KAATRU VELIYIDAI (MUSIC REVIEW) : Southern Spice – Tamil (Tamil Special)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Vairamuthu, Madhan Karky, Navneet Virk & Shellee
♪ Music Label: Sony Music
♪ Music Released On: 20th March 2017
♪ Movie Releases On: 7th April 2017

Kaatru Veliyidai Album Cover


To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE

Kaatru Veliyidai is an upcoming Tamil language drama/romantic thriller which stars Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari in the lead roles, and written, directed and produced by Mani Ratnam. The film is a romance between a military pilot and a doctor. Since I do not know Tamil, I cannot make out anything else about it, but I can make out that the film is a Mani Ratnam directorial and that means that it is also an A.R. Rahman musical. Scoring six songs for this movie, Rahman is expected to have taken the magic of the Ratnam-Rahman combo even further. So let’s see how far this album sticks to that!

1. Nallai Allai

Singers ~ Sathya Prakash & Chinmayi, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

Rahman starts off the album with a charming love song, that will surely please your senses. The composition is a breezy romantic one, with all the elements of a successful romantic song included in it. The mukhda is an apt introduction into the song, with a very soft and soothing sound, and very minimal arrangements. The hookline, when it comes, blows your mind. It is vintage Rahmanish magic — the kind where he gives something utterly simple (and which fake Rahman fans will call ‘Rahman being out of form’) and making it extremely catchy and soothing at the same time. The antara is wonderful, with its low and sombre notes. One bar of notes in that stanza sounds a lot like a bar from ‘Tu Hai’ (Mohenjo Daro). There are two antaras, composed in the same way, something we find Rahman doing very less — sticking to this convention. The arrangements are just as breezy and soothing as the composition, especially the guitars (Keba Jeremiah) which are the highlight of the arrangements. The first interlude has that guitar piece, which resembles the guitar piece in the interlude of ‘Enna Sona’ (Ok Jaanu) so much! Again, I’m not complaining. The vocals are amazing, Sathya Prakash hits the nail right on the head, and his variations and nuances are amazing. Chinmayi, though having no words as such to sing, hums a beautiful tune in the second interlude once, and once at the end of the song. Both times, her voice gives you the goosebumps very efficiently. As I’m not well-versed (what well-versed? I’m not even versed) in Tamil, I cannot comment on the lyrics, but I’ve heard from many people that Vairamuthu has used very archaic Tamil, from the Sangam Age, in this song. That is interesting, Tamil being one of the oldest languages of the world. 🙂 A breezy, love ballad that will soak you with its sweetness.

Rating: 5/5


2. Azhagiye

Singers ~ Haricharan, Arjun Chandy & Jonita Gandhi, Backing Vocals ~ Sid Sriram, Bawa Sahni & Keerthi Sagathia, Lyrics by ~ Madhan Karky, Punjabi Lyrics by ~ Navneet Virk

After the breezy romantic track, we have an upbeat youthful romantic song, and whatever Tamil albums I’ve heard, I’ve heard atleast one such song in each of them. And yeah, most (maybe even all) of them were by Rahman, so I guess Rahman loves to add such songs in his Tamil albums. Anyway, the composition redefines the meaning of ‘fresh’. A breeze of fresh air blows over you as you immerse yourself in this youthfully magical song. The hook composition is insanely catchy, and without understanding it, I loved it more than a lot! The way Rahman seems to have composed separate, individual mini-songs and put them all together into one song, is amazing. The seamless flow from Tamil to Punjabi and back, is something that I’ve experienced for the first time! (Yes, my mother tongue, Marathi, does have songs where Marathi and Hindi are mixed into one song, and it sounds horrible!) The humming portions by Jonita have been composed so majestically! She provides a splash of water in the fresh air that the song is. (Sorry if that was cheesy, but get my feelings!) The composition isn’t all-in-your-ears and determined to be on top of the charts, and that’s what I appreciate about it. Rahman has very humbly put a very medium-sized guitar riff (Keba Jeremiah) in the background, and decorates the rest of the composition with amazing strings (Murali, Mohan, Basker, John). The digital beats too, sound great. The harmonium and dholaks in the Punjabi interlude sound amazing, and I wish Rahman had composed such a song (I mean a whole song out of the Punjabi part) in Bollywood before the Tamil industry! The a capella backing vocals are amazing, and I wish more of it would’ve been there. The vocals are simply awesome. Arjun Chandy is in charge of the hookline, and he renders that beautifully, and charmingly. Haricharan does well in the Tamil portions, while Jonita hums her part impeccably well! Those nuances!! 💘 I wish she had more portions! (I guess I just wish everything was of more quantity in this song!!) A song effervescing youthfulness from every note.

