Sunday March 1, 2015

Uttama Villain (Music review), Tamil – Ghibran

Posted by Karthik

There is a strong undercurrent of interest in immortality all through Uttama Villain, as if Kamal Haasan wants to ensure that at least his body of work remains immortal. It starts with the magnificiently mounted Iranian naadagam, where Hiranyakashipu assumes he is immortal, till Vishnu finds a loophole. The song comes out better in the full version (at almost 8 minutes vs. just-under 5 minutes CD version) and ends with Kamal asking us to compare immortality’s pain to an endless story’s lack of listeners.

Then Uttaman kadhai that tells the absorbing story of Uttaman, who cheated death multiple times, though there is a rational explanation for each, even as villagers call him a ghost. That story pans itself out wonderfully in the soundtrack’s best, Mutharasan kadhai, telling the story of King Sadaya Varman, his evil brother-in-law Mutharasan who usurps the king’s throne and eventually looks to Uttaman to extend his life predicted to end in grusesome death. Together, these three pieces of music offer the finest combination of natively-told stories blended to Western classical impressionist and atonal musical styles, courtesy Sofia Symphony Orchestra. The story-telling is immaculate, thanks largely to Kamal’s rich verses and vocals.

Saagaavaram is conventional, in comparison, but extends the immortality theme again. Veteran Villuppaattu proponent Subbu Arumugam joins Kamal in the beautifully-rhythmic – very unique to Villuppaattu form – Utthaman arimugam, an apt intro song to Kamal’s gargantuan repertoire. Padmalatha breezes through the seemingly Vasantha-raaga based Kaadhalaam kadavul mun, while the soundtrack’s most accessible Love’aa is lyricist Viveka’s mischievous ode to Kamal’s image and Ghibran letting down his hair with catchy orchestration. The 7 instrumental pieces too add to the rich tapestry of sounds, topped by the Theme. Uttama Villain’s soundtrack is one of the most daring and inventive musical attempts in recent Tamil cinema history.

Keywords: Uttama Villain, Uthama Villain, #300, 300, Ghibran

Comments

comments

  • Sathyajitk

    This is outrageous by Ghibran. I had such Low Expectations for this Album considering that Kamal might expect a Commercial Soundtrack. But Wow is Ghibran Good. The Tamil Music Industry probably the Most Blessed one the Country. Witnessed Mavericks like Raja and Rahman. Now Ghibran and Santhosh.

  • shafeeque

    What a sundtrack gibran..!!
    with the experience of just 7-8 movies , how can a musician delier such a cult classic album? Hatsoff to kamal hassan for bringing gibran to the front row..

  • NKC

    Damn, 300 words. Definitely have to check this one out. πŸ™‚

  • Syed Thousif

    uthaman kadhai !!! my pick as of now, yet to check out all the tracks !!!

  • wootshire

    In an industry where dhinchak-dhinchak rules the roost and the year end countdown is based on the catchiness of the main hook, I can’t help but admire the gumption of all involved in this soundtrack.

    No five songs, two duets, one dance number, intro, etc. here. Music in service of story and art.

    And Ghibran’s formal study of orchestral composition has paid off handsomely here.

  • Kishore Prakash Menon

    Ghibran has improved phenomenally in each soundtrack. He is my favourite Tamil film composer now after AR Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja and Karthik Raaja.

    Kudos to his hard work!

    But I am a little worried about his templatised tunes. While the ‘Sara Sara’ template had re-appeared in 2 more soundtracks, we see the ‘Chillendru Chillendru’ template in ‘Kaadhalam Kadavul Mun’.

    Besides, there is no comparison with ARR yet [No Karthik. This is not for you. It’s for the others who believe in such comparisons].

    Rahman’s harmonic and contrapuntal textures are so rich and no Tamil composer other than IR, and Salil Chowdhury (who sporadically composed for Tamil films) has written orchestral pieces like him.

    Take ‘Rana’s Dream’ from Kochadaiyaan for instance. I am quoting paragraphs from my own blog regarding the track.

    Though it starts off with nods to Ilaiyaraaja’s score of ‘Pazhassiraja’,
    it goes on to carve its own unique identity. What’s brilliant is that
    Rahman uses the same melody to employ counterpoint. The main melody,
    (which uses the tune of ‘Enge
    Pogudhu Vaanam..Ange Pogirom Naamum’) counters itself. And how he does
    it?

    Well, I don’t know notations as I am no musician. So kindly allow me
    to split ‘Enge Pogudhu Vaanam..Ange Pogirom Naamum’ into notes:

    ‘en’, ‘ge’, ‘po’, ‘gu’, ‘dho’, ‘vaa’, ‘nam’

    AND

    ‘AN’, ‘GE’ (In uppercase to denote that it is different from the above ‘ge’), ‘PO’, ‘GI’, ‘ROM’, ‘NAA’, ‘MUM’

    So for instance, the main melody is on the Cellos and reaches the note ‘dho’, the Horns join in and start playing from the note ‘en’. Again when the melody on the horns reaches the note ‘NAA’, the cello simultaneously starts playing from ‘en’
    and so on. This is just an example, but the complexity of counterpoint
    is much more as the track progresses, with the horns and strings
    continuously countering each other, and sometimes (rather many times)
    counters happening within the horn section itself.

    Sheer brilliance!!

