Friday December 25, 2015

Thaarai Thappattai (Music review), Tamil – Ilayaraja

Posted by Karthik

The earthy Hero intro theme brings back the heydays of Karakattakaran. In Vathana vathana, Kavitha Gopi and Priyadarshini’s full-throated singing and the captivating tune evoke pleasant memories of Veetukku veetukku. Paaruruvaaya gets a mesmerizing Mayamalavagowlai treatment; Sathya Prakash and Surmukhi deliver it with incredible piety. Sharreth’s vocals and the Shubhapantuvarali raaga layers Idarinum with excruciating melancholy. M.M.Manasi and Prasanna’s playful banter comes alive in Aattakkari‘s beautiful melody, complete with Raja’s trademark violins. Aarambamaavathu, Raja’s recreation of Viswanathan-Ramamurthy’s original from Thanga Padhumai has a stronger native folk touch. The theme is very intense; very Bala. Aptly affecting, Bala-style soundtrack from Raja.

Keywords: Ilayaraja, Thaarai Thappattai, Bala

Listen to the songs:

Listen to Aarambamaavathu on Saavn.



  • lovethetech

    Neela M, Not an urban song. U must live in Tamil Nadu rural for an year. U will appreciate this album more then.

  • Vimalan

    this requires more than 300 words in my opinion. may be you are not used to this genre much. oru thamizhanaai peruma pada vendiya album. em mannin isai. i know you’ll say its just your opinion

    • milliblog

      Please go right ahead and write your 300 (or 1,000) words on this album. Please use this space to offer a counter perspective on why this album is so good. If “this requires more than 300 words” and “oru thamizhanaai peruma pada vendiya album. em mannin isai” is your opinion, I’m guessing I’ll be entitled to mine too.

      It’s a good album, no doubt. I don’t think it is that good – comes a cropper (in relative terms) for an album hyped as Raja’s 1,000th album.

      • Vimalan

        your response is on the expected line. i can go on and talk about about this album in 1000 words but don’t want to waste your precious space and time. One example why this has a huge impact on me is every time i hear Paruruvaaya, it makes me cry. When you write about the same song, you just talk about its raga treatment. the sole purpose of any album must be how much it relates to the theme of the movie and how much emotional connect it has on listeners. Considering that this is right up there with the best he has composed. I fully understand that people who don’t really understand this culture or don’t live in this part of the world may not appreciate or realize how good it is.

        • milliblog

          I completely agree. If I were you, that is. I’m not.

        • Hari Narayanan

          Paaruruvaaya & Idaranil (akin Azhaikiran madhavan from film Sri Raghavendra) are the kind of quality I expect from Maestro. Those ones elevates the Listener to a higher plane. Someone or many more ones should try to take an avg. listener to classical heights.. and Raja sir is one who is apt to do that. Thanks to Bala for creating scope for such a music to come to masses. Certainly don’t want him to do what Aniruddh or Imman etc is doing. If many like those stuff, let that be. History has seen the refined stuff is always enjoyed by a minority.

          • Sriram T

            So when Raja’s music was enjoyed by the masses, it was not refined? What a pathetic logic…

    • DragunR2

      It’s all opinion when discussing music. Some people on the Internet are overly invested in the opinions of others lining up with their own!

  • hikicha

    The 2 songs to me are eternal and my paisa vasaool for me 🙂 . Attakari is interesting with malliga mottu feel ( sans rythm) .
    Which song is the Aarambamaavathu ?


  • vn_shankar1

    Couple of songs are just out of the world – touching the soul as the man is used to with many songs in his heydays . Rest of the songs are good. In recent years, some of his songs take some time to register unlike during his peak. Overall a nice and wonderful album. I think Karthik would have been more reasonable if he had awarded 200 atleast; ofcourse, even celebrated reviewers can have their off days or have other distractions just like anybody !

  • Kathik

    The only worry for the reviewer is if tomorrow this album becomes another Nayagan or Thalapathy.
    My few doubts are
    1. Seems he compared tunes with his yesteryear ones.
    2. He seems to relate another music w.r.t director Bala..but I feel its a very unique one.

  • kk


    I have been following your blog/twitter for couple of years now. For lot of folks ard the world, Can say, your blog is a gateway for knowing music from different languages, directors, singers among others. You have received accolades from industry itself such as getting to write on “The Hindu”, Kamal Hassan quoting your blog etc. In some sense, doing yeoman service to this industry.

    You have your own way of telling a story about the music of a film. #words is one, assume 300 means Outstanding, 200 – exception and 100 is average (Feels like rating in a corporate firm :-)). The fact that you get so many comments implies that people respect your opinion and possibly like to see what readers think about an album is what you write. I know how difficult it becomes when it is ARR vs IRR.

