Music Review: 3

Well  if there is one song that has caught on like wildfire across the nation in the last few days and you are still unaware of it, you must be living in isolation, probably in the Himalayas or something. Yes, I am talking about Why This Kolaveri Di. The track, apparently a video showing the singer/lyricist/actor Dhanush Raja singing the song during a recording session, was initially leaked on the Internet, and the makers, having noticed the popularity, decided to go for an official release.

As I am writing this, the video has garnered more than 10 million views within the last fortnight, becoming the fastest and the most popular video on YouTube in the country. Composed by a 21 year old debutante, Anirudh Ravichander, who already has a Wikipedia page to his credit (wow, that was quick!), the 'soup song' is a gibberish mishmash of Tamil and English (aka Tanglish) projecting love failure. Kolaveri has transcended all barriers of language becoming a veri (read rage) amongst music listeners. It has not even escaped the ears of the Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who tweeted "Dhanush, son-in-law of Rajinikanth, a young brigade superstar in Tamil Cinema married to Aishwarya, Rajini's daughter...its lovely. Kolaveri... Tamil for rejected lovers rage, in a sweet way...now getting used as verbiage in almost any walk of life, social, political...every where!! tremendous" Ahem!

While this unprecedented reach may be a good sign of things to come, it also shows how hollow music can be. After the song went viral, the media too went abuzz with the story. In an interview to the Times of India, Dhanush seems to have said: "When I was writing down the lyrics, I kept in mind all the English words that are used in the Tamil vocabulary. Words like I, you, me, how, why, cow.. I just framed them into sentences and that's how I came up with the song."

The song has been composed in the spur of a moment and the result shows. May be the tune is simple and the lyrics are easy to relate, but they can't fudge the obvious fact that music quality has deteriorated to new lows. I am not a purist, I do enjoy a lot of songs for guilty pleasure, but this is one track that I find great difficulty to accept. There is a limit to musical persecution, I say. But there is no second thought in stating that this clever publicity spin will translate into huge audience turnout at the cinemas!

The second track Una Pethavan Una Pethana Senjana (what a lyric!), again written/sung by Dhanush, is marginally better, if we can excuse the silly amateurish lyrics. This song has all the hallmarks of catching the rage once the Kolaveri dies down. Update: Note that this track doesn't feature in the album. Hope the composer, who has already got fifteen movie offers, has better things in store.

Update: I must say that composer Anirudh has managed to supersede my expectations with 3Idhazhin Oram is a breezy track with superb orchestration and great singing from Ajesh Ashok. The tune at Sollu Nee I Love You, Nee Thaan En Kurunji Poo... is hooking. Being a sucker for violin, Kannazhaga is just adorable. Dhanush and Shruti Hassan have done a commendable job in this soothing melody that marries contemporary instrumentation with a retro-ish tune. Come On Girls, sung by the composer himself, is strictly decent but has innovative arrangements with the Nadaswaram soaked interludes being the highlight.

Nee Partha Vizhigal is another delightful song with pitch-perfect vocals from Vijay Yesudas and Shweta Mohan. The surprise of the OST is, however, Po Nee Po sung by Mohit Chauhan. His bad Tamil diction is ponied up by a great tune that vaguely resembles Mazhaiye Mazhaiye (S. Thaman, Eeram). Mohit Chauhan's vocals are befitting and he brings out the angst and desolation effectively. And finally to Why This Kolaveri Di, no matter how much popular it becomes (and after repeat listens!), I must say it's just a below par composition. Enough said already! Overall, the tunes may not break new ground, but Anirudh does know how to keep the listener's interest intact. A great skill acquired at the very start of his career! An interesting debut from the Kolaveri composer.

First published: Nov 30, 2011 (9:31 PM)