Overview:

Mani Ratnam and A.R.Rahman are one of the most explosive combinations that exist in Indian Cinema today. So whenever these two get together, one always expects magic. A.R.Rahman always seems to find that extra special something when it comes to Mani Ratnam. So with all the buzz around ‘Kadal’ lets see if the sky-high expectations have been met.

Kadal

Kadal

 

Song Name Artists Rating
Chithirai Nila Vijay Yesudas ★★★★☆
Adiye Sid Sriram, Maria Roe Vincent ★★★★½
Moongil Thotam Abhay Jodhpurkar, Harini ★★★★½
Elay Keechan A.R.Rahman ★★★★☆
Nenjukkule Shaktishree Gopalan ★★★★½
Anbin Vaasale Haricharan ★★★½☆
Magudi Magudi Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Chinmayee, Tanvi Shah ★★★☆☆

1. Chithirai Nila

One immediately gets hooked to the melody of this enchanting number. This song scores because of its strong melodic content which just flows seamlessly and the simplicity accentuates the sedate feel this song exudes.Its almost Vangelis-like and just tugs at your heartstrings. The continuum works its magic again and the rythm change midway through the song is just brilliant. Thats where it makes a sort of a transition from a simple soothing lullaby to an anthem of sorts. The lyrics are great and Vijay Yesudas has done a very good job. Overall, Endearing, soulful and ambient.

2. Adiye

Psychedelia! This is a surreal song that has a heady blend of Jazz, Gospel and Blues genres. The chords are drums are especially laudable. Sid Sriram, the debutant vocalist created an impact akin to what Ash King did with ‘Dil Gira Dafatan'(Delhi 6). Sriram just croons away to glory here with effortless ease. The female harmonies induce a sense of hypnosis in the minds of the listeners. Just too good. Eager to see how this song will be picturized.

3. Moongil Thotam

As soon as you hear the initial guitar strumming pattern and the harmonic vocals, you know this is going to be something special. The USP of this song is its earthiness and an almost Raja-like melodic structure of course with that additional Rahman magic. And after quite a long time, its heartening to see Harini singing something substantial for Rahman and the talented veteran has grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Her voice texture is simply ethereal. The interludes and instrumentation of this song are arguably the best in the album. In the second interlude, the interplay between the strings, cello,guitar,accordion, harpischord et al conjure an atmosphere of eternal bliss where you can simply lose yourself in the purity of the music, till the vocals bring you back to earth.The vocal harmonies throughout the song are excellent. The male vocalist Abhay Jodhpurkar does a marvellous job. All the makings of an evergreen classic. Like it says in the song ‘Idhu Podum enakku Idhu podume'(This is enough for me)

4. ELay Keechan

This was released as the second single of this album. Sung by the boss ARR himself, this one is immediately catchy and doesnt require multiple listens to get hooked to. This seems like the fishermen anthem with Karky producing some very interesting lyrics(Keechan means ‘Tiger Fish’ apparently). The riff is insanely catchy and the laudable guitar work has been done by George Doering who worked with Rahman previously for the song ‘Hawa Hawa’ from ‘Rockstar’. The male chorus ‘Vaa Le Konda le’ is well done. I especially love how the song makes a transition from a country-like genre to Tamil folk in the second charanam. However, I just cannot imagine fishermen sing something like this. Rahman does a great job on the vocals but sounds a tad too nasal at places.

5. Nenjukkule

This song has already become a chartbuster owing to the awesome ‘MTV Unplugged’ performance. The original is more or less similar. This is a page straight of the ‘Vintage 90’s’ book of Rahman. The song has so much soul that you immediately fall for it. Simplicity is one of the biggest scoring points of this song. Shaktishree Gopalan , has sung her way into all our hearts. The husky tone and rustic tinge in her voice takes this song to another level altogether. The orchestration is fantastic and I really liked the flute tone which sounds like a chirping koel. Rahman is in his element here. Lyrics by Vairamuthu is a huge plus. Another sureshot classic.

6. Anbin Vaasale

This is a church based gospel song with a strong tamil flavour to it. The grand orchestration and the choir portions standout. Esp the choir portions backed by apt string and brass sections lift the song. Haricharan, who’s singing for Rahman for the first time does a commendable job and sounds great as always.

7. Magudi

Considering the direction in which the album has been progressing, this sounds completely alien and out of place. The song is high on synth, digital beats and loops. And this has quite a bit of ‘Dol Dol'(Yuva) hangover. This is more like club music. Cannot imagine where this song would fit in a rural setting.

Verdict:

There’s an unwritten rule in Indian Cinema that goes something like this: “Rahman reserves his God Mode for Mani Ratnam“. The validity of that statement has once again been established beyond ambiguity. Kadal is one for the ages, if you are a fan of deep, enduring music. This is a feast for Rahman fans, esp after that disappointment in ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. ARR has been breaking creative barriers since 1992.  20 years hence, this juggernaut still rolls on.

Album ★★★★★★★★★☆