Monday, April 03, 2006

Pattiyal - The soundtrack

Pattiyal forms one half of a CD (self) titled Gangs of Chennai (the other album on that CD being Pudhupettai, which I am tripping on too) that’s looping on my car’s CD player these days. It is a mostly upbeat album, boasting of six numbers, packaged with the usual zest by the youngest scion of the Raja family.

However, invoking his father's name is probably a disservice to Yuvan who has become his own man in TFM. Though he does avail the service of his father as the voice for one number in this peppy soundtrack, the gulf between father and son is never more apparent than in this soundtrack. Again, I don’t mean this negatively. It is just that Yuvan seems to have touched genres that his father would probably never touch with a barge pole. Or may be not.

Dei namma
A regular voice in the Yuvan camp, Vijay Yesudas opens the album with a number whose mood reminds one of the title track from Gilli. While this is unfamiliar territory for Vijay Yesudas who in the past has been more known for soulful numbers, he passes the test with flying colors.

Kannai Vittu
Pattiyal is a movie with two leading pairs. So this number seems to be the customary romantic number used to develop the romance pairings. And since any soundtrack from Yuvan seems incomplete without hearing his voice (more on that later), Yuvan does the honors with this track with Swetha’s lilting voice humming on a parallel track (the melancholic effect being yet another Yuvan trademark). Despite Yuvan's voice, this is the pick of the album.

Kannai Vittu (Remix)
Going by recent trends, any soundtrack from Yuvan is never complete without a remixed hip hop version of one other song. Yuvan groupie Premji provides the additional hip-hop vocals in this remixed track that starts rather unimaginatively with the words Hey Yo, You heard the original. Now hear the remix... In the past, his remixes have tended to be faster in pace than the originals, but in this one, the changes in tempo are subtler.

Namma Kattula
This seems to be the most talked about track in this album, with Yuvan playing around with the old MSV/Kannadasan/MGR bhangra fest Aadaludan padal (from Kudiyirundha Kovil) and using it to drive the tempo of the number. Ilayaraja’s throaty rendition instantly took me on a flashback to Nila adhu vaanathu mele from Naayagan. Pa Vijay’s lyrics which contain lines like vilayaadu vilayaadu, vidiyum varai vilayaadu; kondaadu kondaadu kudichi kudichi kondaadu add to the mood.

But what almost everyone has missed is the first line, which loops trance-like through the whole song. A Google search of the first line (and a subsequent listen) confirms that Yuvan has sampled/remixed the first line from a Chitra Singh ghazal from the soundtrack of Saath Saath (music by Kuldeep Singh), which had a better known number in Tumko Dekha To Ye Khayaal Aaya, sung by the ghazal duo of Chitra and her husband Jagjit Singh. Has this loop/sample been credited to Kuldeep Singh / Chitra Singh in the original CD? Since I heard these tracks on Raaga which is notorious for screwing up credits, I have no way of knowing. But I think I am asking for too much.

Poga Poga
This is the second hip hop and R&B influenced number in this soundtrack. The track starts out like a typical R&B number till YSR’s instrumental arrangement takes over. He has proved in the past that he is no amatuer when it comes to interludes and this track is no exception. This time it is a nadaswaram / shehnai (or its electronic equivalent) that stands out. The four voices, Haricharan, Vijay Yesudas, Harini Sudhakar and Saindhavi are more than adequate for this number which seems to be the gung-ho song of this album.

Yedhedo
This track seems to be the perfunctory melancholic number and as has been the norm, YSR chooses to sing it himself. This song ends up being the least impressive of the lot, with YSR’s voice contributing to this standing.

So, in total Sun TV istyle, should we conclude by saying: Pattiyal – Pattaiy-ya Kalappal? Well, sort of. Yuvan Shankar Raja is certainly no slouch as a music director, but as a singer he has a long way to go. Wait, he has nowhere to go. He has to accept that and let better singers sing. His high pitch whining is frankly getting to be ear-bleed inducing and would be the only factors that would pull this album down. In fact by singing two songs himself and featuring his father in another song, he has managed to lay a “speed-bump” on this album whose positive musical impact far outstrips that of his voice.

Yo Yuvan... you are the love doctor remember? Remember, you do it better than the all of us?

13 comments:

d.n.a. said...

I have a separate list of songs by YSR that have decent compositions but very bad voice selections, which mostly includes himself and udit "nara-yanan". He seems to use lot of commercially available loops for rhythm. Case in point, in Pudhupettai, there is this sitar/veena bit that I've heard in "raaga.com" commerical. To me pudhupettai "sounds" better than pattiyal"

anantha said...

D.N.A: Will get to Pudhupettai soon. I heard Pudhupettai before, but I had express motivation to post on Pattiyal and so will go on to the other half of the "Gangs of Chennai" cd soon. And ya, Pudhupettai "sounds" better than Pattiyal and I did get that "Raaga.com" bit.

rajesh said...

padam is not so great..
seems to be a rehash of Pithamagan in some ways..

Anonymous said...

dei anti..sharma here..hows life at ur end..i tried calling u couple times..but cudnt reach u..has ur number changed?

anantha said...

Sharma: Sorry. I did change my number a couple of weeks ago. I will call you tomorrow. I am in NJ these days.

Raapi: Havent seen the movie yet. This weekend, I will, though.

Avinash said...

Hi Anti,
I hav seen the movie. YSR hav excelled in the BGM too..

I guess, YSR is having his honeymoon period now in Composing in Tamizh Movies.. he is probably having more movies to compose than other musicians......

Balaji said...

and u said my audio review of 'pudhuppettai' was late?! :)

u know i feel the same about YSR's singing. but he must somehow be hearing otherwise. cos he seems to be singing more numbers in his newer albums...

btw, 'poga poga' was the pick of the numbers as far as picturization goes.

anantha said...

Balaji: Yes... I did say that.. and now I understand! :) About his singing, this morning, stuck in traffic, I was listening to Yedhedo. That song really touches the depths! I wonder if all this is because other singers are refusing to sing for him or someone is forcing him at gunpoint. Otherwise, why would someone, even after listening to the song include it in the album! And ya, my liking for "Poga Poga" is evolving. Have been looping it on my comp since this morning. Earlier this morning, full volume in the car, the opening bits got quite a few heads turning my side! So the signs are clear, Yuvan should stick to composing ONLY!

Avi: Ya, he does do a very good job with the bgms usually. Honeymoon period or not, I think he will go far, but only if he stops singing!

Balaji said...

anti, maybe its a genetic thing!his dad initially stuck to singing occasional numbers that suited his voice(like 'janani...', 'kaattu vazhi...', etc.) but then ended up singing for everyone from rajni to ramarajan, whether his voice suited them or not. maybe ysr has just reached that stage much earlier :)

D.N.A. said...

Well, the huge difference is Mottai knew his vocal range even though that did not suit the actor. But YSR, for all his musical talent, should know his voice just plainly sucks. I guess he is way too narcissistic.

anantha said...

d.n.a: Right..exactly...si senor si! That is the feeling I get too. Mottai for all his lack of range always picked the right songs to sing (though not neccesarily for the suitable actors).

Nithya Swaminathan said...

Poga poga is my pick of the album... Haricharan is really good in the song... and yeah, namma kaatule instantly transports me to Nila adhu vaanathu mele... the way he has mixed the Aadaludan paadalai kettu bits is really cool too..:)

Anonymous said...

PATTIYal rockZ!!!
kannai vittu n other cool songz just rocks,, ..hiz mixes n vinylz just rock!! He'z our IndiAn EmInEm wiTh a cerTAin TradeMark STyLE ,,,keEp rockin YuvAn,, !!