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ARR+Mani Again #99 Review
Jul 26, 2004 08:08 PM 15694 Views
(Updated Jul 26, 2004 08:16 PM)


“Kannathil Muthamitaal (Kiss in the cheek)” is the Maniratnam’s yet another dimension of looking at terrorism in Srilanka. This movie is critically acclaimed in many international film festivals. Even in India it bagged 6 national awards for Best Child Artist, Best Audiography, Best Editing, Best Music, Best Lyrics, Best Regional Film. The scope of this review is only on award winner of Best Music A.R.Rahman and Best Lyricist Vairamuthu who made this album of soul stirring numbers. By getting this award both of them set a national record that A.R.Rahman is the only music director in India to get Four national awards and Vairamuthu is India the only lyricist to get five national awards.

I think many north Indians and non-Tamil speaking music fans haven’t heard this album and if so I would say they are missing something great stuffs in music. Unlike his other Tamil songs, Rahman cannot remake these songs in Hindi because the songs are unique, situational and has a hard-core south Indian music. I think if you are still have a good taste in music beyond language barriers you will be surprised by this new kind of music from ARR.

Oru Deivam thantha poovae

There are two versions of this song. Jayachandran sings male version and Chinmayee sings Female version. Chinmayee is a great find and ARR still interested in introducing new singers as he was doing is each and every movie in 90’s. Male version is evident that ARR still gives equal importance to the legendary singers like Jayachandran as well. Jayachandran had a great come back through this song.

Music: Rahman always tries different sounds in melodies too. In this song, there is no typical usage of flute, guitar, veena, and grand violin orchestration in the interludes, which has become the inevitable instruments to be used in any melody. With a single keyboard and mild pad beats he has given a haunting melody. The basic keyboard rhythm floating in the background is something never heard before and it is captivating. This is how he creates a new sound by programming new patterns and loops in the keyboard. The mild pad beat that plays when all the layers fade in and fade out at the beginning and at the end is same as the rhythmic bell sound that we heard in “Bombay theme”. Apart from all these I feel the hidden soul of the song is mild violin orchestration that plays in the background all through the song, which emotes the situation well. The way the chorus chant of the title “Kaanathil muthamittal” in which there is a strange twist in the note in between the word “Muthamittal” is excellent and typical Rahman way of composition.

Singing: Chinmayee with a strong formal education in karnatic music has extremely sung well a tough song with elegance. She sounds as soothing as a flute sound. She excels in giving different expressive notes to the word “Nee” wherever the line ends with the word “Nee”. Her solo alap in the middle is very difficult to reproduce for a lay and the note of this bit is awesome. On the other side, Jayachandran’s golden voice is refreshing. He has sung this song effortlessly and the shift in pitch of the voice in each and every line is spontaneous without compromising the expressions in the voice.

Lyrics: The situation is like parents consoling their adopted child as is restless on hearing shocking news that she is an adopted child and they are not her genetic ancestors. The lyrics are like a sweet lullaby. Like in Tamil, parents will please the kids by saying like “en chellam dee ne, en thangam dee nee, en vairam dee nee”, in the similar way Vairamuthu has written some thoughtful lyrics with each and every line contradicting the previous line.

Overall a Soulful melody with a new sound.

Vellai pookal Ulagam

If the first song breaks the rules of instrument usage in melody this song on the other hand proves why these instruments like guitar and flute is still used to make melodies. This song would always top my all time favorite list of songs. He takes guitar in his hands this time to promote peace through his music in this song. It is an orchestrational master piece by ARR again. So far best song sung by A.R.rahman. He proves that he can even sing a soft melody. He masters the usage of guitar in this song. The song has no usual format. A.R.Rahman lifts the song with his new style of rendition of his voice. The tune is very simple but different and purely based on a karnatic raga Hamsadwani the raga on which musicians rarely compose film songs. ’’kaatrin mellisayum’’ part has lot of changes in pitch of voice in singing. Piano and Flute pieces perfectly blend with lyrics at right places in this song and as usual Naveen haunts with his flute work.

Translation of the lyrics of this song is in comments section.....

Sundari Sundari

Singer: Hariharan, Sujatha, Madhumitha, Chorus

It is another situational number. ARR has experimented on harmonium with techno stuff. Again this experiment leads to a new sound. It is like father, mother, herself and her friends are singing about her funny behavior and characteristics. Sujatha and Hariharan have done their job well. The violin orchestrations in the interludes with clap sounds are great. The flute piece is also unique and good. The basic rhythm of the song in the background has guitar. The lines have fastly twisting notes, fast playing harmonium, fastly running strings in interludes all sound sounds the energetic character of the lead nine year girl. The chorus part by many kids is typical of Maniratnam movies. I laud use of Madhumitha’s voice for a single line “Padippin heroine ivalae” and she is another good find in this album.

Vidai kodu engal naadae

Singer: M.S.Viswanathan, Balram, Rehana, Manicka Vinayakam

This is not a song, it is actually a background score for the visuals lighting up the pathos of the people leaving their homeland and moves to an alien place as refugees. But this background score has got lyrics also. People say this song is not picturised well, I would say this is best picturised song in the movie. The song suits the situation well and injects the pain of the people in our minds. The song amplifies the impact of the visual.

Singing: The choice of singers is perfect. M.S.Viswanathan the legendary music director has given his emotive best and managed well by singing on controlling the pitch of his rustic voice. New singer Balram’s voice sounds like that of Yesudas and he also does his job to T. Even rehana who use to sing gana numbers has a sweet voice to suit the melody, ARR can experiment with her sister’s voice for unique melodies. Manicka Vinayakam emotes well through his voice in dialogue like lyrics.

Music: Music emotes well with subtlety the mild usage of drum beats all through the song, a soul stirring harmony by backing vocals and the mild usage of violin orchestration leaves a good impact and also pushes the master work of vairamuthu to the fore.

Lyrics: The lyrics perfectly reveal the pain of srilankan tamilians moving to India as refugees. The lines I like the most from this song are

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