Music Review: Indian 2 (Tamil)

Composer(s): Anirudh Ravichander
Listen to the songs online here: JioSaavn

Indian, the blockbuster film from 1996, featured memorable tunes from A. R. Rahman, a confluence of diverse genres that continues to be as fresh as it was back then. Who can forget the invigorating Kappaleri Poyaachu, the groovy Maya Machindra, or the euphonious Telephone Manipol? If Swarnalatha lent her own unique charm to Akadanu Naanga, K. J. Yesudas' flawless vocals powered the mellow folk piece Pachai Kiligal. Its sequel, featuring music from Anirudh Ravichander, comes no close to capturing that magic, but it's nonetheless an engaging contemporary upgrade galvanised by Paaraa, a propulsive anthem that soars with an uplifting chorus and thudding beats. Calendar Song carries a whimsical vibe that gains immensely from SuVi and Aishwarya Suresh's singing, while Anirudh conjures an unsettling atmosphere in Zaga Zaga, cooking a cauldron of heady electronic grooves and pulsating thumps. Ravichander leads Come Back Indian, sprucing it up into a catchy concoction and a rousing call for the return of "Indian" to abolish corruption. Album closer Kadharalz is a nod to the composer's own signature style, complete with a fun rhythm and a tune that's sonically buoyant. Needless to say, the easy highlight comes in the form of Neelorpam, an enchanting melody with desh raga influences and in the voices of Abby V and Shruthika Samudhrala that harks back to Ravichander's own Kadhalaada from Vivegam and Rahman's Rasaali from Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada. With Indian 2, Anirudh bounces back to form.