Kaaviya Thalaivan Music Review

AR Rahman. The name is enough to send off a impacting ripple all throughout the world. And when the composer has an album release lined up, everyone slots their ears in the right position. Kaaviya Thalaivan is his next album, which has just hit the racks today. Here we are with our music review of the album, which is said to be a first of its kind from the composer. Does it really live up to the hype? Read on.

Vaanga Makka Vaanga : Singers – Haricharan, Dr. Narayan, Lyrics – Na.Muthukumar

The introductory song in the album which talks about the theatre group ‘Mathura Sree Balashanmughanandha Nadagai Sabha’. Haricharan’s voice takes over the song right from the word go, in perfect sync with the lyrics. After a slow start calling one and all to the play, the use of the drums shift the song to an intense level. Soon come the morsing (extremely rare these days) along with the strings which add the heavenly feel to the song. Na.Muthukumar’s lyrics depict the different aspects of a theatre group with an eagle eye. The composer’s brilliance comes into play by bringing in the vintage sounds of a drama along with a tune which will appeal to one and all. Brilliant!

Aye Mr.Minor : Singers – Haricharan, Shashaa Tirupati, Lyrics – Pa.Vijay

Here, AR Rahman brings in his flute to the forefront, unlike most of his other songs where it is left dwelling in the background. When the sweet vocals of Shashaa Tirupati begin, the beat changes to that of a mesmerizing 1980s number. Both the male and female rendition work in tandem with each other, adding the ‘darling’ flavour to the song, just as intended. Rahman’s interludes are grand, with the use of strings in the right places. And when it comes to the lyrics, one must laud Pa.Vijay for his rhyme which is the final topping to make this a relishing delight.

Sandi Kuthirai : Singer – Haricharan, Lyrics – Pa.Vijay

AR Rahman at his naughty best! His play with the instruments make this a fun track to listen to. Be it the little chorus bits, natural sounds or the cartoonish pings, this track is foot tapping on the whole. Watch out for Haricharan’s magic in the second half, where he goes on a streak of mentioning the animal offsprings, which are smartly written by Pa.Vijay. To top it all, you have the interesting use of the xylophone at vital parts of the song. Much like a piece in gratitude to the legend, MSV.

Yaarumilla : Singers – Shweta Mohan, Srinivas, Lyrics – Pa.Vijay

Another song which begins with the flute. Shweta Mohan’s flawless rendition is the linchpin of this one, which does take some repeated hearings to get onto you. The amalgamation of the soft sufi-ish tabla, captivating vocals and the neatly written lyrics are a joy, but they all come to a pause when Rahman unleashes his divine weapon through a lilting chorus lead by Srinivas, halfway through the song. The rhapsodic vocals do make this track a truly charming one to say the least. Sweet!

Sollividu Sollividu : Singer – Mukesh, Lyrics : Pa.Vijay

Rahman. You keep asking him for more, and he keeps gifting you. Sollividu Sollividu is Rahman’s revisit to his own Sakthi Kodu, on a classical terrain. A song where the mythical character Arjuna pleads toLord Krishna, asking him to stop the war. Mukesh’s talent blooms out in epic proportions, and he must be appreciated for his diversity which is evident in this track while differentiating between Karna and Kanna, also the moving Karnamotcham at the end of the song, leaving you in tears. If this song doesn’t create an impact on you, I don’t know what will.

Thiruppugazh : Singer – Vaani Jayaram, Lyrics – Saint Arunagirinathar

This little but pivotal song comes off from the Thiruppugazh itself, written by Saint Arunagirinathar. A completely classical bit, sung to perfection by none other than Vaani Jayaram. Rahman keeps the instrumentations minimal along with the timely use of chings, but this is otherwise a song which is dominated by the charming rendition.

Alli Arjuna : Singer – Haricharan, Bela Shinde, Lyrics – Vaalee

Written in length by the late Vaalee, this is a ten and half minute long play which has been delivered in the audible format, beforehand. It occurs in eight parts, as highlighted.

Haricharan starts off with Vandhanam Vandhanam which is the welcome song to the play, belted with nadaswaram and melam sounds. InYaadhavanam, Haricharan narrates the romantic episode betweenArjuna and his love Alli. The music is mostly basic, leading to a light drum beat at the end. Rahman brings in his talent in Alli Varugiraal, which speaks about the beauty of Alli, and the man’s reactions towards her. Alli responds through the voice of Bela Shinde in Priya Sakhiyae, aided by a  minimalistic tabla beat which stays tamed to the rendition. The tune gets heavier as the song moves on, transforming into a perky beat. In Kanna KannaArjuna asks Krishna for help to get him united with Alli. The flute stays dominant here, musically. Naan Annathooviyil is a short poignant track where the challenges are thrown against Arjuna. Up next are the Gettimellam sounds, which are the usuals in every marriage. Rahman saves his best for last with Nenju Porukkudhillayae, which is lion range in terms of the lyrical verses. Drums come into stunning use here, finishing the album on a high. Haricharan does conquer the vocals for the long space of ten minutes, and this is surely a breakthrough in Indian music for both the singer and the composer. Take a bow!

To sum up, Kaaviya Thalaivan is nothing less than a musical masterpiece. If you haven’t noticed, there are no picks as I have had a really hard time trying to figure out which is the best song in the album. Every song blossoms out in flying colors, with its own share of uniqueness and grandeur. Rahman must be definitely appreciated for his wildly exclusive choice of musical instruments which are nowhere to be seen in this computerized musical universe. At the same time, the importance given to the vocals too is something to look out for. Kaaviya Thalaivan is a pinnacle in Indian music, an album which proves that Rahman is not just about electronic finesse, but has a sea of classical knowledge streaming through him. If the film even provides half of what the songs have, we are in for a treat. Thank you, dear Rahman.

Treasure this forever, world class stuff! 

5 / 5

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