This album has 5 tracks
Vijandran Ramasamy's Thumbs Up Rating
The last movie of the Superstar for this century has been given a refreshing score by A.R. Rahman. I feel that ARR was rushed into releasing this soundtrack but the finished product is a spectrum of past, present and future ARR music. ARR wasn't able to give his best for Muthu (nevertheless Vairamuthu gave his best) but in this soundtrack, he has managed to redeem himself.
ARR is a directors' music director and not a actors' composer. That is why some of his greatest scores are for Manirathnam, Shankar and K.Balachander. It is very hard to score for a Rajinikanth movie these days (ask Deva) and a trend started in Annamalai with the compulsory Rajini theme song. In Padaiyappa, ARR gives us En Payaeir Padaiyappa- sung by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam with bhangra beats/vocals interspersed with great nadaswaram interludes but the lyrics is a bit of a let down after the high of Oruvan Oruvan Mudhalali. Next song Vetrikodi is a celebration of victory sung by Sriram. Ricky Martin must be proud of this song as The World Cup is over but the fever is still high and I just hope that the Superstar doesn't play soccer to get this ode song. ARR had better get some quality control on the use of trumpets.
Next we have the eagerly awaited classical song by ARR with Nithyasree after the success in Jeans. Minsara Poovae has some great vocals by Sriram and Srinivas and including a short alaap from Hariharan but the score takes various turns of degree as if ARR couldn't get the right feel. Nithyasree sounds a bit throaty than before but this is great effort from ARR (I hope that Sangamam from ARR is a classical treat).
Suthi Suthi is my personal favorite. The tune for this song is still ringing in my head (what a tune!). Harini and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam do justice to this tune with a playful and sweet Harini wooing the hero. There is a short instrumental take on this version but my advice is to skip it and listen to this. The chorus tune also makes a appearance in the theme song. Rounding the album is Kicku sung by Mano with a little help from Febi (more of her in the future I hope). Kicku is a song that reminds me of Come On (Love Birds), Aayirathil Oruvan & Kannai Kattikollaadhe (Iruvar) all rolled into one finished Kicku song. If there is a misfire or a miskicku in this album, I guess it is this song.
After 5 songs, I still wanted more because I feel Padaiyappa lacks a central love song/theme. In comparison, En Swaasa Katrae was a more complete soundtrack but the reason for this is solely on the film director or the Superstar himself. Final word, ARR- please do the background score just as commendably as the songs for this movie. I recommend this album for its musicians, harmony vocals, Harini, Suthi Suthi and the mixing of past, present and future ARR music.
Lighter Sense's Flat Thumb Rating
ARR has tried to satisfy Rajini fans' expectations and the songs are tailor-made to suit Rajini's image. In the proceedings, ARR has compromised a lot and unfortunately has recycled old tunes. Lots of MGR's influence in the songs. Vairamuthu has done good homework to do his part to boost Rajini's image. Too much of anything is...
En Peru Padayappa... is a typical Rajini introducer, could have very well been done either equally or even better by Deva and co. SPB saves the song. Vetrikodi kattu.. is kinda mix of Hindu and Muslim religious tune, but it completes the task of usual Rajini's morale booster. The singer Sriram does a fair job.
Minsaara poovae.. is my pick from this album. Great effort by ARR in adapting 'Vasanthaa' raagam throughout the song (Recall Maan kandaen maan kandaen - from Rajarishi). Srinivas and Sriram have sung very well. Nithyashree gets a Paadariyaen padippariyaen out of this song. A potential award nominee for this year for this song. She is fantastic especially towards the end of the song. ARR has never made a song look so deeply carnatic as this one. He shows maturity day by day in adapting carnatic music. Of course, I don't expect an aesthetic picturisation from KSR for this song. Oho oho kicku yaerudhey.. is a remix of Kannai Kattikollaadhey'of Iruvar, a quickie from ARR to complete the project. The song has interesting interludes, unique to ARR, the chorus in the 2nd interlude being quite melodious. Suthi suthi vandheega... resembles some old song of MSV, KVM period, the lyrics are awful in the second stanza (simulates some of MGR's songs). SPB again comes to the rescue.
Well, one more from ARR, definitely not one of his best.
Original Photograph (Padaiyappa):