Solo music review: Dulquer Salmaan's anthology brings together traditional ragas, rap, kuthu

Mridula Ramadugu

Oct,02 2017 09:39 37 IST

Dulquer Salman's latest anthology Solo explores more than just one genre, presenting an entire world of music in one album itself. The film, directed by Bijoy Nambiar, has three jukeboxes for each of Dulquer's roles in the story, which comprises four elements.

The actor plays Siva, Shekhar, Rudra and Trilok, and the released playlists do perfect justice to the way each one of his characters have been sketched in the teasers. Solo's tracks have been composed by various artists, and they bring together the contrasting genres of trance, rock, Carnatic, Hindustani, kuthu and even rap for this upcoming bilingual.

World of Siva

This one has the fiercest mood. The World of Siva playlist is all about vengeance, revenge and related strong emotions represented through renditions of the age-old devotional songs 'Har Har Mahadev' and 'Aagiri Nandini'. The album starts with 'Aal Ayaal' which is a typical Malayalam classical track and is the mellow tune in World of Siva. The thalams and ragas it is composed of provide a steady tone. After this Carnatic number and its reprised version, we are taken into what Shiva lovers would term trance music.

'Aigiri Nandini' and 'Shiv Tandav' by Govind, Meera and Thaikkudum Bridge are the perfect blend of tradition and EDM, which complement Dulquer's role as the bad guy and represent the dark side of the film. 'Aigiri Nandini' is like an adrenaline rush because of its strong vocals, and one can't help but imagine that a truly thrilling sequence has been shot for it. It is the most intriguing track from this playlist because of its strong use of base, the trippy notes and chord which will make you want to head-bang.

A poster for Dulquer Salmaan's Solo. Image from Facebook/@DQSalmaan

A poster for Dulquer Salmaan's Solo. Image from Facebook/@DQSalmaan

World Of Shekhar

World of Shekhar is the colourful and romantic jukebox of Solo, with songs that have foot-tapping beats. 'Singa Kutty' relies heavily on drums and has an interesting rap-meets-kuthu feel, making it one of those tracks which lift you up and make you want to jump out of bed in the morning.

Dulquer as Shekhar is the troublemaker in the anthology, and 'Singa Kutty' represents this aspect perfectly with apt lyrics like "Varandi varandi venga katti, vambuku porandi singa kutty". This Sez on The Beat composition which has a distinctly local flavour, is definitely going to be a chartbuster.

Next is Abhinav Bansal's 'Kandu Nee Enne' sung by Vijay Yesudas. With this, the album transitions into the romantic genre. World of Shekhar gives us the love story of Dulquer and Sai Dhansika, who share sizzling chemistry, and 'Kandu Nee Enne' serves the purpose adewuately. It's a slow and breezy track which talks, nay screams, about love.

'Thaalolam' is the soothing melody of the playlist. Shashaa Tirupati's rendition reminds us of those evergreen Shreya Ghosal tracks which instantly make one feel nostalgic. This track by Agam is beautiful and looks like it was composed for the emotional part of World of Shekhar.

'Oru Vanchi Paattu' is where classical music meets western tunes again. The 'Tha dhi tara dhi dhi thai' chorus will remind you of Kalyanam's songs; this track, also by Agam, is a throwback to old South movie songs, and the effect is only amplified by Harish's vocals.

World Of Rudra

World of Rudra sounds like it is meant for military boys with a liking for romance. 'Roshomon' is that fun song that you will want to scream out loud and sing with your boy gang. The song seems to serve as the backdrop for military action. It is fast-paced and you'll hear boots kicking. Prashanth Pillai packs a punch with this one, and then, all of a sudden Filter Coffee will transport you to a world of Hindustani vocals with 'Sajan More Ghar Aaye'. Sung by Jhanvi, 'Sajan More Ghar Aaye' is a traditional song with the right mix of Hindustani and Carnatic music. The song is largely a light, lilting one but it does have some intensity to it, which makes us curious as to how it'll be picturised in the movie.

Dulquer Salmaan in Solo. Image from Facebook/@DQSalmaan

Dulquer Salmaan in Solo. Image from Facebook/@DQSalmaan

'Sita Kalyanam', the last track from World Of Rudra celebrates the love story between Dulquer as Rudra, and his lady love played by Neha Sharma. The title of the song means "Glorifying a wedding", and it explores how one can be struggling with the pain that love can cause. This too, has a lot of classical tunes and the lyrical video shows that this song is all about the memories made by the lead actors and their possible separation. It ends with brilliant vocals and is the type of song we'd like to hear on loop, as the lyrics and the mysterious tune is sure to echo in our ears for a long time.

This album evidently has more than just one layer. Though the Solo playlists combined last for almost an hour, many of the songs in them are worth your time. The audience are yet to get a taste of World of Trilok, and it is a playlist we look forward to.