Rating: 5/5


3. Vaan

Singer ~ Shashaa Tirupati, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy & Poorvi Koutish, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

After two breezy romantic songs, it is time to get more intense, because here comes the vintage Rahmanish heavy composition, that just manages to find its way into every one of his albums. This composition is surreal, something that you just can’t ignore or dismiss as boring. It has some divine energy in it, which makes it universally appealing. The song has been composed on a very slow pace, and that makes it grow like slow poison. It starts with repetitions of “vaan varuvaan varuvaan…” which fade off. The sultry composition picks up even more at the “kadhal vandhaal..” part. The antara is just more entrancing. The magic is just unbelievable; it soothes you from head to toe. The arrangements are a masterpiece. There are no live instruments, except the flute (Kiran) and the piano, and the rest is digitally produced sound, which sounds amazing. I like the reverse sound effect that Rahman has added at olaces, where the sound seems to be sucked in towards the end. Sparkling, heavenly sounds accompanying the melody are just beautiful ‘tune-side’ attractions. The interlude with the vocal “ta ta ra…“, Sounds odd at first, but sets in later. The vocals by Shashaa are amazing; she has sung it very soulfully. An amazingly intense romantic song, that will leave the listeners in a trance.

Rating: 5/5


4. Saarattu Vandiyila

Singers ~ A.R. Raihanna, Tipu & Nikhita Gandhi, Backing Vocals ~ Arjun Chandy, Nivas, Santhosh, Aparna, Deepti Suresh, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

A traditional Tamil wedding song is up next on the soundtrack, and this is something I’ve never heard before. It is so beautiful to drown into some other wedding song, than the typical Punjabi wedding songs we hear in Bollywood. The composition is aptly upbeat, and trademark Rahman composition styles find their way into this one too. The hookline is really catchy, and the folksy beat really makes you dance hard. The arrangements are really vast, and awe-inspiring. The percussions (T.Raja, Yash, Kumar) are what stand out right away, the thavil resounding beautifully. Right from the beginning,the percussions are present. The santoor (Subhani) enters next, and its folksy sound makes everything sound even more beautiful. The flute (Kamlakar) is really sweet, and the solo interlude on the flute is amazing, where the ukulele (Lokesh) joins it. Again the guitar (Keba Jeremiah, Chris Jason) plays an important part in the arrangements. The vocals are really energetic, and the way the female singers, A.R. Raihanna and Nikita Gandhi, bring that sharp edge to their song, to sound more rustic, is really commendable! Tipu is great as the male singer. Backing vocalists play an integral role in the song too. A nice trip to a traditional Tamil wedding.

Rating: 5/5


5. Tango Kelaayo

Singers ~ Haricharan & Diwakar, Lyrics by ~ Vairamuthu

Now, from here, I felt the album slipping out of my hands. (Or ears.) The next song is a Tango, named ‘Kelaayo’. Rahman has provided a very efficient tango song, and the composition is aptly sensuous, and sultry. The sharp pauses and smoothly flowing notes, that usually define Tangos, are all present, yet I felt some barrier preventing me from loving the song to infinity, like I did the previous ones. Might be because of the composition, which is a quite typical one, if you compare it with other Tangos. The “unnai pirindhaal” effect has increased the song’s viability, without which it might just have become staid. The antara is a bit below expectations too, but that crescendo taken by Haricharan is beautiful. The arrangements are heavenly, getting the Spanish theme right. The accordions (Karthik Devaraj) and the strings hit the bullseye. The jingles and castanets too, are intriguing. There is one complete musical piece at the end which is basically a Spanish music showcase, and it provides a hard-hitting end to the song. Haricharan sings it well, and as Rahman cleared in one of his Facebook replies to a fan, Haricharan’s voice itself has been tweaked and pitch modulated to sound like that female voice you can hear in the song. Interesting fact! A song that is good, but you connect to it only partly.

