ARR’s latest soundtrack for the movie “Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu” features three captivating songs that are worth a listen. The first three songs on the album – “Muthu’s Journey,” “Kaalathukkum Nee Venum,” and “Marakkuma Nenjam” – blend seamlessly together, creating a single, enjoyable track. These songs share common elements, including the enchanting 90s sound that ARR is known for. They start off softly, with minimal percussion, before the folk beats kick in during the interlude, accompanied by soothing backing vocals.
However, if there’s one weak point in these tracks, it would be the male vocals, particularly in “Kaalathukkum Nee Venum.” Silambarasan TR’s singing is a bit underwhelming, which is disappointing considering how perfect the song could have been otherwise. On the other hand, Rakshita Suresh delivers Thamarai’s lines exceptionally well, capturing the essence of the song. The arrangement itself is splendid, with standout moments like Kareem Kamalakar and Kiran’s melancholic flute solos in the second interlude. The skilled use of folk percussions adds depth and richness to the tracks.
In “Marakkuma Nenjam,” A R Rahman takes the lead in singing, and while his delivery may not be top-notch, his earnestness shines through. The song truly takes off when he goes “Pulla” at the end of his first verse and passes the baton to the female chorus. The real highlight of this track, however, is Keba Jeremiah’s exceptional work on the guitars and bass. The rhythmic foundation he establishes right from the beginning adds an extra layer of brilliance to the song.
Shreya Ghoshal, who featured in ARR’s 2020 hit “Taare Ginn,” gets another opportunity to showcase her mesmerizing vocals in the dreamy track “Unnai Nenachadhum.” This song carries a European-esque sound and seems to reference an older period. Shreya, along with Sarthak Kalyani, delivers a stellar performance, capturing the essence of the lyrics and melody flawlessly. At times, the song reminiscent of “Innum Konjam Neram” from Maryan, especially during the introduction of the kanjira in the interlude. It’s fascinating to note the usage of instruments like mugaveena and ghatasinghari, which were unfamiliar to me until now.
Sivakumar’s mugaveena makes a reappearance in a more conventional form in the surprise number of the album – “Mallipoo.” With this song, ARR ventures into the gaana genre, which is a new territory for him. The result is a brilliantly quirky and addictive track that is sure to stay in your head for a long time. The melody, possibly based on the sindhubhairavi raga, is solid, and Madhushree’s vocals do justice to it.
Overall, “Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu” is the third album collaboration between A R Rahman, Gautham Vasudev Menon, and Silambarasan TR. While it falls slightly short of their previous masterpiece “Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya,” it still offers a great set of songs. It’s unfortunate that there are a few missteps in terms of vocal choices, but the overall quality of the music shines through. It’s evident that ARR has been pushing boundaries and experimenting with different styles in the second half of 2022, which is exciting to witness.
In conclusion, “Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu” is a solid soundtrack with standout tracks like “Mallipoo,” “Unnai Nenachadhum,” and “Marakkuma Nenjam.” With the successful incorporation of various musical instruments and genres, ARR continues to showcase his talent and versatility. This album is definitely worth adding to your playlist.
– Singer: Madhushree
– Backing Vocals: Sivaangi Krish, Shenbagaraj, Santhosh Hariharan, Narayanan Ravishankar, Swagat Rathod, Sarthak Kalyani
– Lyrics: Thamarai
– Musicians: Live Rhythm – Krishna Kishore & Iniyan, Mugaveena – Mambalam Sivakumar, Music Supervisor – AH Kaashif, Project Manager – Karthik Sekaran, Sound Engineers: Panchathan Record inn – Suresh Permal, Karthik Sekaran, Aravind Crescendo, Suryansh, Sarthak Kalyani, Mixed by – Nitish R Kumar, Mastered by – Suresh Permal, Apple Digital Master by – Riyasdeen Riyan, Musician Coordinator – Samidurai R, Abdul Haiyum, T M Faizudeen
**Marakuma Nenjam/Muthu’s Journey**
– Song Composed, Produced and Arranged by A.R.Rahman
– Singer: A.R.Rahman
– Lyrics: Thamarai
– Musicians: Ghatasinghari – Vedha, Guitars & Bass – Keba Jeramiah, Strings – Sunshine Orchestra Conducted by Srikant Krishna, Orchestrated by Prashanth Venkat, Backing Vocals – Rakshita Suresh, Deepthi Suresh, Suryansh Aravind Srinivas, Shenbagaraj, Sarath Santhosh, Aparna Harikumar, Vrusha Balu, Padmaja Sreenivasan, Music Supervisor – AH Kaashif, Additional Programming – Nakul Abhyankar, Suryansh, Vocal Arrangement – Suryansh, Sound Engineers – Panchathan Record Inn – Suresh Permal, Karthik Sekaran, Aravind Crescendo, Suryansh, Shubham Bhat, Sarthak Kalyani AM Studios – Sivakumar S, Sathya Narayanan, Ainul, Mixed by Pradeep Menon, Mastered by Suresh Permal, Apple Digital Master by Riyasdeen Riyan, Musician Coordinators – Samidurai R, Abdul Haiyum, Siddique, T M Faizudeen, Additional programming – Nakul Abhyankar, Suryansh, Vocal Arrangement – Suryansh
**Kaalathukkum Nee Venum**
– Lyrics: Thamarai
– Singers: Silambarasan TR, Rakshita Suresh
– Song Composed, Produced and Arranged by AR Rahman
– Musicians: Charango – Keba Jeremiah, Flute – Kareem Kamalakar, Kiran
– Additional Vocals and Programming – Nakul Abhyankar
– Sound Engineers: Suresh Perumal, Karthik Sekaran, Aravind Crescendo, Suryansh
– Mixed by Krishna Chetan
– Mastered by Suresh Permal
– Apple Digital Masters: Riyasdeen Riyan
– Musician Coordinator: Samidurai R, Abdul Haiyum, Siddique, TM Faizudeen
– Composer: A.R.Rahman
– Singers: Shreya Ghoshal, Sarthak Kalyani
– Lyrics: Thamarai
– Musicians: Live Rhythm – Krishna Kishore & Iniyan, Mugaveena – Mambalam Sivakumar, Music Supervisor – AH Kaashif, Project Manager – Karthik Sekaran, Sound Engineers: Panchathan Record inn – Suresh Permal, Karthik Sekaran, Aravind Crescendo, Suryansh, Sarthak Kalyani, Mixed by Nitish R Kumar, Mastered by Suresh Permal, Apple Digital Master by Riyasdeen Riyan, Musician Coordinator – Samidurai R, Abdul Haiyum, T M Faizudeen