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Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Maatraan" by Harris Jayaraj : LONGEST Audio review


Before I begin, I've to mention a couple of things -

1. I'm one of the craziest & most staunch Harris Jayaraj devotees in the universe and a release of a Harris album is literally a day of festivity & celebration for me. I'd, however, like to mention that I've tried my best to be fair, unbiased and neutral in this review, I've tried my best to give an honest judgement.

2. My reviews of anything and everything in this world are books in themselves - they just go on and on for pages and pages altogether, before coming to an end :D ..So be warned, read this only if you have all the time & patience in your hands :D ....Also, the thing is, I don't talk about just the songs ...I tend to point a whole lot of other things related / unrelated thoughts of mine that these songs lead me to :) ...

3. Wherever I've mentioned chords of any song, I've assumed the C-scale.



Coming to Maatraan, well, it is an undeniable fact that it has been surrounded by ever-expanding ripples of hype ever since it was announced. It was going to be the reunion of a blockbuster combo : KV Anand - Surya - Harris Jayaraj. When the teaser was out, with the cat being finally let out of the bag that Surya plays conjoined twins in the film, the word "hype" had to redefine itself and add the response as its synonym. Much like the initial impact of "Ennamo edho", a part of which was released along with the teaser, "Rettai Kadhire" did the job for this movie. Every Harris fan started singing "Come a long way, here to stay, we stood united every single day" right from the day of the teaser launch for ...well, every single day! :D...

So, the thrill, anxiety, desperation, breathlessness, restlessness reached really dizzy heights ( a phenomenon that can be called "Maatraan" fever I guess..on second thoughts, "Harris" fever is more like it :) ..this is what Harris fans experience as the launch date of any Harris album approach ) when Aug 9th finally arrived ...and here I am, conjoined with the songs of Maatran :D ...they've become an inseparable part of me!! :) It is fair to say that they're now my conjoined siblings :D

Alright...off to the songs then !!

Rettai Kadhire - 4.5 / 5

WITHOUT a doubt, my pick of the album :) ...This is to Maatraan, what Ennamo Edho was to Ko :) ...This song is SURE to become one of the greatest hits of this year ...This is one of those songs from Harris with a highly prominent & racy bass ...The bass, in this case, is the greatest contributor to the "racy" element of the song....When a pretty fast, pounding, beat is accompanied with such a bass....you get some of the best "groovy" songs......

Some songs have such a prominent bass, which is SO memorable, any person on the street would be able to identify it when the bass or rhythm is played - AR Rahman's Urvashi Urvashi, Musthafa musthafa...& in Hindi, Jatin-Lalit's "Aati kya khandala" ...Yuvan's "Chinna Chinnadai Penne"...are a few ...

A few recent Harris songs that come to mind, where like this, rhythm scores much more than the melody / tune, are this one, Yellai Lama from 7am Arivu, Nangai from Engeyum Kadhal, Adiye Kolluthey from Vaaranam Ayiram, Vennilave from Vettaiyadu Vilayadu and so on.....

Anyways, back to this BRILLIANT song..

Krish, Balaji (?) - The singers have done a super-awesome job !!!!!!!! With his totally unique voice, Krish has carved a niche for himself in singing groovy, peppy & racy, energetic numbers. He's firmly established himself in that genre & really, effortlessly makes this one look like a piece of cake for him. With Balaji for company, they've given this song every bit of energy stored in them ...and the result is clearly visible in the song :) ...Clearly, they've enjoyed unleashing the "mirugams" inside them that roar loudest in the "Vannam veru Vaanam veru" line :)...they've enjoyed allowing their inner beasts....to take over and deliver nothing sort of a punch-packed FEAST of song for music-lovers to lap up :) ....If the bass is the fuel for this song to run, Krish & Balaji are clearly the nitro-boosts :) ...& when the song changes scale towards the end...these nitro-boosts just become dynamites :)...that just explode with unbelievably energy :)...

