Author’s Rating : ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Cast: Kamal Haasan, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose, Jaideep Ahlawat, Shekhar Kapoor, Nassar, Zarina Wahab

Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Lyrics:Javed Akthar, Asif Ali Beg

Editing: Mahesh Narayanan

Cinematography: Sanu Varghese

Story: Kamal Haasan

Screenplay: Kamal Haasan

Dialogues: Kamal Haasan

Direction: Kamal Haasan

Vishwaroop

And it is here finally! The much awaited music album of Kamal Hassan’s magnum opus “Vishwaroop” has made its way into the stands. It’s a Kamal Hassan movie & naturally, the expectations go sky-high. Add SEL to the mix, it goes even higher. Are we in for a special treat ? Let’s see:

Track Name Singers Rating
Vishwaroop Suraj Jagan ★★★★☆
Vishwaroop (Remix) Shane Mendonsa ★★★★☆
Jung Hai Benny Dayal, Shankar Mahadevan ★★★½☆
Koi Kahin Kamal Haasan, Nikhil D’Souza ★★★★½
Main Radha Tu Shaam Kamal Haasan, Shankar Mahadevan ★★★★½

Track Analysis:

1. Vishwaroop

Singers: Suraj Jagan

Lyrics: Javed Akthar

Bang ! We start hearing sirens with the drums in the background slowly marching its way into something dynamic. This looks like the central song of the movie. Javed Akthar’s choice of words which somewhat matches to the ons-creen persona of Kamal Hassan enrich this song to a different level. There is a purposefully added Arabic touch to the interludes & the chorus portions are haunting. Suraj Jagan is a surprise choice to sing this and he does an extremely neat job. This song has all the ingredients to be “the song” of Kamal Haasan & the mass centers are going to have a blast with this song. And did I mention the orchestration ? – top notch. A rocking start !

2. Vishwaroop (Remix)

Singers: Suraj Jagan

Remix: Shane Mendonsa

Lyrics: Javed Akthar

It has been ages since Hindi Cinema produced good quality remixes. The young composers are under the bad perception that remixes mean only increasing the tempo and adding scratchy synthesizer sounds. No ! then, how can a remix be done effectively ? Here comes the answer: Vishwaroop’s title song gets a remix version as well. The remix by Shane Mendonsa retains the essence of the original song but has some special moments as well. There is a techno background which has been fused superbly & the regular DJ kit stuffs are also there. There is a distinct difference between the two versions. But, whether this song actually needed a remix version ? That comes as a different question. Anyways, worth a listen !

3. Jung Hai

Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Benny Dayal

Lyrics: Javed Akthar, Asif Ali Beg

“Jung Hai” starts with a trumpet prelude followed by western beats amidst heavy guitar work. And, surprise surprise ! This song is actually in English. Just when you start to wonder, Benny Dayal starts with the Hindi segment. I don’t know why but I got reminded of “Gonna Fly Now” number from Rocky(yeah, Rocky Balboa). Shankar Mahadevan also joins with the vocals & the song will impress listeners only after multiple listens. The rap portion is quite catchy. Javed Akthar’s lyrics are just magical. But, the song is more likely to feature in the movie as a background score.

4. Koi Kahin

Singers: Kamal Hassan, Nikhil D’Souza

Lyrics: Javed Akthar

Kamal Hassan does a magic ! “Koi Kahin” is a slow, pathos along the lines of “Surmayee Ankhiyoon”. This song delivers what it set out aiming at. This song has rich lyrical content about global issues & I am not going to tell you what it is. This song will work well in emotional sequences in the movie. The music has a global touch to it. Kamal Hassan adds a lot of soul to this number with his vocals. The album’s best song !

5. Main Radha

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Tu Shaam

Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Kamal Hassan

Lyrics: Javed Akthar

Classical Bliss ! The audience is already familiar with the prelude, thanks to the promos. By this time, listeners would have known that Kamal Haasan is playing a ‘Kathak’ dancer in the film & the song is sure to come along his segment. Following that really ‘difficult-to-sing’ jathi by Kamal, Shankar Mahadevan launches himself into this song. SEL is one of the very few composers in the country to have possibly attempted this genre. The song has all sorts of classical touch to it – be it the singing, arrangements, lyrics. And, yes this is the song which AR Rahman tweeted about. Top-Notch song and easily a listener’s favorite!

That concludes the album. The promos have made it clear enough that the movie is set in the west & the theme is global. The songs have almost no place in the film except the classical number which I reckon will be there in the film. Javed Akthar has done a fantastic job along with Kamal Hassan and this movie has probably the best lyrics in recent times after “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”(which was also Javed Akthar’s masterclass). The film has an international aura to it & I guess SEL delivered the global music which they were expected to do. SEL are one of the very few versatile composers around the country and that explains Kamal’s choice for their music. This album would rank as one of the best albums of SEL. No second thoughts. Even after seeing the promos of the film, if one expects a typical mass album – item songs, duet songs. . Well, sorry for your senses. It’s because, this album is meant to cater the class audience & listeners better listen with an open mind. This is not the kind of album where you would expect every song to be part of the movie. The Tamil version has become sensational and has rocked the iTunes chart in the past few weeks. The songs have been made in such a way that the music flows along with the flow of the movie. The album has rich lyrical content & the songs are very audible, pleasant(most of the current albums aren’t). The songs are quite ahead of its time & by the passage of time, will get even better recognition. Who’d have thought that Kamal might pull such a surprise from his hat by picking SEL & give such a global album. Well, the lyrics of the movie reply to that: ”Kaun Hai Aur Kya Hai Woh ! “

Picks of the album: Vishwaroop, Main Radha Tu Shaam, Koi Kahin

Album Verdict:

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Stands tall ! Vishwaroop – very true !