Any Rahman album is keenly awaited even today after more than two decades of work. The music director has changed his style over the years and is incorporating more and more global sounds into his albums now a dayâ€™s which is fine but the problem in this phase has been that all the director has is sound and very less memorable tunes. Vikrama Simha is a commercial outing for the music director and we expect the album to contain few appealing songs that have both the repeat factor as well as longevity. Letâ€™s see if the album lives up to the expectations we have.
â€œChooddam Aakasam Antham/Engae Pogudho Vaanamâ€ â€“ has epic sound but lacks the instant catchiness and repetitive factor associated with previous intro numbers in Rahman-Rajini combination. The lyric â€œChooddam Aakasam Antham/Engae Pogudho Vaanamâ€ and the phrase associated with it is catchy, followed by the second interlude but the rest not so much.
â€œVikrama Simha/Kochadaiiyaan Ensembleâ€ â€“ the fusion of Indian classical with western rock isnâ€™t that seamless to begin with but gets better as it progresses and is superb from the moment â€˜sambhavamiâ€™ chant begins. The song sounds better with the word Kochadaiiyaan compared to Vikrama Simha in it.
â€œHridhayam/Idhayamâ€ â€“ is the kind of number which Rahman gets leverage for unlike other music directorâ€™s out there. Clearly not an instantly likable number and may remain that way after a number of listening as well if one wishes to give it chance. For a layman in terms of music, mildly put, this is a skip-able number.
â€œKarma Veeruda/Karma Veeramâ€ â€“ it is an instantly appealing number with great, lush sound-scape that gives an epic feel. Reminds us of the Rahman number from Kisna â€“ My wish comes true â€“ if you like that number you will love this. The stretching of the lyrics/words to fit the tune impacts the overall enjoyment of the song when it comes to Telugu version.
â€œYentho Nijame/Maattram Ondhrudhan Maraandhaduâ€ â€“ the much hyped number which is said to have Rajinikanth singing for the first time for Rahman disappoints from the music point of view as well as from Rajiniâ€™s point of view. The star doesnâ€™t sing but recited chaste lines for his fans. Itâ€™s the lyrics here which make the impact more than the music, maybe thatâ€™s why we have an extended musical piece towards the end without any lyric to get our attention.
â€œYedemaina Sakha/Mananaganini Sathiyamâ€ â€“ A passable number at best again saved somewhat by lyrics. One has heard better numbers from Rahman on similar terrain. Female version is better among the two versions in Tamil, as one feels more depth in the latter. When it comes to Telugu version thanks to Unnikrishnan as singer the male version sounds better.
â€œManasayera/Medhuvaagathanâ€ â€“ SPB and Sadhana Sargam make this number a pleasure to listen to while Rahman just lets them take the center stage. Again it has the same problem as few numbers above, it just feels boring after few listens. The melody doesnâ€™t grip you completely or stays with you even after multiple listening barring the main word/lyric.
Ranaâ€™s Dream â€“ as always itâ€™s a pleasure listening to the orchestral versions of songs done by Rahman. Most of the time they are better than actual song and this one is no different.
Overall itâ€™s a mixed feeling one gets after the end of the album. It has a great sound, as one expects from Rahman, but it lacks the simple appealing repeat worthy songs that one expects from a commercial film, despite the quantity on offer. Few numbers are good for multiple listening till the film hits the screens but even these are most likely to be forgotten once the film is out of sight.
Our picks: Chooddam Aakasam Antham, Vikrama Simha Ensemble, Karma Veeruda