Mili - with her lines "Come a long way, here to stay, we stood united every single day" ...she really takes away ALL the limelight from the male singers :) ...This portion placed right at the end, THIS is what leaves a lasting impression on the listeners :) ...On listening again, though listeners enjoy the song absolutely, they can't help but badly look forward to this ending portion :) :)..even while at the beginning or middle of the song :) ...This part of the song is clearly of Hollywood OST standards :)...Mili undoubtedly sounds like an international pop diva in this part ...and with absolutely unbridled confidence, nails these lines like a superstar! :) ...The only "drawback" of this part, if it can be called one ...is the fact that the way the music is arranged for this part ...immediately makes you sing the chorus of "Vennilave" from "Vettaiyadu Vilayadu" slowly, to this beat...( At least, this is immediately what came to my mind when I heard this part ) ...but this is okay & "overlookable" by me :)...not a crime! :)...

I'm not sure if she's the one who's done the gibberish humming too or if it is Sharmi La, but yes ...the "immi nimmi nimmi nim" ( Eminem? ) adds to the "catchiness" quotient of the song :) ...The english gibberish, though doesn't augment the song beautifully or remarkably, it doesn't play spoilsport either ...Gibberish almost always syncs perfectly with Harris songs ..except in a couple of cases ( The "ole ole ole" humming in "Kokku meena thinguma" from "Kovil" for example - I found it terrible! :D )....in this case, like I said, though not perfect...not bad either :) ...

Lyrics - Na.Muthukumar is one of the best lyricists in Tamil cinema today, MAINLY because of the fact that his lyrics are uncomplicated and simple, yet powerful ; effectively communicative of the song's purpose almost always close to precision. With this song, he has more or less perfectly communicated how KICKASS & ROCKING it can be to share a twin !! :)

Music - Well, I already talked about the bass which is THE STAND-OUT FACTOR of the song....some other things which worked big time for me, are the triangle striking "ting" sound you hear in the first couple of pallavis, right after the first bass note. Also, another winner-all-the-way component of this song is the "string-pluck" like sound which comes at the gap between each line & sounds best at the end of each line in the second stanza ( with Harris' favorite Fm -> Cm chord progression )...The speaker-switching, balance-altering metal guitar in place of bass at the very beginning is also an absolute +1 :) :)...

Synth-pads are more or less an unwritten hard & fast rule for almost every Harris song, as they are THE MAIN contributing factor to the "soothing" effect of Harris songs ...especially when they're played with minor chords...In this case, in the crescendo ( "Puyal Adithum" )...Harris has gone with the Cm -> G# M -> D# M -> Gm sequence (correct me if I'm wrong). ...( Gm is replaced with A# M in the second line ).....The synth-pads sound BEAUTIFUL in the charanams too ...The charanam tune is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT !!!!! :) HJ Masterclass all over!! :) :) :)....The echo-effect throughout the song ads its own magic !!

Percussion - Good, pounding beat ..which is more or less well-covered by the dominating bass ...but IMHO, I really feel it's time HJ tries out different percussion sounds & arrangements for his peppy, racy songs - some of the sounds used in this song are used in "En Friend a Pola yaaru machan" ( the double slam after "Ettum varayil", right at the beginning, for instance ), the click sounds from "Illamai ullasam" (Unnaale Unnaale) as well ...the way this beat begins is A LOT like "Supernova" from "Ayan" ( Another people why feel these 2 songs are similar is because of the presence of Krish in both...and when you try comparing the way the word "Supernova" is sung & the bass of Rettai Kadhire..they sound similar )....When the beat loops in succession, it is a lot like the one in "June pona" & "En friend a pola yaaru machan"...It gets a lot better in the charanams :) ...I'm talking about the sound of a hammer echoing in the distance :) ...that's a huge positive part & a DELIGHT :) ...

Drawbacks ..Well ..The ONLY part of this song which I can't tolerate is the violin interlude before the 2nd charanam - sure, it sounds very apt for the song & is melodious too, but the way it begins instantly reminds me of "Paartha Mudhal Naale" ...& the way it continues reminds me of a line in "Kadhal Oru Butterfly"s charanam - "Unnai thodavandhen naan" .....This is really not "overlookable" by me :) .....The way the charanams begin is also A BIT of a disappointment ....as they sound like a compressed version of the lines "Netru enbadhu kaiyyil illai naalai enbadhu...." from "June Pona" & "Mudhal Mazhai nanithadhey poley...." from "Ammali Thummali"....Another thing which couldn't quite escape my attention!! :)

This violin interlude is the ONLY reason why I give this absolutely stunning song 4.5 ..else, it was 5 ..yen? 6/5 all the way !! :) :)..

