Saturday June 11, 2016

Kabali (Music review), Tamil – Santhosh Narayanan

Posted by Karthik

Ananthu, Santhosh and Gana Bala are at their harmonious best in the bombastic opener, Ulagam oruvanukka! Roshan Jamrock’s rap verses around Kabali Swag add to the pulsating number’s impact. Gana Bala headlines Veera thurandhara in a way that is very unlike his usual style! It is a curiously alluring mix of Vikram’s title song (!) and a highly engaging Bond theme song that is sung by a man, for a change! Lawrence and Pradeep Kumar complete the backing vocals, with the latter also taking on the acoustic guitars to impressive effect. Maya nadhi is trademark Santhosh – that brilliant guitar backing by Keba Jeremiah, even more impressive strings by Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra, stellar vocals by Ananthu, Pradeep and Swetha Mohan… and a typically unusual tune that is bent on going in unexpected directions! Pradeep leads the somber and introspective Vaanam paarthen that gains tremendously from his guitaring, Vishnu’s flute and the mesmerizing strings and chorus backing. The soundtrack’s towering highlight is Neruppu da, a scorching theme song that Arunraja Kamaraj completely rocks! Jhanu Chantar’s electric guitar wails in sync with Tapass Naresh’s drums to create a hypnotic effect! Santhosh retains his signature style to produce a fantastic Rajini soundtrack!

Keywords: Kabali, Santhosh Narayanan, 200, #200

Listen to the songs on Saavn | DooPaaDoo | Buy the songs on iTunes.



  • Dizz

    A bit disappointed with the album. Rajini sir’s songs always had a hummable or peppy flavor to it, which makes them like-able for even people outside TN(I mean those who dont understand Tamil). Kabali tunes looks like something is missing. Defenitely people outside TN cant digest it so easily. It’s more SaNa album than Rajini album for sure. Songs like ‘Maya Nadhi’ and ‘Vaanam Paarthen’ will definitely need good visuals and emotionally connecting situations for Rajini fans to sit tight and enjoy in theaters.

    However, thanks to SaNa for giving the best ever theme track for Thalaivar. I will be happy to die after watching my Thalaivar in ‘Neruppu Da’ song. Those electric guitars, whistles and the Thalaivar dialogues!! OMG!!! Real Eargasm!!!

    Fresh music sometimes needs multiple listening, like many ARR albums. Hopefully I will love Kabali after listening few more times. Kabali Daww!!

    • milliblog

      It is definitely not a conventional Rajini soundtrack, and unlike Rahman who panders a bit for Rajini, in terms of layering or complexity of tunes (to make them fairly simple), I’m glad Santhosh has retained his style and left his stamp *even* in a Rajini film. For me, the composer is always the hero (of the soundtrack), even in a Rajini film 🙂

      • Dizz

        Yeah that is ok! SaNa stamp is well punched. But, do you think people will stay in theatre for ‘Maya Nadhi’ and ‘Vaanam Paarthen’? Either they will have to forget it is a Rajini film or they ll have to be hardcore Santhosh fans to enjoy these songs in theatre, plus, strong emotional situations becomes a necessity (Talking about mass audience). With the kind of songs Santhosh has given, Ranjith’s responsibility as a director has become more challenging!!

        I would be happy if Santhosh had given these songs for some other album (Not Applicable to ‘Neruppu Da’, it is tailor made for Thalaivar). But, for a Rajni album it is definitely a surprise. Kudos Santhosh! for this courage to experiment. But whether it works or not, only time can tell us!

        • milliblog

          I think now you are assuming things far beyond individual view point 🙂 I don’t think there is enough data to even argue or decide whether these songs will ‘work’ if the definition of work is as vague as you/me/someone noticing a few people walk out of the theater during the songs.

      • Subramaliya

        You say Rahman Pander’s a bit for Rajini. I can agree here Maaya nadhi and Vaanam paarthen are totally Santhosh numbers. But what abt the other three songs. Blatantly aimed towards mass appeal with all pamdering on Rajini’s mass appeal. Atleast Rahman maintains a modesty and style when he takes that route here its all hardcorded flattery music with lyrics thats almost feels like written by a fan boy picked from firstday show. And you speak of as if Santhosh has comeup with a elegant fine art that tamil cinema’s been missing!

