Param Sundari, Yaane Yaane, Hututu & Phuljhadiyon – Mimi (A R Rahman) – Hindi: Param Sundari could well be Rahman’s own ‘Rowdy Baby’ (Yuvan Shankar Raja) given the similar structure using a very prominent bassline to anchor the song. Rahman has a superbly catchy and addictive ‘Param Sundari’ hook that Shreya delivers incredibly. She is especially extraordinary in the more melodic antara and towards the end. Yaane Yaane is a wonderful surprise!! Rahman has had his share of Arabic-sounding songs earlier too, but this one takes the Arabic musical roots very seriously in every way. Rakshita Suresh sings it phenomenally too, totally holding the intricate Arabic-style melody.
There is SO MUCH of Rahman’s earlier musical style all over Hututu that it works equally as an Easter egg hunt as much as a lovely song. I could trace Gang Master’s Hello Hello Premalekha to Rang De Basanti’s Tu Bin Bataye at the outset before being entranced by the beautiful sitar-led ending! Shashaa Tirupati is, as usual, in excellent form! Phuljhadiyon is the real Rahman doing what he does best! The tune that seems more like an energetic march past song given the heavy brass segment morphs into newer territories in the interludes. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are truly delightful, most probably alluding to a pregnant woman’s swinging moods with references to ‘hormonal jwalamukhi’, share market’s ups and downs, being Paro and Chandramukhi, and wanting tamarind and chillies! The Spanish background chorus amps up the novelty while Shilpa Rao is an inspired choice for this song’s tempo – she’s absolutely fantastic.
Neeye Oli – Sarpatta Parambarai (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil/English (Warning: Explicit lyrics): I recall writing about Canadian Tamil artist Shan Vincent de Paul back in February 2020, for his song ‘Best Friend’ featuring Yanchan’s mridangam. In Neeye Oli, a pulsating song with obvious references to Muhammad Ali (“Float like a butterfly, Sting like a killer bee”) comes alive in Shan’s searing rap and Navz-47’s Tamil lines. Santhosh, as always, adds so much in the background that makes the song a brilliant experience, including that Tamil folk percussion that elevates the song to another level.
Bahubalikku Oru Kattappa – Sivakumarin Sabadham (Hiphop Tamizha) – Tamil: A simple, catchy song that revels in its lilting rhythm and that hilarious hook: “Bahubalikku Oru Kattappa, Adha Poladhaan Enga Sithappa” 🙂
Thooriga & Alai Alaiyaaga – Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru/Navarasa (Karthik) – Tamil: Thooriga’s clear highlight is Karthik sampling Agni Natchathiram’s Ninnu Kori, that iconic song by Ilayaraja. But, full marks to the composer for not making it stick out – the sampling fits perfectly into the new musical wrapper and in fact enhances the new song with an old, very familiar, and much-loved soul! In comparison, Alai Alaiyaaga is a beautifully calm melody that stands out because of Madhan Karky’s perceptive lines.
Kannoonjal – Payasam/Navarasa (Justin Prabhakaran) – Tamil: Considering the raaga Aanandabhairavi has been used so frequently and often in Tamil cinema, Justin’s use that carefully traverses an already familiar Tamil Brahmin-wedding song and its structure (with new lyrics extended by Uma Devi) still hold ample appeal given how the young composer uses his imagination in the backgrounds. And the way he initiates the solo violin to showcase what the character of Aditi Balan may be going through, as an ostracised young widow, is a wonderful musical touch.
Yaadho – Edhiri/Navarasa (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: Govind’s 96 hangover is apparent but I’m not complaining… yet. The output is immediately familiar because of how monumentally good 96’s music was. Chinmayi (another 96 connection, of course), in her usual, splendid self, handles Madhan Karky’s poignant verse beautifully. Lines like ‘MaNNai cheraadha mazhaiyaagave… mannippillaadha pizhaiyaagave’ are so wonderfully articulated!
Pathala – Three Songs For The Night (Sean Roldan) – Tamil/Indipop: That’s the 3rd song in the album that mentions that there are only going to be 3 songs 🙂 Compared to the other 2 songs (Namadhaan Raja and Maya), this one seemed less interesting, but only in comparison to those songs. This one is more on the lines of Sean’s Idli Chutney song. The backgrounds are, as always, delightfully engaging and it’s only the tune that seems a bit bland.
Theerame – Malik (Sushin Shyam) – Malayalam: When Sushin opens the song with the long, beautiful passage sung so passionately by Chithra, I felt the melody actually sounded more like a Christian hymn! Then, the composer introduces sounds that are more attuned to the Muslim locale and situation of the scene and the blend seemed so perfect! Much of the melody’s charm is due to Chithra’s pitch-perfect rendition and the way she navigates the intricacies of the winding tune as it progresses is astonishingly lovely!