Nani Koni - 4/5

This is TYPICAL HARRIS FARE :) ...This song is absolutely a signature song of Harris ...with nothing extraordinary to boast of ...However, Harris has lived up to his trademark standards with this peppy number ...This song has everything to offer to a Harris fan - a breezy, jolly, sing-along ..easily hummable tune, simple orchestration ...wonderful voices ....It won't take long for one to get addicted to this one ...its charm soon mesmerizes you in the second or third listening itself :) ......

I found it difficult to get hooked on to particular bits of this song ..because the song as a whole, with this blissful feel, succeeded in making me lose myself in it :) :) :)

Vijay Prakash - He is turning out to be a master of jolly, hummable, sing-along songs with "Hosanna", "Kadhal Anukkal" ...and now this one :) ...This is ABSOLUTELY HIS TERRITORY ...and he has OWNED it :) ...Brilliant singing and emotions driven into the song :) ...Great stuff by VP !!!

Karthik - It only gets deeper with this guy's introduction in the 2nd charanam ... he soaks himself in the song a little more than VP ...It takes a turn from a jolly song to a deep romantic number once Karthik takes over :)...

Shreya Ghoshal - She's no doubt one of India's greatest singers ever ...there are some songs that can be sung ONLY by Shreya Ghoshal ...I can point out a lot of them in Hindi ...but in Tamil, at least as far as Harris is concerned ...I've always felt that he has NEVER extracted THE BEST out of Shreya ...What I mean to say is, the songs which Shreya has sung for Harris haven't given her much scope to leave HER INDELIBLE STAMP on them ...Any other playback singers could still her songs ..and do the same good job....There's just one exception I can think of - "Main Chali" from Force ...

Like "Sogasu" from Syenikudu ...this one gives Shreya a lot more scope to usher in some of her magic ...and yes, she does manage to leave her mark at some lines :) ...especially the high-pitched ones in the charanam...& the line "en pakkam vandhaal pookiren" has her super-awesome stylish twang :) :)...An absolute winner moment in the song :)....Though not an "awesome" song for Shreya's capabilities ...a good one, no doubt :) ...& SURELY, another hit in her kitty :)....

Lyrics - Some funny lines by Viveka - People are mostly gonna say ...enna ya idhu? nani koni rani meni gini pini soni peni nu ezdhirkaan! :D ...But jokes apart, they lyrics are catchy ...pretty simple..."koiyum kangal meiyum pesuma" is bound to become a popular phrase :) ...

Music -

Well, as for the tune, signature Harris stuff, this :) ...sure to appease Harris fans :) he's generously used his standard set of instruments - guitars, strings....an apt appregio along with the rhythm ( thought it kinda reminds you of the starting of "Innum Enna Thozha"., not the tune, I'm talking about the appregio instrument sound )....A plus - absence / unnoticeable backseat presence of synth-pad ...& a strings prominence...which is good, because it would've otherwise added to the monotonous "Harris feel" which people complain about....the extra bass that comes before Shreya sings "thedinen" is another winner :) ..awesome component, that !! :)

The 2nd interlude, in spite of having gibberish is captivating and mesmerizing :) ..gives a whole new breath & transition to the song ..from a jolly one to a serious romantic one, PERFECTLY creating the setting for Karthik's arrival ...Kudos to Harris for such thoughtful arrangement :) :) ...Also, I really dunno if it is a flute or Karthik humming in the amidst the "Maayoooo" chants!! :) ...

Drawbacks

Chorus - "Neerai..neerai" .. sounds like a compressed version of the line "kannedaana chusaa neelone adedochana" from the "Chamakuro" song of Munna :) ...+ it is more like an overdose of Fm->Cm progressions from Harris in recent times which kinda put me off on this occasion......This is the sad part of being a Harris devotee :) - you involve yourself too much in the song and can easily identify similarities, reuses & other things ..which kinda acts like a spoiler ...but USUALLY ...the song's beauty defeats you :) :) ...you learn to somehow ignore things like those! :).....& in this case, SURELY yes :) ...the beauty of this song is hard to escape from :) :)...

