Hitman – October 24, 2015

Originally published in The Hindu.

Uyir nadhi – Vedalam (Tamil – Anirudh)
Anirudh is in form, and how! After Naanum Rowdy Dhaan, he manages to produce a very commercial and likeable soundtrack for Vedalam! For the pathos situation (having an unshaven Ajith mope around hopelessly?) in Uyir nadhi, Anirudh seems to be using a mix of Charukesi and Vasantha raagas, and roping in Ravishankar to deliver it in style. The raagas’ innate sadness is endearing, but Anirudh goes way beyond staying with that – he layers the melody with a superbly ambient orchestration, an immersive chorus and veena’ish guitar for the interludes and the somber ending!

Jalte diye – Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Hindi – Himesh Reshammiya)
Himesh Reshammiya seems to be a surprising choice to compose music for Rajshri films’ Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, considering Sooraj Barjatya’s steady history with composers like Ravindra Jain and Raamlaxman, with only Anu Malik being the odd one out for Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon. It’s also odd given Himesh’s acting aspirations and limited musical output in recent times. The man does offer a sprawling 10 song soundtrack, of which the one song that stands out is Jalte diye. Right from the jadhi-based, catchy vocalized rhythm to fantastic use of singers like Harshdeep Kaur, Anwesha, Shadab Sabri and Vineet Singh who seems to have been roped in exclusively to sound like Sonu Nigam, Himesh gets everything right in this lovely tune.

Lola – Mellisai (Tamil – Sam C.S.)
Sam C.S. (Sam Riyas), who debuted with a couple of songs in the creature-film, Ambuli 3D, gets his first solo soundtrack in Mellisai. He does very well, topping the album with a very Bond’esque (if James Bond theme tunes were a genre – there is something connecting them, after all, beyond silhouettes of shapely women caressing a gun!) Lola. Maria Kavitha Thomas, who sings Lola with the necessary feel beautifully rolls the name ‘Lola’ and seems like a fantastic choice to croon this one.

Tham tham – Pasanga 2 (Tamil – Arrol Corelli)
Arul Murugan, who composed decent-enough, but unheard music in Anba Azhaga, made a mighty impressive re-debut (!) in Mysskin’s Pisasu, now named after an Italian violinist of the baroque era, though his new name is most likely to remind most Indians of a brand of ceramic dish-ware! In Pasanga 2, he produces music that is so, so reminiscent of Ilayaraja. Considering this is a film involving/featuring children, he produces, like Anjali, music that doesn’t appeal to children alone, but also to adults. The Western Classical base in Tham tham makes it a great listen, even invoking shades of Rimsky’s Flight of the Bumblebee. Anand Halve sings it wonderfully well, though the maudlin anupallavi tune is the only minor let-down.

Wat wat wat – Tamasha (Hindi – A R Rahman)
Given director Imtiaz Ali’s history with A R Rahman (Rockstar, Highway), it is only natural to expect the moon out of Tamasha’s soundtrack. The duo subvert a lot of expectations and produce a soundtrack that feels as thrilling and exciting as catching a flight without knowing the destination. Rahman is at his innovative best in Wat wat wat, a lively, playful tune where Arijit Singh finally gets to do something dramatically different, along with Sashwat Singh. The sound is essentially Punjabi, but in true Rahman style, he coats it with a heavy fusion rhythm that adds generous dollops of fun!