So it's finally here, late by a month, maybe even more. Vishwaroopam brings the elusive trio of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy back to Tamil cinema. Kamal Hassan is known to be demanding with his requirements and keen on making sure his soundtrack stays on the line. For all we know, we might just find the right mix of both in the Vishwaroopam audio album.
The opening song of the album is filled with irony and powerful music that strikes a chord with the listeners right away. Right from the start where the heavy sirens turn into music, to the march-like beats turning into powerful drumming, the music tries to kindle emotions and succeeds. The dramatic chords and percussion that changes pace with the chorus have tremendous impact.
Suraj Jagan hasn't sung too many Tamil songs in his life, but his rendition for the title track is packed with expression. Rugged once again with vocals, the singer forces his way through the music and chorus with ease and impresses. The lyrics will soon become the talking point of many when the visuals come out along with the film. Now, that's one great way to kick-start an album.
2. Thuppaki Engal Tholile
Kamal Hassan, Benny Dayal
Upon first listen, the track transcends into a unconventional western composition that's almost too different to be out of place. At the end of the first stanza, the chorus is accompanied by the characteristic words from the title of the track. When Kamal Hassan's voice enters the mix, things become enjoyable and begins to showcase a very unique track. The modernistic, almost club like composition offers a great experience indeed.
Despite the seriousness, expressed through the lyrics, the music brings out a style of storytelling through music. The words get attention with some classical use of percussion with the ironic lines. Benny Dayal's voice slides in casually, while Kamal's is more expressive with his pitching. Maybe not your cup of tea, but the track offers a great blend of music for ardent listeners.
3. Unnai Kaanaadha Naan
Shankar Mahadevan, Kamal Haasan
Classical, mellifluous and expressive, 'Unnai Kaanaadha Naan' dives into the grassroots of Indian music, something different from the rest of the soundtrack. All the while, the chords are ever so present through the lines even as tablas, veenas and a range of Indian instruments take the drivers seat. The composers subtle touches in the interludes, pausing the percussion make the vocals rich and beautiful.
Shankar Mahadevan is excellent as usual with his vocals and Kamal's brings to the table his table with expressions once again through his phrases. Even while the words are very southern in nature, the Kathak feeling is always felt. The charanams are sweet as Shankar flows through the verses and bisects some great compositions. This one just has class, all over it.
4. Anu Vidhaitha Boomiyile
Kamal Haasan, Nikhil D'Souza
For a change, this track takes a very subtle and soft approach in conveying its message. The chorus take the driving seat in the opening portions leading to Kamal's lead vocal track. As the singer scales through various pitch levels, the chords ascend along with him and the percussion switches gear to make way for the drama. Interestingly, the song has no real charanam and just a long passage of play accompanied by minor preludes.
All aspects of the lyrics, from the English vocals to Kamal's renditions are well thought of and express sadness through exceptional poetry. Kamal jumps between the lowest of notes to things totally different in between lines. The song provokes thought and will be another valuable addition to the storyline.
5. Vishwaroopam Remix
Remixed by Loy Mendosa
This one's a different version of the original track, which will possibly be used separately from the movie. The techno beats and drumming take you into a different world of music and might just be too heavy for few users. The special effects that come through with preludes are interesting, to be fair, but aren't entirely gaming changing. Sudden silences and guitar chords are welcome addition to the trancy number, but it's impression is short-lived when compared to the rest of the songs.
Ideally, the Vishwaroopam album contains four songs, leaving out the commercial remix track. In its entirety, it has perhaps some of the best lyrics in recent times and some amazing music. It might as well be new to Tamil audiences who are used to listening more commercial numbers, but many will appreciate Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy's efforts. If anything, the title song and Unnai Kaanaamal are special and deserve a special mention. The album draws a fine line between top-notch music and director-friendly music that prioritizes the storyline above everything else.
Rating - 3.5/5 - impressive music, great compositions and amazing lyrics
Verdict - meant for the film but doesn't sacrifice on quality, appeals to listeners on several levels