        • Say Something

          Pandering is not just Rajini pugazh songs. Rahman has this weird “music can be complicated but lyrics should be simple” principle. He makes it even more ridiculous to the point of meaningless for Rajini film songs. ..

        • milliblog

          Nah, not that ‘pander’ as in hero-worship stuff. That *every* composer (and everyone associated with a top hero film has to perform – can’t opt out). Was referring to ‘tuning down’ the song to pander to the so-called masses. usually simplistic enough, repetitive 2-word hooks etc. A Shankar, in a film like Sivaji, gets Rahman to do the opposite, but in others like Endhiran or even Lingaa (that I quite liked), the music is less of what Rahman otherwise seems capable of doing. This is just my perception.

  • Subramaliya

    Ulagam oruvanukka is Santosh trying to emulate Rahmans energitic openers. With Santosh’s troop of singers indeed.

  • Jil

    Sounds Like a Santosh Sound Track for rajni
    Ulagam Oruvanukka has so much intense stuff flowing Ryt till the End

  • Jagan Kumaravelu

    Great review! One of the best Rajni soundtracks, possibly his best ever in recent times. The last time a Rajni soundtrack had this kind of finesse in terms of quality throughout the album, was Chandramukhi which had Vidyasagar in an unusually superlative form for the entire album. Sivaji, Endhiran has traces of brilliance from ARR but they also had mediocrity where ARR as you said Karthik, was pandering to Rajni and his mass fans. Lingaa was a massive dud by any standards (for ARR, it was Parasuram level). I assume that Rajni has asked Santosh-Ranjith to retain their stamp (after major disasters, mass heroes tend to temporarily have a ‘mental cleansing’ moment where they go with the right thing). There is still quite a bit for the Rajni lover to rejoice (me included – I still love the man though I am not a fanatic and have the guts to criticize him if it’s needed).

    • Manoj V M

      would like to know your opinion on Kochadaiyaan album

  • Jagan Kumaravelu

    I actually really like the choice of singers. No unecessary stickage to sentiment (this SPB sentiment thing needs dumping seriously… It got excessively exaggerated after ARR’s experiment with Shankar Mahadevan failed in Baba).

    • Siva Prasad

      Not sure about spb but neruppuda sounds like an animal grunting .

  • Sathyajit Krishnan

    Very inventive track. Cant understand why Fans dont like this album.I think Rajni’s Fan-base is a Double Edged Sword – His Biggest Asset & Liability. Fans complain when Thalaivar sticks to the Formula and when something this different is presented they complain that it is not the “Usual” Soundtrack you would expect. The Soundtrack is perfectly in Line with everything that Rajini aspires to do with Kabali – changing his Image. And SaNa is on a Roll. His attitude to not compromise on any Soundtrack is remarkable. Maya Nadhi is stunning. Its such a Joy to listen to such a Song in today’s World of Noisy Music. Had touches of Raja in it. And the Rap in Veera Thurandhara was so authentic. Not the usual sub standard /abysmal Rap we come to see in Most of our Music. The Song in itself was fab, something we dont expect to see in Thalaivar’s movie. And best part about the Soundtrack is that it looks like all Songs will be Montages, which is a First for Rajini, in fact the first for Star’s movie in a Long time. Don’t remember the Last time when a Star’s movie did not have a “Foreign” Duet or Dance Number for the sake of “Mass” Audience .

  • Ratdee

    Except Neruppu da,rest of the songs look very average .Album may appeal to the music critiques. But as a common audience who was expecting a kickass album . Its a Huge disappointment. Not everyone gets such a big opportunity like Santhosh got. . Vidyasagar and GVP irrespective of their musical form they delivered good album(Chandramukhi and Kuselan) when they worked with superstar for first time.With wide amount of experience,Harris or Yuvan would definitely have produced rocking album for superstar than this average album. Its a big opportunity wasted by Santhosh.

    • Dizz

      Its not that bad anyway! This album is still one of the best of Santhosh. Those who knows Santhosh will never give up.

      But, just imagine, had this songs been by ARR. We would have praised the work? I am pretty sure we would have criticized him to any extent.(Just remembering Baba days. I still keep those songs in my playlist. ;)) The kind of expectation is different when it is ARR and rest! That’s the thing! Critics perceived ‘Santhosh is going to deliver a change for Rajini’, and he did, in his own style. Cant complain this album if you know who Santhosh is. And critics knows who he is, very well!

