There is a criticism, often valid, that Malayalam film music is disturbingly moving away from its traditional melodies and simple but soulful tunes. Most of the modern-day songs are about rhythms and high-pitched chorus.
But one hearing of Seethakalynam is good enough to convince you that all is not lost. We all known Sreenivas to be one of the best singers of our generation. In Seethakalyanam he has brought to fore a new facet of his personality. As a music director, he is absolutely original and has given melody a full run. The songs, to put it simply, are outstanding. Listening to them is a pleasure. Heavily inspired by the strong Carnatic tradition of the land, Sreenivas has come with a peach of an album. The only thing you miss is Sreenivas as a singer.
A number dipped in all the traditional niceties. The voices of Sharath, Madhu Balakrishnan and Karthick give it a larger-than-life feel. The energy and enterprise that they bring is beautiful. Anuradha Sreeram, the female singer, takes the overall impact to new heights. Her strong foundations in Hindustani and Carnatic come more than handy. In higher octaves, she is, in one word, splendid.
The pick of the album. Really. But how do you do justice to this melody in ordinary words? How will everyday adjectives suffice to describe this gem in musical verse? If the tune is beautiful, Mathangi's voice is even more so. After this song, music directors cannot afford to miss her out. Starting with the Sreenivas's own humming, the song takes off to great heights straightaway with Mathangi mesmerizing all through. Well, don't read this. Listen to the number. You will understand how language cannot match music!
3) Kettille Visesham
Perhaps the most mass-feel song in this album. M G Sreekumar, whose sings with rare gusto, delivers his usual punch. Sujatha is as ever full of nuanced softness. The folksy beats are enjoyable. Provides the perfect balance to an album dominated by classical tunes. The instrumentation is again restrained, adding the right touches at the right moment.
4) Dhoore Dhoore
The violin starts hauntingly. Then Dinesh steps in with his strong voice. Soon enough, Sujatha join him too. It is a simple melody, whose charm becomes vivid thanks to the intelligent use of instruments. Sreenivas, as a singer himself, knows it is better to let the singers take over rather than go for complicated orchestration. Both Sujatha and Dinesh seem sweet as honey and milk.
This is perhaps the title piece. The music director delivers in Rahman-style with Timmy, Karthik, Mathangi providing the energetic vocals.
Another uplifting number. A melody that will stay with you all along. In Sankarabaranam raga, the lullaby kind of tune, transports you to a cool, raining night when the elements are in their best mood. Padma Narayanan's heavy voice and Chitra's dulcet throat combine ever so seamlessly. Again, the orchestration is minimal and simple. Sreenivas has let the tune's quintessence take the center stage.
7) Brova Barama
This is an undiluted Carnatic song with all the right nuances infused by Unni Krishnan. The essential beauty of this traditional Thiagaraja number, in raga Bahudari, is enhanced in the rich timbre of Unni's voice. The music director has not tampered with the krithi and has let it all flow like a beautiful river. Listen to it, with eyes closed, you will perhaps see God.
8) Dhoore Dhoore
This song is a