Movie - Keralavarma Pazhassiraja (Malayalam)
Director - Hariharan
Producer - Gokulam Gopalan
Cast - Mammootty, Sarathkumar, Suman, Manoj K Jayan, Suresh Krishna, Thilakan, Kaniha, Padmapriya, Jagathy Sreekumar, Devan
Music - Ilaiyaraja
Lyrics - ONV Kurup, Gireesh Puthanchery, Kanesh Punoor
Writer - MT Vasudevan Nair
Sound Mixing - Resul Pookutty
Singers - KJ Yesudas, KS Chitra, MG Sreekumar, Ilaiyaraja, Manjari, Chandrasekar, Sangeetha, Vidhu Prathap, Ashraf Thayinari, Edavanna Gafoor, Kuttappan Master, Faisal Eleittil, Krishnan Unni
Release Date - 2nd October 2009
This is a movie of epic proportions. Be it the story, or the scale it is being made in, or the technicians involved, or even the hype for the movie; everything is in epic proportions. So naturally there would be humongous expectations out of the music of this movie, especially when it is done by Maestro Ilaiyaraja. And he has done a great job. But whether it would meet the huge expectations of the audience, is a tricky question.
The album opens in the majestic voice of KJ Yesudas, who is heard very rarely these days. He chants a sloka, 'Maathamganana Mabjavasa Ramaneem'. I am pretty bad at Sanskrit Slokas but the feel and devotion with which Yesudas sings it makes it brilliant. A great beginning to the album in the legend's voice. (4.5/5)
The second track is 'Kunnathe Konnaykkum Ponmothiram' in KS Chitra's voice. This song is an old-fashioned melancholic song with lyrics by the great poet, Prof. ONV Kurup. I didnt like this song very much when I first heard it along with the video, on television. But hearing the audio in great quality on the CD, changed my opinion. Its a very good melody made richer by Chitra's wonderfully sweet voice. This track grows on you as you listen to it again and again. The lyrics are simple and elegant in true ONV style. The picturisation may remind one of the songs from Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha, the same team's (Hariharan - MT- Mammootty) earlier movie though. In short, a slow melody in Chitra's beautiful voice which grows on you. (4/5)
The next song, 'Aadhiyushassandhya Poothathivide' by KJ Yesudas and MG Sreekumar, two of our best singers, is an awe-inspiring track. Yesudas' voice itself gives a great impact to this majestic track. There is grandeur in every aspect - the tune, the singing, the orchestration and the lyrics as well. Inspiring lines written by ONV Kurup about achieving freedom for our land, is the backbone of this great song. Very rarely do we get such lines in our songs these days. Ilaiyaraja shows that he is still capable of delivering grand songs provided he gets a challenging project. MG Sreekumar is there just as a support vocalist for Yesudas. Absolutely brilliant!! (4.5/5)
The next track is 'Ambum Kombum Komban Kattum', a folk song, or to be more precise, an adivasi kind of song. The singers are Ilaiyaraja himself, Manjari, Kuttappan Master and team.
This song is composed in a very interesting way, as if its like a song to inspire a teamwork or something. It has that adivasi feel throughout which is quite different from usual songs. Ilaiyaraja's voice suits the song perfectly. Manjari also does a fine job. The lyrics by Gireesh Puthanchery retain the folk flavour. Ilaiyaraja has always been a master of composing folk numbers like this, and he does a good job once again with this track. I hope the song is picturised in an interesting way. (3.5/5)
The fifth track, 'Odathandil Thalam Kottum Kaattil' is a romantic melody with vocals by Chandrasekar and Sangeetha. This song has fresh voices and a soothing tune which makes it very appealing. It also has that old world feel, and sounds from a jungle are added to give some extra depth to the track. Gireesh Puthanchery has written the lyrics and has done a nice job as well. Sangeetha and Chandrasekar are relatively new singers with good voices and they are very impressive in their singing. Sangeetha can be a good addition to our list of our female singers. All in all, a beautiful, soothing melody. (4/5)
The final track is 'Aalamadankala Mythavanalle', an Islamic prayer song. Its Ilaiyaraja's turn to do a 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' now, we think. But he does a completely different composition going in for a much faster tune. (We should note that the songs for this movie was composed 2-3 years ago when Jodhaa Akbar hadnt released). The singers are MG Sreekumar, Vidhu Prathap, Ashraf Thayinari, Edavanna Gafoor, Faisal Eleittil and Krishnan Unni. Most of the song is sung in chorus mode with Vidu Prathap's voice being the most prominent. The Muslim flavoured lyrics about the Almighty Allah are by Kanesh Punoor. This song is also an interesting composition, with the chant 'Ya Ilaha..' repeating at regular intervals. But I dont understand the significance of sounds like 'yeah' and 'aha' towards the end of the song. Maybe they were written as something else. But it certainly sounded to me like the punctuations that hip-hop songs have. It sounded quite odd in this song which is supposed to be set in the 18th century. Other than that, this song was very good. The video also has been shot neatly. (3.5/5)
All in all, Ilaiyaraja has come up with a competent and authentic soundtrack for this epic film. But those who are expecting something on the lines of Jodhaa Akbar by Rahman and other similar works, would be disappointed. Ilaiyaraja's compositions are completely different from Rahman's. Both of them have their own unique styles. Ilaiyaraja has shown that he can still deliver amazing tracks like 'Aadhiyushassandhya', which is easily the pick of the lot. The lyrics by ONV Kurup and Gireesh Puthanchery also contribute a lot to the album. And having great singers like KJ Yesudas, KS Chitra, MG Sreekumar along with a bunch of newcomers and Ilaiyaraja himself offered a wide variety in voices. I am quite happy with the songs of the movie and I'm looking forward to seeing these songs on the big screen this friday. I really hope that this movie does extremely well. To conclude, this album is a great effort by the Maestro for this epic movie.
Rating - 4/5