Sunday, February 20, 2005

TOP TEN TAMIL FILM SONGS OF 2003

Here my final Top 10 scores list. First let me brief you my comments on those songs which where nominated but did not make it to top it. Most of these songs where pretty good, they missed the rankings simply because there few other songs which are richer in some aspects that apealed to me. It does not mean that these songs lack in any attribute. They are simply superb in themselves.
Ah, Finally I have made up my mind for the top ten. If you are looking for a song and you don’t find it, don’t get disheartened. It does not mean that that song was not any good or misses something. Songs are composed for situations and demands of the directors. If certain situation demands certain type of song, the composer can’t do much more than that. It does not mean the composer lacks in his ability.

Having said that let me explain as to what attributes I looked for in deciding this top 10 list.

• It’s all in the composition. It can be simple, but has to be impressive.

• It need not appeal to me immediately, but it should make a strong appeal.

• Usage of Ghamakam by singers

• Progression.

• Instrumental richness

• Singers fluency with the tune

• Lyrics

• Pronunciation


#10 Muppadu nimidam

Singers: Unni Krishnan, Sujatha

Composer: AR rahman

Film: Parasuram

The greatest percussion song of all time in TFM with Thavil. Wondering who uses Thavil these days, Well it’s from AR Rahman!. Singers, Sujatha and Unni Krishnan are very fluent and captivate the listener. The highlight of the song is the Aalaphanai by Unni Krishnan. After hearing the song for a new times, can’t stop thinking of the Aalaphanai even if I hear first few beats. So captivating!

#9 Kana Kandeanadi

Singer: Madhu Balakrishna

Film: Paarthiban Kanavu


Madhu Balakrishna - the new find of this year, at his best song of the year. The song starts with nice prelude of Saxophone - sounding pretty much like a Nadasawaram - that Tamils are so much used to hearing to - an essential ingredient for a successful song. The sounds of Whistle provide enough excitement setting a well made stage for a wonderful presentation. The song is all the way backed by good lyrics. Saxophone repeats after first charanam. Vidyasagar has used Miruthangam and also Drums making song apeal classical as well as western!

#8 Pei muzhi

Singers: Sharath and Sindhu

Composer: Ramesh Vinayagam

Film: Nala Damayanthi


This song definitely did not appeal to me in the first, but after a few hearing I was amazed by the composition. The lyrics definitely make you say ‘What..?’, You may even argue that they should not say words like ‘Thedi poda churchai…’. But forget the lyrics; there is wonderful music beneath it. The sound of record twisting and ambulance siren sound – just to name a few are fresh. The way the song builds up and then at towards the end of the charanam when Sharath – the singer twists like ‘uuuuuuHhhhhaaa’ the ends it with a ‘Oooooooo’. It’s just amazing. Something no one has done so far, at least to my knowledge. (Composer Vinayagam does the same in the title song of SUN TV serial Vikramadithan after this). A song meant for shear enjoyment.


#7 Vaan Nila tharum

Singers: Karthik and Srinivas

Composer: AR Rahman

Film: Kadhal Virus


Starts with slow sax piece, and suddenly bursts into a Rock & Roll style song. ARR, There he goes one more, taking the listener by surprise!. Pretty challenging song for the singers as they have split the words and sing to the tune. Fabulous job done by Karthik and Srinivas. They are so much in Sync that, it’s very hard to notice that there are two voices out there, but for a slight difference in their voice. The sax in the interludes is a special treat to hear!. This is possibly the richest Rock & Roll ever in TFM. Don’t watch the video of this song, you will fail to appreciate due to Ad-film like picturisation.

#6 Theekuruvi

Singers: Harini and Mukesh

Composer: AR Rahman

Film: Kangalal Kaithu Sei


This is pretty much a difficult song for the singers – as they have to sing very fast words longer than the beets will last. Just try to sing by yourself – you will know how difficult it is. And the new comer Mukesh sings it fluently and soulfully. Wow, a great introduction to TFM. The female singer is Harini, she makes her choice pretty much a default - Look at her masterful Aalaphanai. Here ARR does something unique – takes the Aalaphanai to the background, plays the instruments including flute and Mandolin, slowly dims the Aalaphanai, after a few seconds again brings back the Aalaphanai and finally finishes with instruments. Another masterpiece from AR Rahman.


