Three lead pairs, a director making a return and Yuvan himself saying this could be his best from recent times - all of these make us give special attention to the Moondru Per Moondru Kadhal album. Before we start judging the tracks, it is to be noted that the composer has almost hit 100 films and has taken this album very seriously. The results might still go anyway though.
1. Aaha Kadhal
The album opens with 'Aaha Kadhal' and might just become one of it's best. It represents a class of music that's very indifferent among Yuvan's compositions. The singer's Carnatic touches throughout the song and the piano backing make it one of a kind. It packs a lot of soul throughout and raises expectations right away. Thumbs up, Yuvan.
Nandini Srikar deserves a good amount of credit for the success of this track and is one of the reasons it has so much soul left even with all the modern mixing taking up room. Her voice is new and refreshing and fits the bill well. Na Muthukumar's poetic, yet appeals to the listener by being straightforward. Job well done, overall.
2. Kaadhal Endhan Kaadhal
Kaadhal Endhan Kaadhal is the most emphatic song in the album, which follows very dark and enigmatic in most parts. Peculiarly, Yuvan goes ahead and uses the piano once more and adds to the already large number of instruments in the orchestration. The interludes and the initial pieces of this number including more southern music stand out. About all, the vocals are giving more prominence in general.
Neha Basin is known to have a powerful voice, but the added assistance in Yuvan's music helps her be more dramatic and connect. Although the track appears to be on the lines of Mudhal Murai, from his father's recent NEP, the track is slower and grows on you with each listen.
3. Mazhai Mazhai
Karthik, Sweta Menon
Half way through the album in it's third track, the film finally get it's first male lead and a duet. Yuvan falls back to his usual and the percussion and flute mark the return of his usual bag of tricks. The charanams show off an interesting Q&A form of music, with different pitches that blend in with the strings. However, the romance in the song becomes a bit downplayed by the end.
Karthik is welcome addition to the song, but the actual duet part with Sweta Menon lacks something special to keep us tuned. Lyrics that flow with strings are
daily tasks for Na Muthukumar, and that's perhaps why the lines don't stand out particularly. The charanams do post a challenge for our man but the second time becomes familiar too quickly.
4. Padappadakkudhu Maname
A song that has touches of intentional retro-ish music and modern bass-filled beats, Unakkaagave is another emphatic number that is blended with rap. The flanges appear unnecessary. The piano is featured again and is especially prominent in the opening part of the song. The blend of music throughout is very interesting and stands out from the rest of the album.
Krish's effectiveness with high-pitched notes are proven once again with Padappadakkudhu and are accompanied with straightforward hit-hard lyrics. Meanwhile, Blaaze glides through the low notes without breaking a sweat and also takes all the heavy percussion with him. The interesting mash-up is another track you should watch out for.
Yuvan Shankar Raja
A sad and highly emotional song is here. Guess who has got their name on it - Yuvan. He has his usual buddies giving him company, the bass-heavy percussion and very prominent chords through which only his high-pitched tones can get through. On a serious note, the beats and techno is impressive and almost take your attention from the lyrics. Some of the video-gamey beats are actually interesting. And to be fair, the piano is seen again.
Yuvan finds his rhythm for delivering soulful songs after a particularly hateful outing in NEP. He is smooth on the lows and goes all out on the highs, the usual way and helps add value to the song. To be fair, Na Muthukumar's words are actually better for this one, but let's see how long you are going to remember that.
And the end is here. The album impresses overall to put it short and sweet. It provides for everyone, the romantic, the ones who seek a powerful message and some very classy music lovers who aren't fond of anything else. When put together, the tracks make up a great album that's both similar and different from what Yuvan has shown us over the last few years. It deserves several shoutouts and will soon start appearing everywhere.
Rating - 3.75/5 - Steps up and aims to score big
Verdict - A good collection of songs at the end of the year, almost appears as if it has been picked out of good songs.