After the success of Nanban, the Vijay-Harris combo has returned with Thuppaki under the direction of A.R.Murugadoss. While the prospect of seeing this combo is mouth watering, the question of whether Thuppaki will live up to its heights looms over the minds of audiences. It's time we find out if it really has the mettle to become a blockbuster.
1. Google Google - Listen here
Vijay, Andrea, Joe, Krishna Iyer
The opening song of the album, 'Google Google' is an all-out techno dance number that is going to have a few legs shaking after the release of the film. Compared to other songs sung by Vijay, it is very urban and is full of sound effects, which go well with the beats. Not exactly new turf for Harris Jeyaraj and the song breeds familiarity especially during the interludes.
Although the focus is on Vijay, the actor takes more of a cool and subtle role and delivers rather well. While his performance is nothing out of the ordinary, he does a good job in going about in a cool manner. Andrea is great addition and takes the pressure off Vijay by smoothing through her lines. Madhan Karky's lyrics is full of tech lingo and websites and are very modern, but doesn't give you enough poetry. Then again, it doesn't have to.
2. Antarctica - Listen here
Vijay Prakash, Krish, Devan Rajeev
Antarctica comes next with its breezy lines and Vijay Prakash butter smooth renditions. The chords appear a lot less prominent than usual in a Harris song and the percussion takes the driving seat this time around. Romantic, then again pretty modern for listeners, this one makes for a good listen.
Vijay Prakash needs no excuses to pour his renditions all over a song and looks very distinct even as he shares lines with Krish. His performance is so convincing that the other voices in the track almost go unnoticed when you listen for the first time. Karky returns with another modern song, but it's a lot less subtle when compared to Google Google.
3. Kutti Puli Kootam - Listen here
Hariharan, Tippu, Narayana, Sathyan, Ranina Reddy
More of an Indian dance number, Kutti Puli Kootam changes the standard way Harris goes about his songs and makes him jump into more folky terrain. While it doesn't have the raw "kuthu" effect, it has good beats that continue throughout, even when the charanams take a more melodious dip. The rock-like chords add a sense of experimentation on Harris' part.
While it features a lot of voices together, Hariharan is the guy you will listen amidst all the choruses and he does a good job with the soft lines. Everyone else is a part of a chorus that's filled with joy and emotion and makes appearances every now and then as the song proceeds. Viveka's words match the music, and even have a few Hindi lines but overall, the song is just plain normal.
4. Poi Varava - Listen here
Poi Varava is a soft number that is sure to make some impact visually in the movie. The guitar comes to Harris' rescue again and he uses it extensively to backup the lead. Giving out a sense of departure, it's more of a "goodbye-i-will- miss-you" song when the protagonist leaves for the military camp. The trumpet gets used in the second half of the song more frequently to signify the army effect.
Karthik is in no hurry to finish the song, and makes it a bit slow overall. But thanks to the lyrics, the song has great depth and has what it takes to appeal to the masses on the big screen. Chinmayee's hums add some soul to the track, which ride on Pa Vijay's lyrics, which deserve credit. Maybe not great to listen, but would make a lot of appeal in the movie.
5. Vennilave - Listen here
Hariharan, Bombay Jeyashree
Vennilave grows on you as you listen to it continuously. It's the trademark Harris duet that's a part of his every album in recent years. Slow but not overly slow, it has a good blend of the gatam and the flute to give it credibility combined with Harris' usual chords to add effect.
The Hariharan-Bombay Jeyashree combo gives the song a lot of recognition and with not-so heavy use of instruments; the track is well placed to suit their soothing renditions. The lyrics are bit more poetic on this one thanks to Na Muthukumar and makes sure you don't get bored, even after a few listens.
6. Alaika Laika - Listen here
Javed Ali, Sayanora Philip, Sharmila
Now, this is one really different track and finally gives you the first peppy number in the album. It becomes dance-y right from the word go and continues it's mood right through the track. While the beat kinda reminds you of 'Dheemthanakka Thillaana', it soon drifts from any close match before you can find out and establishes itself well.
Sung by two exotic singers in Javed Ali and Sayanora Philip, Alaika Laika is unique and enjoyable and has some good ingredients blended in. But, it takes a lot more than their charm to make it a superhit. Just like the rest of the soundtrack, it will take some time to impress you. While the lines have more masala in them, they don't try very hard to make too much sense.
7. Jagdish on a Mission - Listen here
Being an instrumental, this one has a good chance to make it into the BGM. While it can be used to build good hype around Vijay, you can't shake the feeling it has been heard somewhere else, a feeling not very uncommon with Harris Jeyaraj albums.
To sum up, Thuppaki tries hard to make an impression on you, and on several occasions, it does. But with the likes of blockbusters we've seen from Harris Jeyaraj and Vijay films, this might not mean great news for fans. A good few listens will probably make you feel a whole lot better about it.
Rating - 3.5 - Thuppaki has been long coming, and it doesn't disappoint too much
Verdict - Lots of ammo getting packed, but needs to fire better