I discovered tamil film music much later than I should have. One of my earliest childhood memories is that of my cousins and I dancing for Muqala Muqabula from Kadhalan at a younger cousin’s birthday party. It was during the summer holidays and we used to practice secretly all afternoon. Quite naturally, it was one of the first albums I had heard several times over and over again. Its a completely different matter that its one of the most embarrassing videos that all of us still get threatened with. In fact, when we bought our first Audio CD player, (yes, it was one of those big players with a cassette player at the bottom), the first CD we bought was Indra. Another strong childhood memory is that of me in school and my music master singing Kadhal Rojave and strumming the guitar gently. That was where my passion for Tamil Film music started. My pursuit started with Rahman and then I discovered Raaja with whom I fell head-over heels in love with.
I was expecting him or her to do a post on Rahman today. Since, neither of them are doing it and I was promised an ARR anecdote by him, I’m going ahead and sharing my perfect Rahman playlist with you. These songs are in no particular order since I love all of them equally 🙂
1. Kangalil enna eeramo
What I love about this song is the soothing orchestration especially the piano and the flute along with the voice of Chitra that make it a perfect song to listen to when you’re curling up in fetal trying to get a grip on life.
2. Aathangara marame
Just the amount of happiness in this song is infectious. Mano is the master of playing with words in a song. Especially when he sings lines like “thotta poo ellam sugamthaana” you feel like blushing yourself (of course, only if you’re a woman :P). Also, I can’t imagine anyone other Sujatha singing this song. Again, the flute. I miss Naveen these days in his songs. ARR has given us a taste of this wonderful instrument in his music and then taken it away from us. Not fair!
3. Kathazha kaatu vazhi
If I said that I had to pick this song for the lovely and authentic folk lilt in the melody, it would half truth. Janaki completes this song for me. She sounds like an innocent village belle when she sings “anil vaal meesa vecha annan unna vittu, puli vaal meesa konda purusanoda poi varava!”
4. Chikku bukku rayile
Even though there are other brilliant songs in the same movie like Otagatha kattiko, En veetu thotathil, this song was something else! I still remember the frenzy that this song created. Every kid wanted to put “prabhudeva” step, wrap around skirts came back into fashion, ujala sales went up (i’m making this one up!) and whatnot! Its a song that makes you dance.
5. Raasthi en usuru
Shahul Hameed, what a singer that man is! Also, I love the a capella kind of feel this song attempts. A simple melody with extraordinary vocals and harmony. I also read somewhere that Sujatha, Minimimi etc were a part of the female chorus in the song. No wonder!
6. Nee kattum selai
I’m sure we’ve all danced to this song in school at least once. I’ve done it too! I had no idea this song was Rahman until much much later. Yet another example of a brilliant folk melody with a lilt . Also, what a unique choice of singer for the male lead. I recollect only seeing his devotional hits. Its a pity we’ve not had a folk number from ARR in a long long time.
This is again one of my happy place numbers. Just a simple melody that makes me smile every time I listen to it. Why won’t I with Mano singing the way he does! Such beautiful interludes. The same flute that comes back to haunt me here as well!
8. Porale ponnuthayi
Its not my fault that I keep talking about ARR and the flute. It really isn’t! Listen to the prelude of this song. Makes my heart flutter. Also, what an interesting rhythm patter (what instrument is that, btw? sounds like some kind of bongo to me).
This song just had to be there. That humming in the prelude with those temple bells that just ease you into the beauty that you’re about to encounter. Unni never sounded like this, ever again. Also, Vairamuthu’s lines complete the lovestruck teenager feel! If it was the flute in the previous song, this one has violins. Rahman, we don’t want your electronic sounds. Just bring these instruments back. Like, only these 🙂
10. Naan padum santham
In spite of the incredibly beautiful Anjali, this song is my favorite in this movie. Just something so beautiful about SPB and the Sax. Helps that the lines are beautiful as well.
11. Oruvan oruvan
Its hard to pick out the best intro song of Rajni. But if I had to, this song would be amongst the top. The biggest reason would be the prelude and the way the song ends! The lovely rhythm that makes you feel like you’re in a jhakta vandi yourself. This also SPB’s forte. Again, this is my happy song!
12. Thoda thoda
I fell in love when I heard this song. With nothing and no one in particular. I just fell in love. SPB and Chitra have a beautiful “konjal” in their voices. I heard SPB saying in an interview that the entire interlude that sounds like a flute was whistled by Rahman. Goosebumps! I was in Goa recently. I just played this song on my ipod and walked along the beach watching the sun come up. What an intense moment that was.
Hariharan, sigh! Oh, and the flute. Some more sigh! There’s nothing I can say about this song that hasn’t already been said except that I have a lump in my throat when he sings “mudhala mudiva adhai un kaiyil koduthuvitten”
14. Idhu annai bhoomi
Can’t find a link online
This song to be summarizes patriotism. When I listen to this song, I feel energised, I feel useless, I feel like I have to do something. That violin prelude always gives me goosebumps. This song almost speaks to me like a parent- admonishes me for doing less than what I can do and then massages my wounds by appealing to my good side!
15. Thaneerai kadhalikka
I like this song better than mellisaye. This seductive song leads you to the first pallavi that just traps you in its beauty by whispering sweet nothings to you. Kannalan kannodu kan vaithu kadhodhu naavaduven- what a line!
I only wanted to one post. But now looks like I will have to a part 2 (or maybe even 3 :))
Happy Birthday Rahman, for bringing such wonderful music into our lives