The instruments - he's used them in many songs before ...The classical string guitar ( I think that's what it is called ..not sure) ..is used in the Kalaignar song "Vaa vaa thalaivaa", "Unnaale unnaale" ( in the interlude & ending )....The strings, along with the trrrring sound ( I dunno what it's called ! ) ...in the interlude ...that's used at the beginning of Venpaniye as well ...so tune aside, some part of the similarity between songs which people accuse Harris of, stems from the usage of these exact same instruments ..The bird-chirping sound in the first interlude has been used in the "Tanhayee" song of "Dil Chahta Hai"...but yeah, this one is easily ignorable :)....Also, the starting wind-blowing effect is EXACTLY the same as the one in "Karu karu vizhigalaal"...

On the whole, my 2nd favorite song of the album ( this is the bias speaking :D ) ..this song, with all the signature elements has fully satisfied the Harris devotee in me :) :) ...but looking at it without bias, I think it comes 4th ...

The lack of variety in this song is why I give it an unbiased 4 ...but it surely is a biased 5 for me :D ...

Yaro Yaro - 3/5

More than sad, this song is rather dull on first impression & doesn't really get to you until you are in a calm, relaxed state of mind ...Why most people don't end up liking this song much is because of their state of mind before listening to this one - A state of HYPER-EXCITEMENT, EAGERNESS, ANXIETY etc ...because of STELLAR expectations of the Harris-Karthik combo....

The good part of the song is ...Harris has managed to break free from his regular mold of sad songs - Anjala, Yamma yamma....and come up with a more or less unconventional tune....this is the 3rd starkly different sad song of Harris after Venmathiye & Sakiye.....but the disappointing part is that it is more dull, than sad ...it is a very Illayaraja-like song ...in fact, if IR himself had sung this one ..it would've pretty much topped the charts, because his voice is most suited for such songs IMO :) ....

Overall, I wouldn't call this a bad song at all ..it is definitely a really good song ...you will really appreciate it when you listen in a calm & relaxed frame of mind ...this song just soothes your nerves :) ...but yeah, I would put this at the bottom of the album ( from a biased as well as unbiased perspective ) ....SIMPLY BECAUSE it fades in comparison with the other songs ...not because it is bad ..but just because the others are SO good :)

Karthik

Well, this is a very different song for him ..This is the first time he's probably singing a real sad, pathos number ...Anjala was a little fast, thanks to the kuthu-beat....Karthik's voice, unfortunately, JUST CAN'T NOT SOUND SWEET & JUST CAN'T NOT MAKE YOU CHEERFUL & JUST CAN'T NOT BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE !! :) :) ....So such a sad song is really not his cup of tea IMO ...but he has definitely made a sincere attempt ...and I appreciate this attempt of Harris-Karthik combo ...mainly because of the effort to break away from their regular stuff ....

Lyrics
Job perfectly done by Thamarai :) Superb soulful, touching lyrics! Thamarai has never fallen short especially with Harris & this song can safely be added as another one in the long list of testimonies to the fact :)....The lyrics reek of heartbreak & sadness...just what the song requires....perfectly expresses the mood of the situation & the feelings of the singer..... ...Patthu madhippengal ! :)

Music

Well, starts off with a broken humming ...much like how "Enadhuyire" from Bheema starts ..the same broken him is used in the title song of ARR's "Jaane tu ya jaane na", albeit just once I think ....

