Unlike 2009, 2010 was a healthy year for Kollywood music with every composer in the cupboard producing tunes worthy of cheer. Inspite of Rahman doing three albums (with Mani, Shankar and GVM at that), there is a whole lot of space for other promising composers as well. Posting my favorite songs of 2010 was something I could not resist. And using a clichéd idea like listing the songs in descending order of preference was also something I could not avoid. Old habits die hard.
15.Kadhal Vandhale (Singam):
Every favorites list has a guilty pleasure and this is mine. In spite of being the target of constant ridicule by youngsters, Devisriprasad (or DSP) has the knack of churning out such unabashedly catchy songs whose rhythms turn even lame hearts into Prabhudevas. In spite of pathetic Tamil pronunciation by Baba Sehgal (idli as italy!), the song is what it aspires to be: a pucca "dance-along" track which was played once in every two performances in my college culturals.
Yuvan had a middling year with meteoric compositions. "Goa" had the Raja-ic "Yelelu Thalaimuraikum" but I chose this for its significance: the first gay duet in Kollywood. Raja and SPB have mischief before Chitra abrup-tifully joins the party for an absolute winner. The "na-na-na" refrain is infectious. That Raja sings his usual stuff like "iraivanin chella magan naane" can be forgiven. The other song I loved from Yuvan this year was that first-time-in-Kollywood song for a certain Challenge tutorial in "Boss engira Bhaskaran".
"Yathe" is the breeziest of all songs in this list. The situation is not atypical-a guy sings about his gal after seeing her just once-but G.V Prakash Kumar injects that breezy infectiousness with his "out-of-a-refrigerator" voice. Silambarasan would have fitted this song better than Dhanush. Even then, I can visualize the front-benchers going "Yathe Yathe" in the theaters.
12.Thozha Vaanam (Ilaignan):
At last, a definitive inspirational song in the list. Hariharan so reassuringly puts his hands around our shoulders "thozha vaanam dhooram illai" and goes on inspiring the tired souls within us. "Uligalai thaangu silai varum-valigalai thaangu oli varum-nambikai ondre thunai varum-nitchayam velvom anaivarum"-Need I say any more?
11.Pookal pookum (Madarasapattinam)
GVP proves his lineage with this heart-melting song whose structure borrows from the "O rey chorri"(Lagaan) template and whose chorus borrows from the "Anarkali"(KKS) template. In spite of such inspirations, the song strikes a chord because of brilliant creativity in the packaging and Roopkumar Rathod's touching vocals. The situation where it plays in the movie (after the beautiful "Marandhutiya?") endeared more to the song.
10.Thee Illai (Engeyum Kaadhal)
After forgettable duds like "Aadhavan" and "Ayan", Harris is back with this intricately arranged song with the infectious vocals of Naresh Iyer. Usual complaints of deja vu arise but I feel that the USP of Harris is making us enjoy his work in spite of the Deja Vu. It is a tough art.
9.Pudhiya Manidha (Endhiran):
I chose this over the mischief of "Kilimanjaro" or the majesty of "Arima Arima" or the breeziness of "Kadhal Anukkal" for the stirringly orchestrated interludes, well-written vairams and muthus like "Karuvil pirandha ellam marikum.Arivil pirandhadhu maripadhu illai", the ever-reliable SPB and divine Khatija. In that order.
8.Neeyum Naanum (Mynah):
A month back, I would have chosen the delightful "Kaiya Pudi" but this song works even better as time progresses. Both the interludes clearly show that Imaan is much more than his "Katcheri Aarambam" nonsenses. Benny Dayal's unique vocals hit the high tempo singing inanities like "paravaigal parandhida solli thara thevai illa" before Shreya Ghoshal calms him down with a blissful "neeyum naanum vaanum mannum". Delightful!(That Nadhaswaram which stirs the hearts when Benny sings "Kodiyil ipo puraludhada" is even more delightful!)
7.Usure Pogudhe (Raavanan):
The "calm-before-the-storm" start, the sudden takeover by Karthik, the "manikuyile" rendering reminiscent of "Boys" jail song, the mild interlude with minimal instrumentation again, Karthik's reign the second time, brilliant lines like "vidhivilakilladha vidhiyum illa", the sudden adrenalin rush and a soulful ending. Vairamuthu could not have been more spot-on than the initial lines. "Usure Pogudhey" indeed!
6.Paniye (Ayyanar) and 5.Para Para (Rettasuzhi): Both the songs pay tribute to the Raja brand of music. While Thaman comes up with a lovely "Paniye" which effortlessly jumps from post-Rahman arrangements to the Raja sound within two minutes into the song, Karthik Raja's "Para Para" is completely and satisfactorily steeped in Raja. A son's tribute, perhaps.
Mannipaya is that passionate ode to love which makes one feel that everyone in the recording theater-Rahman, Shreya Ghoshal, chorus singers, keyboard players, violin instrumentalists, percussion experts and even that occasional studio boy who comes to serve tea for the singers- were in love -Together. The "Tirukural" interlude is the heavenliest thing to have happened in 2010.
3.Kallikaatil (Thenmerku Paruvakatru):
That ubiquitous mother-love song finds a place because of Vairamuthu's touching lines (Saami nooru saami irukudhu!thaai rendu thaai irukudha?Answer that!).I-don't-know-the-name-of-the-composer who so beautifully uses the Rahman sound of early 90s.In the two versions,Vijay Prakash sings effectively like a singer who works for the payment waiting at the hands of the producer while Unni Menon sings like a true son crying for his mother.
2.Naan Varuven (Raavanan):
Ironical that a song from a Mani movie that makes it to the Tamil list(Hindi version made a bigger impact) does not even feature in the original CD! Those thoughtful lines (oru pillai ezhudhum kirukkal dhan vaazhkaya?adhil artham thedi alaivadhe vetkaya?),that piercingly composed voice of Rahman and those weirdly African interludes all make up a musical experience like no other.
Ironical that the topper has to be a Malayalam song but Alphonse and Rahman combine for a song which so effectively showcased the difference Rahman can bring to a GVM movie. What sets out this song from every other song composed in these 365 days is that this song can set a stage on fire when performed while others cannot. As simple as that. And in spite of giving a whole lot of space for other composers, Rahman keeps the Gold for himself. As always.
1.Nandhalala,Paiyya,Naanayam,Angadi Theru and Aayirathil Oruvan were not considered because they were considered last year itself.
2. I needed to have a 16th man considering the toughness in choosing. It has to be Devan's ditty "Happy happy" in "Bale Pandiya". Beautiful use of disparate singers.
3. Best BGM Score is shared between of Raja of Nandhalala, GVP of Aayirathil Oruvan and Rahman of VTV.I could not choose one over the other.
4. Worst song of the year is definitely Simbu-Yuvan's "Evad di unna pethan". If Yuvan keeps composing for Simbu, all his good work done from the days of "Tamil M.A" may come unstuck.
I hope it gets published