Rating: 4/5


6. Jugni

Singers ~ A.R. Rahman & Tejinder Singh, Rap Vocals ~ Rajakumari, Shikara, Lyrics by ~ Shellee

The last song is the song I liked the least, from the album. Yes, it is also the only song from the album I totally understood as far as language goes. However, I guess I didn’t understand it as far as its composition and arrangements go. The song is such a typical Punjabi affair, that I am confused whether I like it or not! The composition is very, very monotonous, and that “JUGNI! JUGNI OH!” hook sounded quite irritating. The beats are groovy, but that didn’t make up for the flawed composition, which I just couldn’t catch up with. It goes all over the place, in the usual Rahman way of composition, but this time, I couldn’t grasp any of the tunes, except the aforementioned one, because it was irritatingly catchy. The arrangements consist of gratuitous bass, which sounds good for some time, and gets boring later on. The stereotypical “oye oye” which has been added in many places, is weird. But Rahman has used more great flute work here, and an entrancing sound. The arrangements on the most part are intriguing, but the composition is at fault. Tejinder Singh, “Voice India 2” finalist, excels with his rendition, but again, the composition doesn’t let him marvel too much. Rahman’s parts are those irritating outbursts of “jugni!“. Shellee’s lyrics make it out to be some kind of introductory song for the female lead, where she’ll be shown as a badass main character. A song where the composition plays the spoilsport, and how!

Rating: 3/5

Kaatru Veliyidai is an album that radiates the Rahman-Ratnam combo’s magic out-and-out. With the exception of one and a half songs, all songs are something that will go down in Tamil music industry’s history. Rahman has tried to finish up that small link which was missing in his last album for Mani Ratnam, ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, and covers it up beautifully with this, which definitely supersedes ‘OKK’. For me, as a Hindi music listener, I found this album an intriguing mix of Western tunes, Tamil folk rhythms, romantic tunes and mixes of world music. Another masterstroke from the Mozart of Madras! 


Total Points Scored by This Album: 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 3 = 27

Album Percentage: 90%

Final Rating For This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प < ध < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.

Recommended Listening Order: Nallai Allai = Azhagiye = Vaan = Saarattu Vandiyila > Tango Kelaayo > Jugni


Which is your favourite song from Kaatru Veliyidai? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂


The first time I’m reviewing a Tamil movie’s music, in spite of thinking of doing it many times…! Excited as never before!

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: A.R. Rahman
♪ Lyrics by: Madhan Karky, Vignesh Shivan, Thamarai & Pavendar Bharathidasan
♪ Music Label: Divo Music / VMS Music / Publishing Sdn Bhd
♪ Music Released On: 17th June 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 9th September 2016100000x100000-999 (5)


To hear the full songs of this album on Gaana CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada is an upcoming Tamil (dubbed into Telugu) action/romance film that stars Silambarasan and Manjima Mohan in lead roles. The movie is directed by Gautham Menon, and produced by Reshma Ghatala, Jayaram, Elred Kumar, Gautham Menon and Venkat Somasundaram. Well, what made me come to this album was the music director. No prizes for guessing that it is A.R. Rahman. The composer had a good end to last year with his Hindi album ‘Tamasha’, which I unfortunately had to miss! It was a great conclusion to his account in the year which started with the Tamil flick, ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’, which will also coincidentally be his opening album to 2017, except, in Hindi, for ‘OK Jaanu’. He opened 2016 with his sci-fi Tamil movie, ’24’, and now he comes back with this Tamil album. Getting frustrated of him not coming into Bollywood for quite a while but doing so many Tamil movies, I decided to go review his Tamil albums. 😛 As it is, I haven’t reviewed a Rahman album since decades!! :O 😛 This is just a practice review, to get ready for his upcoming Hindi albums ‘Mohenjo Daro’ and ‘OK Jaanu’! And hopefully, ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ of we gt the soundtrack album! 🙂 So here we go!!

