Chekka Chivantha Vaanam music review: AR Rahman-Mani Ratnam unite for another masterful soundtrack
Shakthisree Gopalan's mighty vocals anchor AR Rahman's Chekka Chivantha Vaanam soundtrack
Mani Ratnam's Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (CCV) has been causing plenty of buzz since Day 1 thanks to its ensemble cast and, of course, the coming together of Mani Ratnam and maestro AR Rahman.
The duo has given us Roja, Alaipayuthey and several hit tracks to praise and listen to for decades. And it is once again, that time of the year to jam to another jukebox from one of the most loved combinations in Tamil cinema.
The makers went on to conduct a CCV Unplugged recently with AR Rahman and team performing the upcoming Tamil film's songs live. CCV, apart from being a treat for Rahman fans, is also an album dominated by Shakthisree Gopalan's mighty vocals and a fusion of Western classical and traditional Tamil lyrics.
Here's how the CCV album got us grooving:
If you're raving about CCV's playlist, then Shakthisree Gopalan's 'Bhoomi Bhoomi' has to be one of the main reasons for the hype. The 'Nenjukulle' singer modulates her vocals brilliantly for this track and it is a clear winner. 'Bhoomi Bhoomi' begins on a techno note and the singer has us at 'Mudhal Yaadho Mudiverthuvo'. The song goes on different highs throughout — some heart-warming, some romantic and with some reggae notes. Just like her 'Naan Nee', 'Bhoomi Bhoomi' is intriguingly addictive and Shakthisree's vocals echo for days after listening to this one on loop.
This AR Rahman composition, also sung by the maestro, is a refreshing track and the most light-hearted one from the jukebox. And also aptly composed for Simbu's persona and his lady love in CCV. While many might argue that another male singer could have carried off the song rather than Rahman rendering his vocals, 'Mazhai Kuruvi' as a melody still manages to make a mark. Rahman impresses with the 'Kich kich indradhu' parts and provides a peppy and soothing listen at the same time.
This song kick-starts with Shaktishree killing it on a high pitch, crooning 'Nee Vanthu Sendranai' which we largely hear in most of the film's glimpses so far. And this is why we credit CCV as a Shakthisree Gopalan fest as the singer presents many quirky renditions for this film.
Most of the song is dominated by the 'Nee Vanthu' verse, apart from other rap beats by Lady Kash and many intriguing verses. This song serves as a background of sorts for the many sleek sequences and characters of this action drama.
'Sevandhu Pochu Nenju' is everything Mani Ratnam has been trying to project this film as. The last two tracks of the album — 'Sevandhu' and 'Kalla Kalavaani' — belong to a similar genre filled with racy beats. 'Sevandhu Pochu Nenju' is a Sunitha Sarathy song, accompanied by Arjun Chandy and D Sathyaprakash's dramatic chorus. Much like the 'Nee Vanthu' bit in 'Kalla Kalavaani', this track too runs on the 'Sevandhu Pochu Nenje' part as the main base. The chorus is rendered by Sunitha in many different pitches.
With 'Sevandhu Pochu Nenju', the singer navigates between furious beats and filmy verses, constantly lifting the song along with the other male singers who give the right boost for this anthem. This song also marks the comeback of the playback singer and composer duo of Rahman and Sunitha, who have previously collaborated for some hit tracks in Kollywood in films like Boys and Aaytha Ezhuthu during the early 2000's.
While the trailer so far has been making the rounds as a glimpse very unexpected from Mani Ratnam with nothing of his usual style of cult cinema, with many parts of the album alone, the director-composer duo manage to keep their trademark alive. After O Kadhal Kanmani, the National Award winning Kaatru Veliydai, the duo experiment with new genres and include a more western influence with Chekka Chivantha Vaanam's songs. The songs are all well-written with some intense lyrics penned throughout by Vairamuthu.
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