Let me start off with a disclaimer that this by no means is a review of a music album – for I find the term ‘review’ often misleading & distasteful. This is simply a collection of my thoughts.
The very idea of a Shankar-Rahman combination, in spite of it being almost 16-17 years old is still fascinating to the Tamil movie & music industry. There is something in their working dynamics – There is something in the way Shankar concieves his song sequences & the way in which he communicates them to Rahman. There has to be. There is also probably some unique cues he is able to provide Rahman with every time they work on an idea because there is almost a pattern by which Shankar imagines his song sequences irrespective of the story narrative or platform, yet the pattern is not easily decipherable. Which is why, with odds so much in favor of an album that involves these two being a commercial hit, the fact that they still manage to conjure up the listeners (and viewers) with something new & novel is worth a thesis for pure and hardcore lovers of Tamil film music.
To me, this being a Rajnikanth film is not a factor as far what I expect from the music, because so much of what the album “Endhiran” is going to cater to me is dependent on the Shankar-Rahman combination. Of course the addition of ‘the Super Star’ would only mean that the pattern could become a little more decipherable.
Thus began my journey of the machinist’s music..Here is my travelogue in a condensed form.
1) Puthiya Manidha – Predictable SPB groove but with a totally unpredictable intro. I think the Intro, SPB’s diction, Vairamuthu’s punchy lines & an addictive groove meant for Rajni fans are enough to carry this song to the commercially successful side.
2) Kadhal Anukkal – This sort of belongs to the Hosanna genre..but with a more 90s melody feel. Vijay Prakash, the new favorite from Rahman’s camp is absolutely brilliant and Shankar couldn’t go wrong with this one in terms of picturizing – out of the world ‘feel good romantic number’ with ample opportunities for Vairamuthu to show off his scientific knowledge (although I felt there were some cheesy words which were offset by some of his more brilliant phrases throughout the song)..
3) Irumbilae – Actually this was one of the 2 songs I was looking forward to listen to because of Madhan Karky. Took me a while to get used to this song..although many Rahman fans have called this song average for his standards, I am hooked to it after some 20 odd listenings. Karky does what he is expected to do – deliver a mix of science and maths in simple Tamil. My favorite was “Googlekal” (கூகுல்கள்)
4) Boom Boom – Karky has some work here while Yogi B takes care of the rest. Finally the only kind of Indian rap that Rahman hasn’t tried in his music so far finds a place.
5) Chitti Dance – Pravin Mani deserves special mention for his funky programming…while this was a number for which I think AR would have had a million ideas..and would have found it extremely difficult to present the right one to Shankar. Playful.
6) Arima Arima – Maya Machindra, Vaa ji Vaaji, Mudhalvanae & to an extent Ottagatha Kattikko are Shankar songs that belong to a family. Arima Arima belongs in that family as this was a pattern I could break into. The music is grand and pumping. Sure to please many Rajni fans. And Shankar would have made sure his sets are as grand as the orchestration.
7) Kilimanjaro – To me this stood out in the album in terms of being odd. Oddly brilliant…I should say. Javed Ali and Chinmayi have done what they have never done before – singing a playful romantic song meant for frontbenchers and backbenchers equally. And Rahman – what can I say? How many improvisations can he come up with? Where does he get these subtle ideas that make all the difference in the end? Hats off. I envision this song to be the Peruvian one..
Overall – the combination works wonders yet again – Pattern notwithstanding, the album is full of surprise elements, catchy hooks and absolutely brilliant sound engineering layered with Rahman’s genius. The Machinist (Endhiran) delivers music with pin point accuracy much like a Robot.