1. Showkali
Singers ~ Aditya Rao, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam & Sri Rascol, Rap Lyrics by ~ Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam & Sri Rascol, Lyrics by ~ Vignesh Shivan 

Rahman starts off the album with an infectious hip-hop number that is very, very “with the times”, and would appeal to the youth of today. The song is not exactly what would come into your mind when you think of Rahman, even though he has already proved his talent in catering to the youth many times in the past, most of them being Tamil ventures. Rahman’s composition is very tough to follow and grasp, but nevertheless, it appeals for as long as it is playing. Rahman sure does know how to weave magic into all his songs, even when there’s no scope of doing so! The composition is mostly made up of random phrases (of course, I can’t understand the lyrics.) with random tunes that really serve as an entertaining cocktail of noises and sounds. The arrangements are mind-blowing and really go well with the theme of hip-hop. Techno beats have been used to give a booming and appealing structure to the song. Various attractions like a digital sound and a very typical EDM noise, really make the song as cool as possible, not to mention enjoyable. An Arabic-styled percussion and strings sets in, midway through the song, and gives a very different feel to the song. And towards the end, is when Rahman gets into his very controversial experimental mode. (Controversial because so many like it while just as many don’t!) I, for one, loved it the very first time, though the song is definitely not something I regularly would like! Towards the end, Rahman cranks up the tempo and provides a very entertaining dappankuthu rhythm, after which the total structure of the song changes and turns into a kind of free-for-all! The beats are just tooooo good there! Especially those digital twinkly beats that started the song off. As for vocals, Aditya gets a very less scope to spread out his wings, as the rapper takes center-stage and attracts all attention towards himself. Sri Rascol must be applauded for such a mindblowingly rapid rap! 😀 It was a fascinating thing to hear! I can’t differentiate between Aditya and Aaryan though, but I must say whatever voices I heard were impressive, so I can’t say that any one of them sang bad. 😀 The hookline is very weird, but very appealing as well! As for the lyrics, I don’t know what they mean, but the song as a whole sent positive vibes through me! Rahman impresses with a youthful hip-hop number! A brave venture that would never have worked out in Bollywood, sadly! #5StarHotelSong!!


2. Idhu Naal
Singers ~ Aditya Rao & Jonita Gandhi, Lyrics by ~ Madhan Karky

Up next is a romantic song, which has Rahman written all over it. When Rahman composes these simple, sweet and innocent romantic songs, without the heavy and dark notes (like ‘Hai Rama’ from ‘Rangeela’ and the like), it always turns out to be a profitable venture. Rahman stays sweet and simple with the composition, not trying to make it very complicated, but making it just right, so that it appeals to the masses and the classes alike. The mukhda is really beautiful, starting directly with the title of the song, and taking it softly from there, with a cute bridge from each line to the next. The antara takes an even sweeter form, what with Jonita’s voice making it all the more sweet. The variations in the composition are perfectly handled by both the singers, who do a great job to shine in the great composition. Aditya gets more scope here to shine, and what does he do? Shine, of course!! He sings with a lot of zest and is beautifully complemented by Jonita with her sweet and feathery voice. Her humming throughout the song, behind Aditya’s lines, gives more charm to the lines. Her own stanza in the antara, she manages with ease, and she sounds a lot like Chinmayi, who coincidentally, has sung the Telugu version of the song! 😀 Arrangements are heavenly. Fingersnaps give a good beat to the song, while drums along with a scintillating electronic loop (the one that starts off the song) help to carry the melody forward. Guitars are also audible in the background. The interludes are blissful, with beautiful techno sounds playing very melodically. Piano notes take the interludes to different levels altogether. A very exquisite backing chorus gives the song a very Westernized touch, and I just loved that inexpressibly! The “idhu varai yaedhume” portions joined with other lines each time, all the most majestic of the whole song, and they are what I keep waiting for like a loyal pet dog. :p (Yes, I’m okay with calling myself a dog for them, too!!) Youthful, melodious and a song full of innocent romance. How I wish Rahman was Jeet Gannguli or Ajay-Atul, and that he would remake his Tamil songs into Hindi!! 😂😂😂 #5StarHotelSong!!