The first couple of stanzas really surprise you ...they're so unlike any HJ song...until you hit the lines "Idhu Kanava Kanava" ...there's where you say "Aah! So this is Harris after all" ...every musician has his favorite set of chord progressions, which they liberally use in many of their songs - for Yuvan it happens to be Cm -> G# M -> D# M -> A# M ( Vethaleya Potendi, Oru Paithiyam Pudikudhu, Theeratha Vilayaatu Pillai, Adada vaa asathalaam ) ...For ARR...these seem to be his favorite C M -> Am -> F M -> G M ...although he doesn't use them as frequently as other musicians use their favorite chords ....For Dharan, it seems to be Cm -> Gm -> Fm -> Gm ( Makkah, Oh nenje, Love anthem, Will you be my girlfriend, Love pannlama venaama? in the "friends idea kuduppaanga" line) ...for GV Prakash it is Cm -> Gm ( Pookal Pookum, Mayakkam enna theme, Manasellam Mazhaye, Vizhigalil oru vanavil ..the "naan unakkaga pesinen" line )...for Thaman, Cm->G# M ( Aathadi aathadi, Neduvaali, Osthe Maamey, Kalasala kalasala )
and lastly for HJ, without a doubt ...it is Cm -> Fm, Fm -> Cm ....The only thing is, in HJs case ....more than favoritism, it seems to be an addiction / obsession if you can call it that ...Harris seems to be so caught in the trap of these chords that he seems to be finding it highly difficult to resist himself from using them in a song ...These chord progressions happen to find their way even in the supposed-to-be or intended experimental / different songs of Harris ...which is not good IMO - these chord progressions should be given a break and not be used in every single song ...

GREAT to see the tabla in use in this song :) ..an awesome Indian instrument that has rarely been seen in Harris songs ...it injects a breath of such freshness into the song :) ...A huge plus !! :) Anyways, to (sadly) reduce the freshness of the tabla sound, the synth pad is right back in this song ...at the charanam...and it is quite prominent ..except when the piano-chords are played too....

But like any Harris song, with more and more listens, you JUST CAN'T dislike this song :) ...My rating for this song goes up by 0.2 each time I listen to it :D :D ...But I would give this an unbiased rating of 3/5 ...read the drawbacks to know why

Drawbacks - Familiarities apart ...Unlike HJ's other sad songs, this doesn't have any out-of-the-blue interludes that drastically change the mood for the moment ..before getting back to the original sad tone ...So the pace of this song is monotonous throughout ...which is what makes you appreciate this song ONLY when you're relaxed ...when you consciously allow the song to take over your mind....But that's fine ..because once you get hooked to this song, there's no stopping you :D ..you'll LOVE it :)

The main things which I disliked ...the "Idhu kanava kanava" part ..because of the chord-progression repetition as well as the accompanying pipe sound in this part ( it is used in the chorus of Sakiye as well ) .....and the thing I disliked the most - the line "Ninaivaal ini naan vazhalaa"...the charanam was going so fine and so fresh, tune-wise ...until the Fm->Cm chord sequence made its away again ...to spoil it :) ...+ the tune for this line sounds like a slow, expanded version of "Adi da ..avala ...odha da ..avala" :D ....This, according to me, is the major turnoff in this song ...For these 2 reasons alone, I give it 3/5 ...The absence of that particular chord progression would've surely made me give it 10/5 :)...because after a few rounds of listening, it is indeed magic :)

Kaal Mulaitha Poove - 4.75/5 

This is the pick of the album for many of them ...and deserving so, because it is AN ABSOLUTE SHOCKER from Harris ...KV Anand has succeeded in waking up and activating a side of Harris that has NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE....For me, as a personal choice, it is #3 :) ...Read on, you'll see why ...

So yes, a main reason for this "shocker" of a song - Nobody can believe it is by Harris, seems to be the situation & genre of the song itself - a Russian ballet....We hardly ever see any other directors having such dances in their movies...This must've SURELY been one of THE GREATEST CHALLENGES HARRIS WOULD'VE EVER FACED ....AND HE ONLY SEEMS TO HAVE THOROUGHLY RELISHED IT :) ...HAVING COME OUT WITH A "DHOOL-TUCKER" SONG :) :)......This song is a tight zip-lock to the mouths of those who say Harris lacks variety. :) ...

Music

Accordion, an instrument often used by AR Rahman, forms the basis of the song ...It is really the life and soul of this song ...Second to accordion comes the "cowboy"ish guitars ..which are prominent ...JUST THE VERY USAGE of such fresh instruments adds REMARKABLE variety and freshness to the song ...I bet this song would've easily made Harris himself realize that ...& I sincerely hope he gets the urge to use more instruments like these in future ....

