The audio track of "Chandramukhi" is the only album I have looked for in these 10 months I am here, even though reluctantly, is for only one reason - Vidyasagar. A couple of days before its audio release Sify.com reported that those who had previewed the audio had found themselves amidst of a musical odyssey. Ironically at the same day Raveendran, my favourite Malayalam music director and composer of Manichitrathazhu - original of Chandramukhi had passed away. This is also another reason why I wanted to hear Chandramukhi immediately - a curiosity how Vidyasagar had handled it. I downloaded all the songs and heard with so much of expectations. Vidyasagar didn't disappoint even though he is capable of doing it still better. I am putting the order of songs which I like the most.
Konja neram...konja neram... This is a breezy romantic number rendered by upcoming Madhu Balakrishnan, who sounds so near to KJ Yesudas along with Asha Bhonsle. It is a nice melody and rehash of his malayalam hit "Aaroral Pularmazhayil...." from the malayalam movie "Pattalom". It catches your attention immediately and can be easily termed as the "pick of the album". Asha bhonsle's voice even though sounds good, her diction is pathetic leaving a lot to be desired. It took more than 10 hearings to understand "Mazhai naanaga... Veyil neeyaga.... velaanmai ini" (I am the rain, you are the sun, hereafter is the agriculture). But you'll surely give in to the magic of the veteran. I think this had been picturised on Nayantara & Rajini.
Raa..Raa...Sarasakku raa... This is the song I was most concerned about as it is not only the climax song but also the soul of the movie. In the malayalam movie, the danseuse was a Tamil girl, so it featured a beautiful Tamil song "Oru murai vanth paarthaya...?". In Tamil version it a Telugu dancer, so a full fledged Telugu song finds its place in a Tamil movie. Once I heard the song, I sighed with relief that Vidyasagar had saved the musical. This song is rendered by new female singer Binni Krishna Kumar and Tippu. Admitted the song draws heavily from the malayalam song for orchestration (If you hear "Oru murai anthu paarthaya" and "Raa Raa.." simultaneously, you'll understand what I mean), but keeps intact the soul of a classical dancer. While hearing the song you can visualise the scenes changing to historical times, which feel the crux of the story.
Kokku para.. The lucky stork visits Rajini's movie again...Hey! Don't think wild... After the hit of "Kokku Saiva kokku..." in "Muthu", this time kites fly along with the storks. Even though the song is said to be situational, it manages to attract you as a stand alone. Sung beautifully by Tippu,Manika Vinayagam,Rajalakshmi .S, the beauty of the song is the way the lines "Pallikkoodam padikkalai, Kallooriyai midhikkalai.. pattam mattum vaangiputtom paarudaa.." was sung by Rajalakshmi. Manick Vinayagam's robust vocals are one of the strengths of this song.
Anthinthom... I always longed for Illayaraja's folk type of songs in a Rajini's movie, thats why the songs of "Veera" and "Yejaman" are my all time favourites. Vidyasagar's this track falls in the above category as it is composed in the later 80's style of Illayaraja. SPB's vocals add magic to this number and you can't stop wondering why SPB is not singing these days. This track could be the dark horse of the album that has the potential to make it big on the charts. Even though it makes big or not, it is a sheer delight to hear.
Devuda...Devudaa.. This song bears the typical trademark of Vidyasagar - is replete with the "Bhangra beats" (Remember the "Koduva meesai..." from Dhool) and fast paced. SPB's energetic voice sounds good. It is worth hearing but cannot stay for a long. however the beauty of the song is its "preachy" lyrics penned by Vaali . I liked it after hearing a couple of times.
Annanoda paattu... This song is fast paced, and I hope is the introduction song of Rajini. This might go well down with the masses and hardcore Rajini fans, but it didn't appeal me.
On the whole, Vidyasagar has managed to live upto his expectations, but I couldn't stop feeling that Vidyasagar could have done still better, as even his small Malayalam films like "Rasikan" has better music. The songs of Chandramukhi may not become a classic but it definitely a revelation. It stays apart from the maddening crowd of techno-music dished out by AR Rahman, Harris Jayraj and Yuvan Shankar raja. Infact the strength of this album is its earthiness that takes back you to late 80s style of music, simple and rustic. You may like it or hate it but you cannot ignore it