    With all these honor and current stature comes responsibility. Not saying you are irresponsible (don’t get me wrong) but want stress for the discussion here. Given that your standing now is very different from what you started with, possibly requires slight tuning the way you express things in your blog. One of the complaints (probably complain is far-fetched word here) i have with reviewers from every field is they ought to have opinion on all aspects the field. Not sure why!

    Exceptional reviewers get 80-90% right but still miss those 10-20%. Why can’t you guys have something like “no opinion right now and need more time”. Not sure how you would realize this but something to think in my opinion. I have seen you changing your opinion few times which is actually fantastic.

    Anyways, my rant is on your opinion on “Thaarai Thappattai” which i feel is very good album. Probably fantastic in the context of the film and probably much better than “Naanum Rowdy Thaan”. Again this is my very personal opinion and know that no one would care about my opinion hence don’t have blog on music but people care your opinion.

    • milliblog

      Thank you for that long comment.

      First off, 100 is not ‘average’. It, in my mind, covers a gamut from ‘average to good’, while 200 is very good and 300 is extraordinary.

      That said, I do have a couple of points to make about reviews in general and this question of ‘responsibility’ when more people follow you.

      Let me address the ‘having an opinion on all aspects of the field’. I believe I do not. My primary focus for Milliblog has always been composer-led. I see film music, and music in general, with the composer as the creator. Not actors who mouth the songs, or playback singers who sing them or lyricists who create the lines, or the songs’ context in the film that everyone swears is very, very important (though they do not explain why, in that case, a soundtrack is released independently of the film, even before the film, with no context to see/hear those songs in). I see all of them as incidental… secondary. The composer is my primary focus. Will always be. And that’s the only facet I have an opinion on since I believe I track composers’ output diligently.

      Next up: it is a fallacy, in my view, to expect or assume that a reviewer can get anything ‘right’. Reviews are never right or wrong; reviews are just that – opinions of a (one) person who perhaps has a slightly louder voice than others around him/her. The trouble is, we have always had lesser number of people with louder voice, so they tend to steer the perceptions around anything being reviewed. But, with social media, there’s a level playing ground, that even a musically untrained person like me can become a reviewer. There are many more, online, like me, though not everyone holds on and persists consistently enough.

      A review is a perspective. And perspectives will always be subject to many factors. Have listed the 3 most important factors here:

      And yes, I do change and update my opinion when it matters since I strongly believe that I’m just another listener subject to what normal listeners are used to going through.

      As for Thaarai Thappattai, I think it is a good soundtrack. There is good music in here, like Idarinum and Aattakkaari maaman ponnu. But, I still think Abbayitho Ammaayi was a better overall soundtrack. I have been told that because it is a Bala film and because it is Raja’s 1,000th film, this is better. I prefer not to let such pre-tagged correlations come in the way of me forming an opinion on what is just another soundtrack to me.

      And, as far as comments in this blog go, I try and treat all comments that try to make a honest, decent point, with respect, however they may be against my point of view. After all, all these are points of view and we’re all entitled to one/more and still live harmoniously.

  • hikicha

    This album requires listening at a different level ( for our own benefit ) – when i stopped multi tasking and listened only to this – my eyes sweated 🙂

    Folks , do stop Multi tasking and listen only to this and share your experience.

    -Mumbai Ramki

  • Sriram T

    Yes, we need to celebrate Raja and his music, but not every album that carries his name.

    It is a pity the so-called Raja fans are forced and forcing others to celebrate everything that has Raja name on it.

    • Vimalan

      is that the max argument you can bring in? can we tell the same thing about so called ARR fans

      • Sriram T

        Really? Just think how bad your reasoning is..

    • KB

      Sriram T, do you even understand the “theme” behind this movie? This is not your everyday-music-album that doles out 1 romantic duet, 1 kuthu paattu or item number, 1 hero intro song etc. This is a DIFFERENT one. Challenge your favourite composer to compose anything at least half as this good. Paaruruvaaya is soulful – talks about the divine love, a man has for his woman. Idarinum talks about an artist’s agony when he is let down by everybody on the planet. KILLER lyrics (with hidden meaning! an extra bonus) by the composer HIMSELF. Other songs have their own place and situation. LISTEN PROPERLY first, then TRY to understand and then comment. The THEME & BGM is like a FATAL BLOW to the SOUL. What more do you people want? Average junkies are satisfied with any cacophony, meanwhile.

    • KB

      The BGM is one-of-its-kind nuclear bomb from the Maestro. The songs Paruruvaya and Idarinum are melancholic, soulful and choking. Idarinum has lyrics by IR himself. The song is sung by Sharreth! Other songs relate to the situations and fit in like a T with powerful background music. WHAT MORE do you people expect? Why do you people expect “80’s hits” from him all the time and set it as benchmark? Truth is his music has THRIVED even in the 90’s and post millennium. He got his 5th National Award for Best Background score for this movie. MORE to come from the Maestro!

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