The strings ensemble in the second interlude is an ABSOLUTE ROCKER :) ...AMAZING, to say the least :)...as is the first interlude with the cowboyish guitars ...with the violin too...BRILLIANCE EXEMPLIFIED :) :).....

The charanams are THE BEST PART OF THE SONG IMO !!!! BRILLIANT STUFF ..AWESOMENESS EXTRAORDINAIRE from Harris :) :) :)...

The percussion is apt ...very well done! :)

Drawbacks

Well, you might be wondering how I can find drawbacks even in such an out-of-the-world song by Harris :)...I told you, this is the problem in being a fanatic of Harris, you easily get to minute, intricate details as well :)...but let me tell you - though it seems like an extraordinary song, when you really focus on JUST the tune, it isn't all that unique ...the first few lines immediately reminded me of the chorus of the Illeana song from "Nanban"..."Olli belly jelly belly" ..not the tune - the beat & the Cm->Fm progression together ..that's the similarity ...The line "Idhalgazhil Kandene" ...is the same as the lines "Artham Kandene" from "Ask Laska" ...what's worse is it's not just the tune, even the word "Kandene" is the same :) ..that's the ONLY TRAGIC part of the song IMO :) ....Aside from that is the fact that the Cm->Fm progression finds its way into THIS SONG TOO, at many places :( ...Even the "muzika muzika" humming, is actually made up of the tune arising out of the constituents notes of these 2 chords in succession...but this is okay, really...I don't have any problems with this part, as such :) ...

I don't give this song 5/5 ONLY because of these reasons ...But yes, it deserves EVERY SINGLE BIT OF 4.75, SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE USAGE OF UNCONVENTIONAL INSTRUMENTS :) :) - Something which has to BADLY BE ENCOURAGED in Harris songs !! :) :)

Javed Ali
Easily, one of his BEST SONGS EVER !!! Even ARR hasn't given Javed a song like this ..to prove himself ...He has BRUTALLY, MENACINGLY NAILED THIS SONG :) :) ...It is SO OBVIOUS how much joy doing this song has brought to him - it is SO EVIDENT in the way he's sung this song ! :) :) He's had a BALL OF A TIME doing this one ...so have we, on listening to it :) ...he really deserves an award for this, IMHO !! :)

Mahalaxmi Iyer
This song would've been PERFECT with late Swarnalatha's voice ..it is SO SO BADLY DAMN SUITED for her ...Alas! She isn't there with us now :'( ...The Gods are lucky - they will get to listen to her crooning this song in heaven....

The ones whose voices are closest to her voice today are Kavita Krishnamurthy and Mahalaxmi Iyer ...and needless to say, Mahalaxmi has delievered big time - completely lived up to what has been expected of her !! :) ..Justice served :)

Nincy Vincent
She's done a "Maasi maasi" like humming before the 2nd charanam...good stuff again!! :) You hardly get to listen to hummings like these in today's song ..and it is a delight to see this one! :)

Lyrics

Please add this entry to the dictionary at the earliest -
Madhan Karky (genius) - Experimentation, unconventional, the road less traveled, starkly different, breath of fresh air..

He is all of those synonyms and much more !! :) Harris-Madhan Karky has been a rocking combo ever since Ennamo Edho ..Nenjil nenjil, Ask Laska, Endhan Kan Munne ..and now this another big, shining feather in their cap :) ...

Though I always find his lyrics hard to decipher and follow, given my Tamil is restricted to spoken Tamil only :) ...I'm a HUGE fan of his & the way he comes up with phrases that have never been heard before ...just amazes me !! :)
Theeye theeye - 5/5

This is the ONLY song in the album for which I give a 5/5 ...Sometimes, in some films, Harris comes up with some songs that are not just "experimental"....not just out of the world, but OUT OF THE UNIVERSE ..LITERALLY ...If there exist multiple universes, such songs can even classified as OUT OF THE UNIVERSE OF UNIVERSES :) :) ...

