Mani Ratnam - AR Rahman is a combination that needs no introduction for their magic. Waiting not a moment more, let's dive into the refreshing tunes of the much awaited 'O Kadhal Kanmani'.
1. Kaara Aattakkaara
Voices: Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Darshana, Shashaa Tirupati
Lyrics: Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, AR Rahman, Mani Ratnam
The first song in the album welcomes you in all freshness. For all those looking forward to the album, wanting to catch as much as you can from the trailers and teasers, this is a familiar track. The song begins just the way it did in the trailers, backed by gentle string strums. And what awaits further is a bout of rap brimming with vigour. The song scores high in the booming beats that want you to get up and shake your hips. Varying vastly in momentum between the song and rap, the song also shows variation in tempo, midway. It includes whispers of dialogues too. In all, the first glimpse, is sure to make you run it on loop, for its enlivening new feel.
2. Aye Sinamika
Next one in line must also be a familiar tune, given the latest teaser. Get ready to lose yourself in the magic of ARR-Karthik combo, on a melody. This number, written in pristine Tamil, has minimalistic lyrics for its length at six and a half minutes, but greats you in warmth, complete with the emotion of a love-struck charming man. The song graduates to sound from studio to concert-level, through its length, with all the variation worked out predominantly on guitar, intelligent flute and a wide range of beats. Get ready for a refreshing experience with this romantic solo.
3. Paranthu Sella Vaa
Voices: Karthik, Shashaa Tirupati
The first non-thematic duet of the album is a peppy number. The song opens in Shashaa's voice, as though it is a melody. What adds colour to this track is the intelligent choice of background - for a quarter of the length of the song, what adds volume to the voice in fore is humming in male voice, on a three-scale gradient, in addition to a rattling roll. Almost half way through, rendition turns carnatic, and then graduates back to peppy notes, with the addition of Karthik's voice, thus ending in a chorus. Towards the end, there is a sharp increase in violins for background, and the song trails in the instrument's notes.
4. Mental Manadhil (Male)
Voices: AR Rahman, Jonita Gandhi
Lyrics: AR Rahman, Mani Ratnam
Welcome to the song that left you going bonkers over it, for weeks now. The male version, released as a single track, is the same as the one we are hitched to, all along. Opening in keys, graduating to a racy run, booming from one ear to another... Words fall short to describe the exhilarating experience! Rendered in Rahman's mesmerising voice, joined in gently by Jonita's, 'Mental Manadhil' is a haunting, youthful number, filled with beats, keys and a lot of josh.
5. Naane Varugiren
Voices: Shashaa Tirupati, Sathya Prakash
Next in line is inclined to carnatic, in rendition. Taps lead way to opening the song in female voice. This number comes across as one in which a woman, who is forthcoming and is lost in thoughts. Though minimal, lyrical quality is in pure Tamil, and the song on the whole, uses many instruments. Usage of violin is worth mentioning, given that it is this orchestration, that primarily adds volume as background. Other instruments used include drum pad, Mridangam and extensive keyboard. The minimal inclusion of Sathya Prakash's voice adds an extra edge to this deep number.
6. Theera Ulaa
Voices: AR Rahman, Darshana, Nikita Gandhi
This track is a thematic number. The song is racy, with all the invigorating beats and instruments in use. Most part of the song is rendered in gently echoing, booming chorus on peppy notes; a portion, almost midway, is rendered in carnatic too. The song is so refreshing that it fills your heart and mind like a rising wave, coming at you to chill your feet and soul.
7. Mental Manadhil (Female)
Voice: Jonita Gandhi
Lyrics: AR Rahman, Mani Ratnam
And here's one to celebrate the thrill of love, in a woman's own way. The female counterpart of 'Mental Manadhil' is similar to the male version, differing minutely in the gender-specific lyrics. Rendition is also slightly different, heavier and more intricate. Unlike the male version that is supported predominantly by instruments, a lot of volume to this song is added by the male chorus that flows all along the song. Beyond these differences, the experience is just as enthralling as the male version.
8. Malargal Kaettaen
Voices: KS Chithra, AR Rahman
The next song to greet you is a lovely carnatic bliss of six minutes, praising dedication. The song opens in Chithra's voice, backed initially only by Tambura, and then the sole beat support rolls in Ganjira. The song is backed by bass orchestra that graduates to a theme with the addition of flute, almost midway. The song also has a dedicated thirty seconds to swara jathi. Towards the end, the song has male voice joining the female's, for a chorus carnatic rendition.
9. Maula Wa Sallim
Voice: AR Ameen
Get ready to greet the cute voice of ARR's little champ, in his first Kollywood experience. The song rendered entirely in Arabic traditional verses, is backed by gentle beats and bass orchestra; further volume and variety is added solely by means of occasional chorus rendition. Complete with the innocence typical of a kid, Ameen is sure to steal your heart!
'O Kadhal Kanmani' is not only a highly anticipated movie, but also an ambitious project for Mani Ratnam, to stamp his unquestionable talent back in Kollywood, with his forte, romance. The first glimpse got us hooked to the music, and the single set our hearts racing to catch more. Though limited variety in genre, the winning combination of Mani Ratnam-AR Rahman is back to treat our ears and heart with enticingly lovely music.