      However, for a common man, it is a disappointment like what you said. Millions out there don’t know who Santhosh is, Billions out there knows only Rajni. Santhosh should have kept this in mind. In this sense, I feel Santhosh failed.

      Less party time for children too as they don’t have a song to chant this time. Hopefully ‘Neruppu Da’ will do!!!

  • Rakesh

    “Santhosh retains his signature style to produce a fantastic Rajini soundtrack”. That is a perfect summary Karthik. You don’t need 200. While it is as much a SaNa signature on the music, it is thalaivar stuff as well. This will only be proved with time. Very happy SaNa has done what he’s best at, not playing to the gallery. Not sure if Ranjith had the “Madras” influence in “Ulagam oruvanukka”, but it is such a rocking number. Veera thurandhara is a beauty and neruppu da is already a winner. The pathos “vaanam paarthen” should not be written off and “maya nadhi”, yes, the thiruvasagam of raja inspiration it seems will be a long lasting melody. This is a wonderful track.

  • lovethetech

    After oru kettal, .

    I am surprised to see Santosh wasted an opportunity. It is not A very great blockbuster album in many respects. Marketing and Star value will pull it for some weeks and (if a good movie ) hope it helps the songs. .
    I wish SN and Ghibran be the Successful next gen MDs. But Santosh did not come out great.
    Too much Yogis’ impact… Because of Malaysia?
    Nerrupuda , sounds like Yogi’s Madai Thiranthu” especially after the first interlude .

    Maya Nadhi – Flow is a ? a interesting piece , may be good for situation. Guitar is std Hispanic sounds. not a big deal.
    Vaanam PArthu is sorry state of composition.

    Ulagam Oruvanuku is the only one is good in first listen for first 2 minutes. then goes south. for 30 seconds meaningless . then recovers. Some times sounds like “Boys” superstar + break the rules….

  • Hari Narayanan

    Absolutely fresh sounds. Every time I swap FM channels, I could distinctly make out this had to be Kabali. Of late, there are hardly songs in Tamil cinema that doesn’t sound repetitive or resembling to some other popular no. And in Kabali too, there are resemblances at places, but the output outlives the resemblances with high precision quality #vanam parthen is outstanding. To me, every song in #Kabali was an experience. It delivers a very serious social message (theme) with the towering personality of Mr.Rajini announcing it loud and clear. Such detailed lyric work, uncompromising beauty of the language and musicality. I personally would have preferred less noise for #neruppu da but I guess with superstar’s established image, that should have been unavoidable. Good album for its content and quality.

  • Paul

    really disappointed with Santosh narayan Music he didnt give the average level … this is thalaivar movie yaar – Santosh Narayanan just scored like low budget movie … Duet Male singer voice didnt suit with thalaivar touch ( Really that Singer suits for kuthu pattu type songs)… iam not saying bad here …but those who behind the musics are good to related to that average – ( can’t include those singers and muscians to top level projects – they spoil entire shape and flavours)…

    Any how i compromise my self for thalaivar…

  • Pinchi

    Maya Nadhi, Nerrupu Da and Veera Thurandara are good. I hate it when music is supposed be in particular form just to satisfy a set of people. The true appreciation of music should evolve from the music not the composer or actor. Long way to go in that direction if we are still with “film” music. SN is a clever and talented musician. Good album from him.

  • Pingback: Kabali review | Cek the Space()

  • Dizz

    After watching movie: Santhosh music is the real backbone for Kabali. Let it be the emotional scenes or those ‘few’ mass scenes, Santhosh’s music shines alongside Superstar! Brilliant man! Kudos!

  • minnal

    only maya nadhi is on acceptable factor eventhough its an average sentimental score. santhosh should have done a bit more research and homework. its not madras film.. its thalaivar’s film. he should have worked much more seriously.. unfortunately when I listen to the songs, i dont get that feel.

    neruppu da… why santhosh do u copy almost 20 years old mission impossible theme and use with a slighter modification for our thalaivar super star?
    neruppu da song… its like a garbage collection from some teenager home made music..

    veera sudandhara is yet another copy from old school hiphop (thaa raa ra.. thaa raa raa)…

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