This is the latest addition to that list of  RARE GEMS...the elite list of "TOTALLY UNLIKE HARRIS" songs ...which IMO has - Kumari, Iyengaaru Veetu Azhage ( both from Anniyan - DIAMONDS! ), Nenjil Nenjil Idho idho ( Engeyum Kadhal - BEAUTIFUL ), Rangu Rangamma & Ragasiya Kanavugal ( Bheema - SUBLIME ), Mazhai Mazhai ( from Ullam Ketkume - CAPTIVATING ), Maasi maasi ( Aadhavan ..though not all that "awesome" ..it is RADICALLY different )...Dhikku dhikku ( Dhaam Dhoom - INTOXICATING )...Konchem Konchem ( Munna - FRESH & RUSTIC ! ) ...Aariya Udhadugal ( Chellame - SUPERB! )...Mayeraa ( Syenikudu - STALWARTS ZONE )...Idhudhaana ( Saamy - SMASHING HIT ! ) .....and so on !! ( there are many more )....Though the Harris fanatic in me looks forward to his usual, signature songs the most :D ...the unbiased music lover in me YEARNS for more UNIQUE GEMS like these ..from HJ ...
These sort of gems are SURELY comparable to and some may be even better than songs of the 90s ARR ( depending on which 2 songs we are comparing :) )....

There are many Harris experiments ( mostly item numbers / club songs ) that have bombed though ( well, at least I didn't feel like listening to them more than once! ) - Honey honey from Ayan, Aga naga from Ko ...Ada Gada from Sathyam...Achuvella Karumbe & Yaari Singaari from Thotti Jaya...Neruppai Sikki Mukki ( Vettaiyadu Vilayadu - not an experiment, a mish-mashed song with tunes borrowed from his previous songs "Aval alli vitta poigal" from Oru Maalai, "Komala valli valli" from Rangola..and in the charanam, borrowed from "Ella kanaguval" from "Kanavugal" song of Ullam Ketkume ...I still hate this song :D ..It was such a dampener in the brilliant movie! )

Anyways, I'm ELATED to say that finally, a high-techno, less-melody song of Harris has clicked ...and clicked big !! :) :) ...Without knowing the music director, anyone can mistake this for a Yuvan song!! :) ...Except for the presence of the Fm chord in the beginning ...this song does NOT have ANY TRACE of Harris' previous tunes ANYWHERE ....which is what makes me give NOTHING LESS THAN 5/5 FOR IT ...

This, according to me can be an INSTANT answer to those who accuse Harris of monotonicity !!! They stand ABSOLUTELY NO CASE AGAINST this song ! :D ...I'm SO PROUD OF HJ for having done this song !! :) :) :) ...( I mean...by default, being his devotee, I am proud of him always :P ...but yeah, this one has made me extra proud! :) )....

Music: 

The starting itself sets you into the mood of the song right-away.....here's where the only slight drawback comes - the Fm chord ....but then  ...The beat of this song is almost the same as Aga Naga & Honey honey ...but still, it didn't make me feel the similarity ..as I've hardly ever listened to those 2 songs more than once :P....so this is still fresh, at least for me :D....besides, you really can't accuse anyone of reusing beats when the song is of the same genre ...everyone does that !! :)....

The distortion guitar is an ABSOLUTE WINNER in this song :) ..one of THE BEST components :)....we last saw this kinda effect in Aaraadi Kaathe from Sathyam....in the chorus...just before the 2nd interlude...:)...It's awesome and SO PERFECT for this song :) ...

The HIGHLY RACY techno-brass is very Yuvan-esque - IT IS THE LIFE OF THE SONG !!!  ..it's a pleasure to see Harris using it :) ...The first interlude in this song is AWESOMENESS EXTRAORDINAIRE !! :) :) ....The tune is OUT OF THE WORLD ...You pinch yourself & find it hard to believe - Did HJ really come up with something as UNBELIVABLY AWESOME as this?! :) :) ....

There is a special brass which comes at around 4 the minute ..when the female vocals take over ...that brass plays only in the left speaker - the balance is fully towards the left ...THAT IS ANOTHER BRILLIANT, WINNER-ALL-THE-WAY component of this song :) ....Brass-based songs are usually Yuvan's territory ...and with this song, one can safely say - careful Yuvan, Harris is scoring in your area too!! :) :) ....Though Yuvan fans always abuse & fight with Harris fans over who is better, leading to a chain of retaliations...Despite being a Harris devotee, I can only say I give it to Yuvan too, whenever he's nailed any song ...besides, I too..am a Yuvan fan.....the Yuvan-Harris professional rivalry is something I enjoy...both have their own fortes etc..anyways, I'll write another post on that separately :)....I'm only doing a neutral comparison here ...

