Sunday 23rd June 2024
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Engeyum Kadhal – Music Review

 The music for Prabhu Deva’s next directorial venture “Engeyum Kadhal”, starring Jayam Ravi and Hansika Motwani is out! Talented music director Harris Jayaraj has done the music for the film, and the album is definitely worth a listen.

The first song, Engeyum Kadhal is a lovely ballad in which singer Aalap Raju aptly conveys the emotion behind the wonderfully-written lyrics (penned by Thamarai). It’s composed along similar lines as “Nenjukkul Peidhidum” from the film Vaaranam Aayiram, with its breezy melody and simple yet effective beats. Devan and Raina Reddy add an extra dimension to the song with their vocals, creating a song that is a pleasant opener to the album.

Naresh Iyer’s voice in Thee Illai is the stand-out factor in this track. I have to admit, the beginning reminded me a little of “Ride It” by Jay Sean, but once the vocals and beat kicked in, it was clear that this song was not going to go down the same road as Ride It. Mahathi’s voice sounds beautiful in the verses, and while the violin interlude before the second stanza does sound good, the transitions seem a little abrupt. For me, this one’s a grower; took a few listens, but now I quite like it!

Naangai starts off sounding like it’s going to be a dappan koothu track, with Richard’s “Valiye Chakkaravaliye” at the start, sung in a distinctive koothu-style husky voice. Then the beat drops, and it starts sounding like – and I’m totally being serious here – a Tamil Michael Jackson song. MJ’s influence extends beyond just the beat and bassline (which is simply a faster version of the bassline of “The Way You Make Me Feel); even the vocals are heavily coated with the essence of the King of Pop – complete with high-pitched “Ehee”s! Just as you’re getting into the flow, there suddenly drops a tabla beat, then the typical dappan koothu beat…and then it goes back to the MJ-style. While it’s a catchy track, it will go down a lot better with those who aren’t huge fans of the pop legend…and will almost certainly seem a little blasphemous to die-hard MJ fans!

Lolita goes back to the typical Harris Jayaraj style, and it seems to be Hasili Fisili (Part II). As usual, Karthik is expressive without sounding over-done, and Prashanthini’s vocals are rendered effortlessly as well. To me, the familiarity of the track makes it teeter on the edge of boring – if not for the refreshing percussion and saxophone interludes in the middle of the song.

The next track, Bathing at Cannes, kicks off with a beatboxer – a nice change of pace for the album! The track is primarily English, with raps from Emcee Jesz and Lady Kash, and vocals from the talented Krissy. To those who listen to a lot of Western music, this may not seem like anything novel, but I think this is probably one of the first tracks I’ve heard in a Tamil film that encaptures the HipHop style well. The violins that run as the bassline are really catchy and the track as a whole definitely adds a new element to the soundtrack.

Nenjil Nenjil is a classical-based piece with Harish Ragavendra and Chinmayi performing their parts with the greatest of ease – their vocals are flawless in this track. The mirudangam beat is a nice twist, and the flute interludes beautifully capture the ragam (I think it’s primarily Charukesi, with a few foreign notes here and there). The lyrics by Madan Karky are brilliant, and really evoke the romance between the lead characters. This one is my pick of the album, and will be on repeat for days, for sure!

The last track, Dhimu Dhimu, is another ballad, this time with Karthik’s mellow vocals and a primarily guitar-based accompaniment. While it bears that all-too-familiar style of Harris Jayaraj, the song is still an enjoyable listen, as the arrangement, vocals and lyrics are been executed wonderfully.

As a whole, it may seem like the Engeyum Kadhal album is teeming with the signature style of Harris Jayaraj, but the surprising twists he has added to tracks such as Nenjil Nenjil and Bathing at Cannes means that the soundtrack is a truly enjoyable listen.  3.25/5.

 Kavya Rajagopalan © 2010