Last year has seen a plenty of Tamil Albums with various genres. There has been some great talent,sensational debuts,creativity and hard work behind each and every album. The rating that follows takes into account how musically genuine and appealing the album was.Since we cannot compare albums of different genres,these are simply ‘Best of 2012’ and not ‘Top ten albums’.So,the following albums are definitely not in order.
Neethane En Ponvasantham : This album will be up in everyone’s list not only for this year but for the years to come by.The music made more news as it announced the combination of Goutham-Ilaiyaraja.Neethane En Ponvasantham had Raja at his 80’s best with the album being easily the biggest seller in 2012.Songs like “Saayndhu Saayndhu”,”Ennodu Vaa Vaa”,”Vaanam Mella”,”Satru Munbu”,”Katrai Konjam” had signature Raja written all over them.Masterclass !
3 : Although the audio released couple of days before 2012,the movie got released well later in March.The songs were a raging hit among the youth and the ‘Kolaveri’ phenomenon was all over the globe.Anirudh proved his mettle that he is not a one-song wonder.After a long time,there was an album in Tamil where all the songs were hits.”Kannazhagha”,”Po Nee Po”,”Idhazhin Oram”,”Nee Partha Vizhigal”,”Come On Girls” and of course,”Kolaveri” with the background score impressing the critics as well.Knockout !
Vishwaroopam : This one’s a real biggie ! The day the audio got released,it entered straight into the itunes chart top 3. 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.The songs are quite ahead of its time.Kamal sprang a surprise by signing SEL for this movie and songs like “Unnai Kaanadha”,”Anu Vidhaitha” are here to stay for a long time.The title song “Vishwaroopam” itself is a powerhouse.Magnum-Opus !
Kadal : Much hyped and hype living upto its word.Kadal had the dream combination of Mani Ratnam-AR Rahman-Rajiv Menon coming together and the movie is supposed to be a romantic/musical.The songs had village-folkish lyrics and critics were instantly praising Rahman for his tunes.The songs were high on innovation with tunes like “Adiye”,”Magudi”,”Elay Keechan” all set to woo the youngsters and “Moongil Thotam”,”Nenjukulley” soothing the listeners.Dreamland !
Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal : SM Vasanth brings out the best in his music directors & one look at his track record keeps us astonished – Rhythym,Nerukku Ner,Poovellam Kettuppar,Satham Podathey,Aasai,Appu,Keladi Kanmani,Nee Padhi Naan Padhi,Yei Nee Romba Azhaga Irukey ! Stunning isn’t it ? Yuvan has gone on record saying that he didn’t compose any new tunes for MPMK & Vasanth picked the best tunes from his stock tunes.Inspite of that,MPMK will surely be rated as one of the top albums of the year. This album has songs of all genre – each having its own uniqueness & high on experimentation.Almost all the songs appealed to both the critics and masses alike.A welcome change !
Kumki : This one was the dark horse ! No one expected Kumki to have songs like it had.The movie was of a new genre not attempted prior in Tamil cinema.D.Imman,who gave a good album in ‘Mynaa’ returned with his career-best(till date) album.Songs like “Aiyayayo”,”A Lady & a Violin”,”Sollitale”,”Nee Eppo” were instant chartbusters and the Prabhu Solomon-Imman combo had struck gold once again.
Mugamoodi : An album with total of 11 songs of which 7 are instrumentals was something new to Tamil music. Focusing on the music instead of mindless songs was a welcome change. The composer K had done a neat job.This album might be a start to making movies in Tamil that don’t have unnecessary songs in them.It had many reasons to be applauded ! And not to forget the songs “Bar Anthem”,”Vaayamoodi” which had its own share of fans.
Ethirneechal : Anirudh proved again that he is not a one-movie wonder! The songs appeared fresh, had extreme youth-appeal. Overall, the packaging of the album was nice – 1 instrumental, 1 duet, 1 kuthu, 1 hip hop, 1 melody, 1 inspiration. Almost all the songs carried the “3” legacy forward.And,Anirudh had raised the bar one more time with tunes like “Velicha Poove Vaa”,”Nijamellam Marandhu”,”Un Paarvayil”,”Boomi Enna” and not to forget the already raging hit “Ethirneechal Adi”.
Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal : GV Prakash had a fabulous 2011 with Aadukalam,Deiva Thirumagal,Mayakkam Enna.He followed it up with “Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal” and the fresh,romantic album brought more people into the theatres.Songs like “Yaar Aval”,”Kangal Neeye”,”Oh Sunandha” were cool and the youngsters loved it.
Pizza : This one surprised many – not only with the movie but also with its music ! This album was a great attempt at experimentation. The makers had made sure that each song stood out on its own and sounded different. In all,this was a really good album with a mix of fast paced, peppy and thrill too.”Engo Odukinrai”,”Mogathirai”,”Rathiri” were too good and the background score was a scream too,literally
Aadhalal Kaadhal Seiveer : Yuvan-Susheendhiran combo was back again with this low profile movie.Yuvan Shankar Raja had done a good job in keeping the songs simple & pleasing to ears.The director had come out in the open & said that 2 more songs are also part of the movie but not released in the OST as he feels the lyrics might let out the story to the audience.Songs like “Mella Sirithal”,”Poovum”,”Thappu Thanda” were trademark Yuvan Shankar Raja.