So yes, with an unbiased mind, Theeye theeye is THE BEST OF THE LOT ...simply because Harris has NEVER, EVER DONE a song like this until now !!! ....I ONLY WISH such attempts by Harris are as strongly encouraged as the ones of ARR ...because this is a HONEST, GENUINE effort from Harris to walk MILES AWAY from his comfort zone and YET, DO AN AWESOME JOB !! :)

Singers: I really dunno who has sung which part ...so it is difficult to pin-point and comment ...but I can only say that all of them have done a fabulous!! :) ...There's a voice which sounds JUST LIKE Harish Raghavendra's ...dunno whose it is though! 

Lyrics: Great job by Pa.Vijay :)

But with my biased mind...as a Harris devotee ...Rettai Kadhire is my favorite :) :) ....

 FINAL VERDICT - 4.5 / 5

So yes, here's my ranking, as a Harris devotee :)

1. Rettai Kadhire 
2. Nani Koni
3. Yaro yaro
4. Theeye theeye 
5. Kaal mulaitha poove 

and as an unbiased music lover, 

1. Theeye theeye
2. Kaal Mulaitha poove
3. Rettai Kadhire
4. Nani Koni
5. Yaro yaro

WITHOUT A DOUBT, Maatran is one of Harris' BEST albums in recent times...According to me, this is his BEST after Vaaranam Aayiram...Seriously,...it beats OKOK, Nanban, 7am Arivu, Engeyum Kadhal, Ko...etc clearly ...SIMPLY BECAUSE it is a PERFECTLY BALANCED album...it has got something in it for music lovers of all genres :) ...there's a racy, groovy song...there's a techno-overdose one for techno-freaks ...there's a totally offbeat song for ballet & dance-lovers....there's a signature Harris song for Harris devotees :) ...and there's an incredible slow, pathos song for people of the Illayaraja era ...KUDOS to Harris Jayaraj ...Maatran, without doubt, will be one of the best albums of the year !!!

And this is EASILY the best of the KV Anand-Harris combo ...Maatran > Ayan > Ko ...

This is the Harris we want to see !! Hoping for another set of sensational hits in Thuppaki :) :) 

As for Maatran songs - Well.....came a long way, here to stay ...I'll be addicted ..every single day! :) :) :)

Thank you HJ, for another delight :) :) ....thanks to readers for having had the patience to read until now :D...

THE END

















12 comments:

arul leveil said...

super

Ashwin S Kumar said...

thanks :)

Mohamed Zamri said...

Super review. this is the best review which i read until now

Ashwin S Kumar said...

thanks :)

Karthik said...

Great review man !! With such detailed descriptions you have silenced the critics. Wat i feel is you should start a website for music reviews , you will succeed. Keep it up

Ashwin S Kumar said...

thank you! :)

Hari said...

Wow. I'm amazed at your description !! :) Such details, kudos man :)

Ashwin S Kumar said...

Thank you!! :)

Mathangi said...

Suuperbly detailed review !! liked it a lot :):)
And Loved the words you've written for Shreya and Karthik!!
I'm a really really really bigg fan of both of them:):)
But...for some reason I don't think this is Harris' best album! For me, Varanam aayiram cant be beaten, closely followed by Ghajini!

anyway, loved the review! keep writing:)

Ashwin S Kumar said...

Thank you so much !! :)

I liked Maatraan a lot mainly because I've never seen THIS much of variety in a Harris album ...after Vaaranam Aayiram...

TheRunaway Mask said...

I know I'm late to the party, but damn I think we have similar tastes! I never heard anybody that loved Maatraan has much as I did... but here I am, proving me wrong :)

TheRunaway Mask said...

I know I'm late to the party, but damn I think we have similar tastes! I never heard anybody that loved Maatraan has much as I did... but here I am, proving me wrong :)