Music review: Thaalam (Malayalam Pop – Job Kurian, Charan & Yakzon)

Update: I have a friend who knows Charan and apparently Manorama Music has not paid these guys for this album! This is so incredibly unfortunate! These guys have made amazing music and couldn’t get a decent label to back them? Looks like you cannot have music as a career in this country! Bottomline – DO NOT buy Thaalam’s tracks from Manorama’s online site.

Thaalam is perhaps all that I look for in an Indian pop album! For a Malayalam pop album, Thaalam raises the bar extraordinarily high, even with just 7/8 tracks. The title track with delectable guitar by Sumesh and its more pop’ish, keyboard version set the tone beautifully – this is a fantastic tune that grows! Kanneer paadam’s Latin/ Middle Eastern base is mesmerizing. Job’s vocals and the sheer energy in the composition blend fabulously while Nedumudi Venu’s Mallu blues via a Panchathantra story is an experiment that works big time, thanks largely to Stephen Devassy’s contribution! Inninte Eenam is the pick of the album for its alluring rock and addictive backing vocal phrase. The Richard Marx-style Swanthanam is a heartfelt ballad that is instantly captivating but the weak link is the Hindi track, For you – gimmicky even while enveloped in competent backgrounds. Job Kurian, one of the composers (along with Charan and Yakzon) was the runner-up in Amrita TV’s Super Stars. What he attempts in this album is tremendous inspiration for budding musicians. Thaalam is what happens when you get the right tunes, assemble a set of amazing artists and jam! Forget the language – don’t miss this album!

Keywords: Job Kurian, Charan, Nedumudi Venu, Stephen Devassy, Yakzon, Amrita TV Superstars

1. Though the album was released around September 2008 and my review is almost 7 months late…I thank Liju for introducing this album to me!
2. A Hindu write-up about this album.