What can we say? It's been a scintillating year for Tamil music. Year after year, we see great music coming out every now and then. But this time around, it's different. There were so much goodness on offer; one could barely notice everything at once. Sure, there were a few obvious frontrunners that stood out from the pack easily. But our list is about the composers who came up with amazing music that deserves more appreciation than one might think it does.
So here's a look at our contenders, all familiar names, but we are waiting to tell you why. We've excluded the obvious to make sure there's a fair standing.
At the end of last year, we witnessed 3, a first time album from young Anirudh, who had already a lot on his plate after the raging success of Why this Kolaver di. He delivered very well nonetheless. Since then up until very recently, the composer has been on the dark but has finally come up with his next album, Ethirneechal. The songs as you'd expect are great once more and includes some of the most unique music from Tamil cinema. Boomi Enna Suthudhe, Ethir Neechaladi and Velicha Poove Vaa are standing points to his peaking career and he has got our attention once more.
Four successful albums in one year. What more do you need to get on this list?! Nanban, Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, Maattraan and Thuppaki. Big films of Bigger stars for which he composed beautiful music. "Asku Laska" from Nanban is still a much heard song in radios and all the songs from OKOK were a hit, not forgetting to specially mention "Venam Macha Venam". Maattraan was the usual magical music output given when Harris and Surya come together. And the latest Thuppaki, no need to elaborate on that one, especially with Vijay singing "Google Google".
If anything, A.R.Rahman's Kadal came right at the end of the year to sweep through our list. The album produced complete experience for listeners offering extracts from different departments of music. Nenjukulley and Elay Keechan, released before the album itself soared to the top of the iTunes music list in just a few days and turned everybody's attention to Mani Ratnam's film. Without analyzing too much, the album is a win for all parties hands down.
Yuvan Shankar Raja
Yuvan has had a busy year at the box office, with five films in Tamil, two in Telugu and one from Mollywood all stacked up his list. But after his blast off with Billa II, he hasn't been noticed much. Ameer's Aadhibhagavan saw him take a different outlook with music, experimenting and mixing things up. However, the end of the year produced a great album for him and his fans in the form of Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal. The composer himself thought it was his best in recent times and we agree. In 'Aaha Kaadhal', we saw a classical side to Yuvan that was magical and the rest of the album exceeded everyone's expectations.
One of the highlights of the year has been Neethaane En Ponvasantham, and the man behind it's success has been maestro Illayaraja who bridged the gap between his yesteryear music and new age hits by coming up with a highly appreciable album. His compositions for Vaanam Mella, Saindhu Saindhu, Kaatrai Konjam and Yennodu Va Va have still got a large group of fans speechless. Who would have thought he would score big for such a youthful film?
What can we say about G.V.Prakash that's not seen through his music? The young musician is becoming more versatile every day. His work in Muppozhudum Un Karpanaigal was phenomenal, and produced a wide assortment of songs that tended to everybody's taste, right from folk to duets. Soon after, he came up with another set in Thaandavam and signed off his year with the very unique Paradesi. Now that kind of variety is something you don't see everyday. Did you know that the composer also worked on the background score of Gangs of Wasseypur? This man is going places!
From one youngster to another, Thaman is another man who has been on our radar for quite some time. For more than anything else, the composer's work with Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi was just great. The song 'Azhaipaya Azhaipaya' coupled with Madhan Karky's lyrics just took away youngster's hearts and his music was one of the main reasons for the success. The composer's slowly starting to go mainstream and we will soon be seeing his work in All in All Azhaguraja, a Karthi film directed by Rajesh.
Vijay Antony already had a reputation for producing impressive music. This year, he topped it off by turning into an actor as well in his maiden film, Naan. As usual, the songs turned out to be pretty good and people now started appreciating him for doubling up his background score with some great acting. His track, Makayala continues to be in the top charts even today and is constantly listened to by many everyday.
One word - Kumki. One of the most impressive albums of the year, Kumki's music and background score was a major reason for it's success. In fact, the songs became very popular even ahead of the film's release and by the time the videos came out, there was no stopping it. A wide arrangement of instruments and some great vocals, Imman even contributed to the singing himself in Onnum Puriyala. He just had to be included into the list, for winning over fans even when giants like Illayaraja and ARR are around winning over everyone.