'Madha Gaja Raja' has the successful Vijay Antony is back to reconnect with the audience with his music. We'll never know when this composer will come up with a superhit, for he might brew something quick and unnoticed before it takes off into a storm. Will we be able to find something in the most unlikely of places? It's time to find out.
1. Chikku Bukku -Listen here
Singer: Chinna Ponnu
Bang in the middle of traditional southern folk, Chikku Bukku starts the album off in usual fashion. Although the percussion are impressive throughout, the guitar chords and instrumentals here and there do stand out as well. Vijay Antony's presence is identified through catchy quirky lyrics and the song is just like any of his usual entertaining numbers.
Annamalai's lyrics once again stack up with the rest of the song and are just plain - carrying standard rhyming verses and packed between heavy windpipe instruments. The singers' intention seems to be to stay in sync with the percussion than bringing expression to the verses, but their pitch change is indication of variety with everything on offer.
2. My Dear Loveru -Listen here
Lyrics: Pa Vijay
"My Dear Loveru" is a surprising and comical turn up in a Vijay Antony album, but it soon turns simple once the initial impact is complete. For some reason, the composer's choice of beats invariably same, only this time a few special effects and a first-time male lead tries to hold it up on a pedestal. It's a fine blend of folky flavours in most its part with a little hint of melody.
Vishal, who makes his debut as a singer with this song, sounds amateurish. Although it's natural to expect few ups and downs in his first attempt, lyrics and poetry backs him up and the song do feel pleasing on ears.
3. Nee Dhaana Nee Dhaana -Listen here
Singer: Vijay Antony
Lyrics: Pa Vijay
The sudden injection of techno and rap into the song introduces Vijay Antony's voice to the album for the first time. The singer quickly scales pitches, overdoses you with special effects and goes all out with the chorus to make impact. However, despite the presence of some intriguing factors, the track never becomes too fast for your liking, but with that, it also strays from being interesting. The latter half of the song makes up ground and is impressive with some strings and the violin catching you off guard.
In all fairness, this clubby number makes more room for sensible words and even some poetry. Vijay Antony's voice is as catchy as ever, no matter how he tries to deliver the song. You get to notice how apt his vocals are for a chorus as the song progresses. It's a decent job, but not sure if that would be enough to hold things together.
4. Sattru Mun Varai -Listen here
Singer: Santhosh Hariharan
This track takes the cake in the album. Although the techno part and composition is not uncommon, you get to appreciate the effort put in, especially with the strings. Like his previous number "Maayam Seidhaayo", this one has melody and heavy percussion both, with more prominence to the vocals.
Santhosh Hariharan stands out with his voice despite everything that's going on around him. He delivers what appears to be the only subtlety in the track, with occasional drama coming out through the lyrics. Annamalai's words are in contrast with the first song, but need more work to be remembered for long. Overall, the song is best the album has to offer.
5. Thumbakki Thummbai -Listen here
Lyrics: Pa Vijay
Foreign and unusual, "Thumbakki Thummbai" sounds too Arabic compared to the rest of the songs in the album. The percussion with the Congo like drumming and clapping set a dance-y mood for the song with more unconventional instruments laid out through the number. It almost reminds one yesteryear hits like 'En Jodi Manjakuruvi'.
Vijay Antony has too many chorus lines to be remembered and the words are way too confusing at first look. But a closer look says differently, but you never get to that point without listening to the songs a few times. There's also a female vocal but other peppy rhythms camouflages that.
On a final note, 'Madha Gaja Raja' is for the mass - with heavy dose of commercialism and good space for witty and quirky lyrics blended in foot-tapping music. It's a well-decorated dish that is seasoned with few unwanted flavours which can be ignored...
Rating - 2.5/5
Verdict - The musical robes of this Raja is attractively catchy with some excessive decorative....