3. Rasaali
Singers ~ Sathya Prakash & Shashaa Tirupathi, Lyrics by ~ Thamarai

Let me tell you guys, this song is the sole reason I decided to review this album! It is a song that will leave you speechless, thoughtless, senseless and whatnot. Rahman creates another very alluring romantic song, that sounds very South-indian, yet will appeal to everyone! It will just take one time for you to listen to it and make it your favourite song ever! For me, it is no doubt one of Rahman’s best in his recent works. It starts off weird with a spooky sound like a bat’s, or a horse neighing. But then it completely transforms into a cute, sweet, indescribable romantic song full of magnificence. The composition is just so marvelous, that it gives you the goosebumps within the first minute itself, and though it is biologically impossible, the goosebumps don’t go away until the song is over. 😛 Rahman has infused a very Carnatic classical touch into a modern-sounding romantic song. I’ll explain. The arrangements are colossal. There is a whole interlude devoted to Carnatic instruments!!! The song starts off with its mukhda immersed in guitars that are purely soulful to the core. The mukhda itself is unexplainably BLISSFUL! The way two words have been repeated in the very first line, is what I loved the most! The composition has the power to lull you to sleep, but at the same time, it is very refreshing. After the guitar-led mukhda is over, the guitars hand over the relay baton to the Carnatic instruments, with a wonderful blend of thavil, manjeeras and a breathtaking violin played in a very Carnatic style. It is joined by a flute later on, and that just adds to the magic. The antaras have the many twists and turns like a Carnatic raaga. Though Sathya Prakash does remarkably well in the first one, Shashaa does his career’s best nuances in complete Carnatic style in the second interlude, right before she takes over the second antara to herself as well! Her murkiyaan are tooooo perfect! It is the hookline though, where most of the beauty is concentrated. An elongated word, Rasaaaaliiii steals away your heart. The song ends very softly with Sathya almost whispering into your ear. With a perfect fusion of appealing techno sounds and Carnatic elements, Rahman provides an earworm that is to be cherished forever! Special, special mention to Shashaa’s beautiful Carnatic solo! 👏👏 #5StarHotelSong!!


4. Avalum Naanum
Singer ~ Vijay Yesudas, Lyrics by ~ Pavendar Bharathidasan

The next song sees Rahman stepping back into innocent mode, with a sweet-as-honey romantic song from a man’s point of view. Mostly, in Bollywood, we hear such songs in a female’s voice, like the recent ‘Dil Ye Ladaku’ (Saala Khadoos) which was a sugar-sweet romantic song. Here, Vijay Yesudas, with a voice as silky as his father’s, is in top form, and renders the song with great ease and skilled sweetness. Rahman’s melody, again, is very sweet. This time, he introduces ballroom waltz elements into the song, which lifts it up levels higher. The composition has its appeal in its simple structure. The hookline is beautiful, with the title of the song alternating with other lines, and this going on for quite some time. But it is really sweet! Rahman’s arrangements win again in this one, with strings (Chennai Strings Orchestra) and flutes taking the front seat. The use of the strings make the song sound oh-so-graceful in the waltzy theme. It is the first interlude that wins over your heart, though, with the violins lulling you away to la-la-land. It sounds so majestic! It is when the flute kicks in, when you feel completely drowned into the song. The antara follows with another cute tune. Vijay sings very well, and it sounds so sweet, you can’t help but keep on listening for his next lines. Guitars and fingersnaps join here too, later on, and sound great while they’re there! MORE BLISS! #5StarHotelSong!!


5. Thalli Pogathey
Singers ~ Sid Sriram, Aparna Narayanan, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Rap Lyrics by ~ Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Lyrics by ~ Thamarai

With one club song and three back-to-back romantic songs, Rahman comes back to the club, EDM and youth genre to conclude the album with. As it turns out, this was the first song to release, though. This time, Rahman once more makes it huge with the genre. He avoids breaking into a very imposing and fast-paced tune; instead, he does everything with a very slow, entrancing pace, which manages to make the song work. However! Yes, there is a “however” to everything! However, the song is not as catchy as it should be, with the impressive beats. The familiarity takes its toll on the song; so many of Rahman’s songs have been similar in both composition and beats. The song gets a bit monotonous after a certain amount of time, nevertheless it is a good attempt, considering the catchy beats. Sid Sriram does well with the main portions, while ADK raps in a cool manner too, yet not really impressing as much as I feel it should have. Aparna steps in for a few backing vocals, and so has very little scope to showcase her voice. It is the arrangements that save the song, with the electronic beats actually acting as its lifeguard. They appeal and Rahman does them beautifully, each and every time. A great attempt, but gets too monotonous and wears out after some time, and it is long!!

Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada is a very, very impressive album. I just touched it because of one song, and found four other great songs, out of which one may lag behind the others, but what does that matter?! All in all, it is another out-of-the-park shot by Rahman, that will surely get at least three of its songs (the romantic ones) into people’s hearts forever. Maturity in the romance, and youth in the rest, is what this album is all about. A treat for Rahman lovers!!


Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प < ध < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.

Recommended Listening Order: Rasaali > Avalum Naanum > Idhu Naal > Showkali > Thalli Pogathey 


Which is your favourite song from Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