly, the rhythmic strums emerge out, as the number traverses to a superior and lethal composition. While, you cannot imagine, how the song might ever suit to a rural canvas, it prospers your imagination and passes out with flying colours. Brilliant, as one might say the high pitched vocals with deliberately and suitably organized mismatch choirs, makes this composition an outstanding piece of work. Young music directors out there in the industry should look out for such outlandish, but daunting efforts, which probably Rahman shoots out as a lesson .

“Moongil Thottam” by Abhay Jodhpurkar, opens with a guitar strum and harmonious voice chorus. It’s a Song that reminds us off his early days of “Pudhiya Mugam” or songs like “Chittirai Nilavu” from “Vandicholai Chinnarasu”. The music’s landscape enlarges to an ambient, surreal environment. The female vocal, by Harini, singles in after the cello-ish interlude, only to spirit us with a distressing delivery.

And there comes, Rednex’s American country “Cotton Eye Joe”-ish, Rahman sung, racy and stupendous chord driven number “Eley Keechan”. Striking and perfectly rendered guitar work, along with a bass that a touch, resembles “Mustafa Mustafa” , starts with a mumbling chorus, when the composer steps in, to meticulously enjoy himself singing, an incredible composition. Although, he might have concentrated more on the diction, he is fantastically accented, and leaves no displeasure, in the composition. Interludes here are deft ones, alongside harmonic orchestration with prevailing, cheerful chord progression. Who else, other than Rahman himself can deliver such a beauty!

“Nenjukkule”, sung by Shakthishree Gopalan, is an outing where the composer takes us into his world of luminously orchestrated music and the good ol’ Rahman’s past. The first interlude is superior, so is the scale change of the vocals following it. Strong, but melodious is the female’s voice, that might haunt us around for a few nights and places where the music covers up for her voice, towards the beginning of Rahman sung, second interlude, it’s just way too exquisite that you might not be able to defy, smiling. And you will keep smiling, till the end of the song.

“Anbin Vaasale”, is perhaps the weakest of all the entries of the album. While muscularly voiced by Haricharan, the song essentially takes its route on a choir path. It is loud, nice and good, but then I’m unsure, where it fits in this album. Well, I might be wrong too.

“Magudi Magudi”, is that peppy, rollicking disco number, with a short piece of Tamil rap at the commencement. And then the song chants “Magudi Magudi” for a while, interrupted with wild girls’ snares. While most of the song gets trapped inside the Magudi chant and a female voice over, the song just fits in itself as a number that would surely make someone dance or is it possibly a background run over like “Dol Dol” from “Yuva”? Open the dance floors!

Something that still bothers me with the album is the lyrics and the sort of music that it is pitched into. They are two different things; yes, the music is all bass, chord progressions and American country styled, while the lyrics are rustic, Indian country sided (sea sided). Well, for the answer, we might have to rely on Maniratnam and Rahman’s possible deliberate new strategy or modernism, for which we might have to wait and watch.

“Kadal”’s music is an experience; calmly experimental and strangely innovative. Rahman steps up once again after a meekly mediocre “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”, to a superior album, that will wreck you after a few listens. Get Rahman-wrecked! Brilliant!

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