    So, I wouldn’t agree with comparisons yet. But I am happy to see someone other than ARR, IR and KR, writing decent western classical music for Tamil film scores. Ghibran’s hard work

  • jeanjohny

    First 300 for a Tamil album I guess.. And I had a gut instinct that this would be a 300 after listening to the music in trailer.. I’m Yet to listen to the songs Though!

  • Arvind

    Karthik…I think You must listen to Father and son instrumental and letters to and from Yamini once again …you wouldn’t stop writing in detail..felt disappointed that you acknowledged only the UV theme in the OSTs..

  • ramesh
  • SUFAID

    Uffffff …. now it’s confirmed,,, We got another Classy Composer here,, stunning Album ..

  • kadalamittai

    well desired 300 for the album. Iraniyan Nadagam have some strong inspiration from vikram vikram naan vetripetravan

  • Rahul

    Ghibran is one of the luckiest MDs around, i guess. His imagination complements Kamal Hassan’s musical sensibilities. It’s great to see a song like iranian nadagam in today’s music scene. Way to go, G

  • Rajesh Thomas

    Composing is good. Lovely lyrics. Classical melody. It is a Kamal film so he knows how to encourage the youngsters to reach the height of his expectation. Ghibran will remember this album for long. He is so lucky to work with great Cinema Genius Kamal Hassan very early. All the best to Kamal, Ghibran and Uthama Villain !!

  • Kishore Bhatt

    Wholesome album….it would appeal more with the visuals ( My humble opinion)..this album stands out in the midst of techno dominated ones…the chorus parts in “Mutharasan Kadhai” and “Uttaman Introduction” reminds us of “Anbe Sivam”. Albums like Kaviya Thalaivan and Uttama Villain help us and the next gen appreciate appreciate our roots and culture better. My personal picks are “Kadhalaam Kadavul Mun”, “Uttaman Introduction”, Uttaman Kadhai and “Iraniyan Nadagam” and the main theme of the movie..hats off to the entire team for such a splendid soundtrack which will be remembered for a very long time.

  • Kishore Prakash Menon

    Ghibran has improved phenomenally in each soundtrack. He is my
    favourite Tamil film composer now after AR Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, Vidyasagar and Karthik Raaja. Kudos to his hard work!

    But I am a little worried about his templatized tunes. While the ‘Sara Sara’ template had re-appeared in 2 more soundtracks, we see the ‘Chillendru Chillendru’ template in ‘Kaadhalam Kadavul Mun’.

    Besides, there is no comparison with ARR yet [No Karthik. This is not for you. It’s for the others who believe in such comparisons].

    Rahman’s harmonic and contrapuntal textures are so rich and no Tamil film composer other than IR (and Salil Chowdhury who sporadically composed for Tamil films) has written orchestral pieces like him.

    Take ‘Rana’s Dream’ from Kochadaiyaan for instance. (I am quoting paragraphs from my own post in ARR fans group). Though it starts off with nods to Ilaiyaraaja’s score of ‘Pazhassiraja’, it goes on to carve its own unique identity. What’s brilliant is that Rahman uses the same melody to employ counterpoint.

    The main melody, (which uses the tune of ‘Enge Pogudhu Vaanam..Ange
    Pogirom Naamum’) counters itself. And how he does it?

    Well, I don’t know notations as I am no musician. So kindly allow me
    to split ‘Enge Pogudhu Vaanam..Ange Pogirom Naamum’ into notes:

    ‘en’, ‘ge’, ‘po’, ‘gu’, ‘dho’, ‘vaa’, ‘nam’

    AND

    ‘AN’, ‘GE’ (In uppercase to denote that it is different from the above ‘ge’), ‘PO’, ‘GI’, ‘ROM’, ‘NAA’, ‘MUM’

    So
    for instance, the main melody is on the Cellos and reaches the note
    ‘dho’, the Horns join in and start playing from the note ‘en’. Again
    when the melody on the horns reaches the note ‘NAA’, the cello
    simultaneously starts playing from ‘en’ and so on. This is just an
    example, but the complexity of counterpoint is much more as the track
    progresses, with the horns, strings and woodwinds continuously
    countering each other, and sometimes (rather many times) counters
    happening within the horn section itself. Sheer brilliance!!

    So, I wouldn’t agree with comparisons yet. But I am happy to see someone other than ARR, IR and KR, writing decent western classical music for Tamil film scores. Hats off to Ghibran’s hard work!
    He is the best in the new lot of Tamil film composers. He is a league apart. No comparison!

    Karthik has successfully managed a 300-worder by narrating the story in the
    lyrical verses! πŸ˜€ But that will certainly be beneficial to people who
    are unfamiliar with the language!

    • Srinivasa Rama Naidu Kayala

      Not sure why you ignored Yuvan..

  • Balaji

    What an album… When Kamal starts “Ithu udhirathin kadhai…” got goose bumps (just like thalaivar’s voice in “ethirigalai ozhikka” in kochadaiiyaan)… And that Uththama villain theme…. Wow!!!! Simply haunting one… Surprised to hear a song like Lovea Lovea and Iraniyan Kadhai from a same movie:) πŸ™‚ Only Kamal can do it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Hats off to Ghibran:) πŸ™‚ Now expectations stirring up for Papanasam and Viswaroopam from this amazing combo πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • guest

    i didnt likd the music. its pretty similar to each other. hope its not a bomber again for gibran, for whom each and every movie whoever it stars is a big big flop….

  • Bhaai

    Not able to find Vaanavil Vaazhkai music review

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