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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?