Born in the state's musical family, Karthik Raja is one of the finest composers that Kollywood is blessed with. After a long gap of two years, the composer has come up with a beautiful album 'Vaarayo Vennilave'. Comprising of seven tracks, the album makes for an interesting listening experience.
1. En Kadhal (Reprise) Listen here
Voices: Pony Prakash Raja
The first track of the album is an inviting number with just the keys for background and Pony Prakash Raj's unique voice singing romantic lyrics. This is a brief number lasting only for a minute but lilts all through in its fresh voice quality and musical composition. While the song has a refreshing tune, the background keynotes are like a different yet equally refreshing song. With just one stanza, the first track - a reprise - is a one-minute long track of beautiful music.
2. En Kadhal Listen here
Voices: Ilayaraja, Aditi Paul
This track begins on a refreshing note, in a typically Karthik Raja style ethereal mood. Adding to the good feel, Isaignani opens the lyrics in his uniquely rustic voice, following the keys and deep beats having set an optimistic mood. Though brief, orchestration stands out as an elite piece of music. This romantic song is a typical duet, with every alternate line rendered in Ilayaraja's and Aditi's voices, respectively. Hum after the third stanza is brief, followed by an interesting mix to the starting line of the fourth stanza, making it sound contemporary while retaining Karthik Raja's signature touch.
3. Kannadi Parkkama Listen here
Voices: Yuvan Shankar Raja, Sathyan
Following two romantic numbers is a typical youthful number. Trumpets in the beginning set the mood right for the song, followed by the right choice of voice for such a wacky number - Yuvan Shankar Raja. The song is about a love-struck lad, lost in his angel's thoughts, penned and rendered in a sweet and attractive manner. The song is fast paced throughout, making it racy and youthful. After the second stanza, there is a brief moment of fusion beats that mixes classical with western, later transcending to high string keys. There is constant support of guitar and bass keys all through the song, and occasional trumpets. Racing along in an enjoyable mood, the song halts to stop with trailing beats and echoing last note.
4. Ambaani Ponnu Listen here
Voice: Gaana Bala
After three predominantly western numbers, the fourth track in the album is a gaana song. But unlike other gaana songs, this one begins on a very unique note - deep beats and trumpets. As the lyrics begin to be rendered, there is addition of sharp beats which rises pace after a half of first stanza, to support the song. This number has every element typical of a gaana song but is also contemporary in the choice of instruments. Apart from beats and keys, trumpets are used the most in this song. The song is a wacky description of a lovely woman, from a cautious man's perspective, and lyrics are funny, unoffensive and ones that can be enjoyed by all. Unlike the sudden halt of traditional gaana songs, this song trails off with trumpets and beats.
5. Unnidam Ondrai Listen here
Voices: Aditi Paul, Saindhavi, Haricharan
After two racy numbers, this one is back on the melody track, but this is refreshing and rejuvenating, instead of being just lilting. The song opens in the women's voices backed by keys and brilliant orchestra. After the first stanza, the signature is a very beautiful composition of keys and bass instruments, followed by innovative usage of keys, which adds depth to the lead voices. There is gentle transition between sharply contrasting tempos, gradually gathering beats and then transforming into yet another beautiful signature. The third stanza introduces Haricharan's voice, debating the apprehensions sung in Aditi's and Saindhavi's voices. Backed by claps and keys, the song ends in the women's voices in unison.
6. Uyir Ennum Listen here
Voices: Madhushree, Rita, Senthil Dass
The song begins with taps quickly followed by Madhushree's voice, and the track resembles qawwali style. After the first two lines, the song takes shape with beats in the background replacing claps of qawwali, still maintaining the same tempo. The song is a fusion of sorts - style of vocals is ghazal-like, while the choice of instruments is completely western. Transition from Madhurshri's voice to Rita's is almost unperceivable after the second stanza; however, the two voices have been used all through the song in a clever unison that they sound like one. The signature after the first stanza is rejuvenating in the choice of mix to the key notes. The song is composed to be a female romantic solo, which ends in Madhushree's rendition.
7. Intha Aylesa Listen here
Voices: Ramya NSK, Ranjith, Haricharan, Rita
The last track in the album is a dance number brimming with youthful zeal and friendly lyrics. The song begins with heavy yet comforting beats and opens in Ranjith's and Haricharan's voice. The track is like a bunch of four friends singing merrily and enjoying their lives. The lyrics are motivational in some lines. After a signature of beats and violins, the second stanza speaks of the fun of being a college student. There are sharp changes in tempo after the second stanza where three different genres are used in the signature, and the song wraps back to the initial tempo. After the lyrics, this jolly number wraps up in a techno signature.
It has been two years since we heard from Karthik Raja, and he has come up with a compelling album in answer which makes it worth the wait. Concentrating entirely on youth and the emotions that predominantly prevail among the age group, 'Vaarayo Vennilave' is a beautiful album that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and interests.