Poda Podi : This is Simbhu’s best musical album after “Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya”. The film, being about dance had some nice tunes & the only negative aspect one might complain was the over-usage of voice processing. Some of the lyrics appealed to youngsters but they didn’t go well with elder audience. The movie was in the making for a long time but the songs were very fresh & urbane.Songs like “Poda Podi”,”Un Paarvayile”,”Hare Rama”,”Maatikitene” were cool listens.
Dhoni : The album on the whole was an overdose of melody. The maestro is no doubt the best in creating melodies and Ilaiyaraja weaved his magic once again for this Prakashraj movie.The album had some nice touching lyrics and some symphony oriented tunes.Songs like “Vaangum Panathukum”,”Thaavi Thaavi” were reminiscent of Maestro’s touch.
Maalai Pozhudin Mayakathile : Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakkathile did not have a star cast or a big banner to boost itself. But the songs surely made a mark ! Achu,the composer possesses great talent and is all set for a great future.There were sparks of brilliance in songs like “Yen Indha”,”Yaaro Ivalo”,”Nerathin Neram” and “Oh Baby Girl” was a surprise hit among college goers.
Kadhalil Sodhapuvadhu Epadi : This movie was one of the best films made in 2012.The music reigns were handled by S.Thaman who continued his obsession towards auto-tuning of the vocals.If not,the album would have ranked at even higher position thanks to tunes like “Aanandha Jaladosham”,”Azhaipaaya” and the scorching hit “Parvathi Parvathi”.
Naan Ee : This is easily the biggest hit at the box office this year.Although,the graphics and unique storyline were the main reasons for the film’s success,the music(especially the background score) played a huge part too.Songs like “Lava Lava”,”Konjam Konjam” added to the experience.
Also,there were other albums which were huge hits among the followers and fans.Eventhough these albums couldn’t be rated as the best by the critics,they were lapped up by the audiences and proved to be commercially viable.Some of them are : Nanban,Thupakki,Oru Kal Oru Kannadi,Maatraan,Billa 2,Naan,Saguni.
Apart from these albums,we came across a lot of superb songs which missed the list because the overall album didn’t click much as that particular song :
1.Oru Paadhi Kadhavu (Thandavam) – Simply the year’s best song with a heart warming composition but other songs in the album didn’t click as expected both with the critics and audience.
2.Manasellam Mazhaiye (Saguni) – This was the odd man out in an otherwise mass album. Sonu Nigam’s vocals were typical and this song won more hearts than the other songs in the movie.
3.Mella Pookudhe (Puthagam) – This is the most under-rated song of the year.This song is composed by the ‘Kangal Erandal’ fame James Vasanthan.Mella Pookudhe was a soothing,romantic & at the same time peppy number which had some high-class lyrics too.
Some of the other such songs which clicked individually but not as an album are :
Idhayam – Billa 2
Kaal Mulaitha Poove – Maatraan
Oru Thuli Vishamai – Aadhi Bhagwan
Asku Laska – Nanban
Vennilave – Thupakki
Yedho Mayakkam – Billa 2
Kaadhal Butterfly – Oru Kal Oru Kannadi
Avatha Paiyaa – Paradesi
Para Para – Neerparavai
Irukaana – Nanban
Vanakam Chennai – Marina
Jilendru Oru Kalavaram – Leelai
In the singing front,lot of new singers rose to the occasion and some of the experienced ones hit the bulls-eye too.There are abundant good singers in this field and some of them rendered some of their best songs this year.The following is to just mention some of the best singers of 2012 and note : Not in order.
Some of the best renditions this year (Female) are,
Shwetha Pandit – Idhayam – Billa 2
Shruthi Hassan – Kannazhagha – 3
Neha Bhasin – Kaadhal Endhan Kaadhal – Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal
Shreya Ghoshal – Oru Thuli Vishamai – Aadhi Bhagwan
Andrea Jeremiah – Poda Podi – Poda Podi
Sunidhi Chauhan – Irukaana – Nanban
Bombay Jayshri – Vennilave – Thupakki
Chinmayi – Asku Lasku – Nanban
Suchitra – Maatikitene – Poda Podi
Ramya NSK – Saayndhu Saayndhu,Satru Munbu – Neethane En Ponvasantham
Nandini Srikar – Aha Kaadhal – Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal
Sithara – Kangal Neeye – Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal
Some of the best renditions this year (Male) are,
Vijay Yesudas – Poovum Poovum – Aadhalal Kaadhal Seiveer
Shankar Mahadevan – Unnai Kaanadha – Vishwaroopam
Mohit Chauhan – Po Nee Po – 3
Krish – Padapadakuthu Maname – Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal
Karthik – Kaatrai Konjam,Ennodu Vaa Vaa – Neethane En Ponvasantham
Sonu Nigam – Manasellam Mazhaiye – Saguni
Aalap Raju – Vayamoodi Summa – Mugamoodi
Haricharan – Ayyayayo Aanandhame – Kumki
Suraj Jagan – Vishwaroopam – Vishwaroopam
SP Balasubramaniam – Vaangum Panathukum – Dhoni
Vijay Prakash – Konjam – Naan Ee
Benny Dayal – Poda Podi – Poda Podi
Javed Ali – Kaal Mulaitha Poove – Maatrran
Note : Movies like Urumi,Ragalai,Ramcharan,etc aren’t considered as they were dubbed from other languages & “3” was added as the movie got released in 2012 & music had released in the later part of December,2011.
This is a guest post by Siddharth.K