Karthik Subbaraj joins hands with Rajinikanth in this all-important film of his career and one would expect Sa-Na to be his default pick for the score. I believe he wanted every crew member in this film to have a first experience with Rajini in Petta. Let me now talk about Anirudh’s work in the album.
Marana Mass is that glorification song with a foot tapping heavy rhythm. The massive percussion dominates the song with a simple yet ineffective bass guitar progression. The trumpets lift the mood of the song and offer a grand cue to the golden tone of SPB, who surprisingly sings in a far too low register for such a song. Nevertheless, this one slowly grows on you and is exciting. Petta Theme opens with trumpets and sets the mood to an unusual Rajini theme with a Latin spin mixed in an EDM sort of backing. The curiosity of a possibility of multiple layers is well and truly triggered here. I wonder why Rajini speaks one of Mahakavi’s famous lines. A very catchy theme and has a good recall factor to it.
Ilamai Thirumbudhu is that typical Anirudh ballad with an acoustic guitar strumming right through with a simple yet prominent bass. He also uses his formula of having a 4-line hook stanza like his previous songs. However, the strings backing in the verses add a different flavour to this melody. The one to look out for in this song is the interesting flute portions playing behind the already existing layers. I guess his melody template did not work for me as much as he would have liked. Madurai Pettai traps the regional mood by means of the local percussion instruments which instantly helps us to connect with this soundtrack. The nadhaswaram is a delight to listen to and the one aspect missing is a simple progressive melody. Despite that, this track fits perfectly for the theme it represents and is surely going to be playing in all the Pongal promo videos of Sun TV.
Petta Parak is yet another raging theme from the composer, heavily loaded guitar riffs and rhythm and is progressive. The lyric works its magic for this track with references to Rajini’s yesteryear movies. The chorus adds so much energy to this song and the tracks gets a new high in the verse. The second interlude is stunningly done to add more fire to this powerful number and it works brilliantly. Singaar Singh is a beat driven theme with smart choice of instruments making way to a proper guessing game in terms of what the theme has to convey. Though it is short, there is so much space for improvisation and probably it is in all its glory in the score of the film.
Aaha Kalyanam is that happy and exciting wedding song which carries Anthony Dasan’s infectious energy all over. The trumpets add a unique mood to this song. The catchy lyric and the percussions are the highlights of this song. One wonders why there is ‘dubukku’ in this wedding song. Jithu theme has to be the villain’s theme and it is not as imposing as the Singaar Singh theme. The arrangement of the song is interesting because each of the instrument used in a layer cannot be put together unless the mix is perfect. Anirudh has pulled struck the balance with this one.
Ullaallaa is my pick of the album and that is because of the genre in which this song is conceived. It is such a happy song right from its outset. Thanks to Anirudh for adding a intricate pianica layer instead of lending his voice to this one. The outstanding blend of trumpets, guitars and vocals hit the right note in this baila track. Kaali theme opened like a Yanni song and slowly picks up into this brass theme. The brass theme that followed, felt like a VIP upgrade. This chant effect has been a signature of most of Anirudh’s theme hero intro tracks. All the soundtracks in the jukebox are intentionally kept short to hold on to the suspense of the respective characters. Thappad maara is another short track with an exciting arrangement and makes you wonder why it did not go longer. The percussions are in perfect sync with the vocals and gives the feel of a dance number. It must be told that this is a versatile track from the album.
To sum it up, Anirudh has gone out of his usual zone and pulled off a quality album with elements for every music lover to get excited about. One can feel that the expectations for a fantastic background score is created by the album.