#5 Poi solla koodathu

Singer: Hariharan

Composer: Vidhayasagar

Film: Run


Starts with an exiting Violin and then a Flute prelude. Hariharan starts then with nice and soft. His voice is like giving soft 'othhadam' to the listener's ears. The violin and flute interludes are so unforgettable and will keeping buzzing in my ears for a long time. Good lyrics here too. Towards the end of the charanam, the thaalam get faster and then back to slower thaalam while re-rendering the pallavi - and then the interludes are faster again. That’s great sandwich of faster and slower beats - and the progression between them is just great!.

#4 Yedo Yedo

Singers: Karthik and Gopika Poornima

Composer: AR Rahman

Film: Enaukku 20 Unakku 18


I can’t believe that the male voice is that of Karthik. Wow, how much has he matured in terms of modulation, or is it the song that inspired him for such a wonderful rendering!. Gopika Poornima is also equally good. ARR also introduces some cross fading in voice specifically at 3:05 with male voice in background while female is singing and vice versa. There is a wonderful violin interlude starting at 3:34 is amazingly done. He has also sprinkled a few bell sounds at the end of the violin interlude. The drums all through the song are awesome.

#3 Nenjodu

Singers: Unni Krishnan and Sujatha

Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Film: Kadhal Kondean


Starts with Guitar strings playing very slowly and suddenly a rush of drums in the prelude. Sujatha sings the first charanam and Unni Krishnan sings second charanam. Its like having two songs in one song!. (Like Illiayaraja did in ‘Aapdi pakarithellam’ of ‘Ivan’) In between, the interludes are just amazing – mostly drums are just magnificent and the flute is simply superb!.
The ‘HoHoo’ singing in between gives the western classical impression. Also plays a horn sounding like Wind instrument (Don’t tell me that it’s Sax, it will be hard to believe). Unni Krishnan shows his mastery and control over song and Sujatha is no less good. A very good song, from the two very good singers.

#2 Aval ulaga

Singer: Karthik

Composer: Harris Jeyaraj

Film: Laysa Laysa


Starts with a fast Violin prelude. Mind it, its not just the prelude – the entire song is filled Violin interludes. Even while singing the pallavi, violin plays fast in the background. It’s a solo song for Karthik, who gives one of his best performances. All good songs of this year seem to go in search of Karthik and What a great year for him. The first interlude of this song starting at 1:13 goes like this: a kuyil’s Koo Koo sound sandwiched with strings, followed by the playing the pallavi in Veena which is sandwiched by a short Flute piece. This is followed by Karthik singing a ‘thaka-thaka-thaka’ in the form of ‘Kunakkol’ and shortly after Violin(s) joins him. And they finish the first interlude at 1:53 – pretty good 40 sec. The second interlude is also very nice – but this time plays the tune of ‘Chittukuruvi Chittukuruvi seathi theriyuma, Ennai vittu pirinja kanavar innum veedu thirumbale’ – literally, but little faster. I am not sure why he chooses that though. The percussion for this interlude is Miruthangam – which gives a classical appeal. This is a heck of a composition from Harris Jeyaraj.

#1 Ennuyir thoziye

Singers: Unni Menon, Chinmayee

Composer: AR Rahman

Film: Kangalal Kaithu sei


Yet another superb song from ARR. His choice of singers is as if the song was composed for them. Unni Menon with ever so-sweet voice renders this melody to his mastery. And Chinmayee, she scales great heights with this one single song. The way ARR starts Chinmayee is another wonder. He starts her humming with Gamakams in it – sounding like Aalaphanai in humming. Miracles follow as he plays Piano notes and then guitar chord which is soon followed by Humming on the background. Mind boggling progression! The whole interlude speaks volumes of the ARR geniuses. Look at the modulation in Unni menon’s voice as he sings ‘Thool Thool AanauDu…Nn…Mai..’ The lyrics also sound fresh and neat. Even the way the songs ends – everything in this song so admirably done, making it all the way to top of the top 10.

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