Kaadhalaanaullam Renduuyirileinayum – ‘Neethane En Ponvasantham’ Music review

Neethane En Ponvasantham‘Neethane En Ponvasantham’ has been in the spotlight right from the day GauthamVasudev Menon announced his first ever collaboration with the one and only Isaignani. The teasers featuring ‘Saindhu Saindhu’ and ‘YennoduVaaVaa’ only added to the euphoria leading up to the audio launch, which yours truly had the good fortune to attend in Chennai. But more on that later as we dive straight into the CD of NEP.

The album starts with the by now immensely popular ‘Saindhu Saindhu’ by Yuvan Shankar Raja and Ramya (Granddaughter of Kalaivanar NSK). To start with I have to disclaimer that I am not a great fan of Yuvan’s singing thanks to his pitching and pronunciation issues. That said the composition is very soulful, melodious and spontaneous, especially considering that it comes immediately (in the background) after the heroine abruptly proposes her love to the hero in a car. The icing on the cake is the violin ensemble before the 2ndcharanam. Textbook Raajaism indeed.

‘Katrai Konjam’ starts with a very Raaja household style arrangement with a fastish string piece and Karthik Raaja’s vocals. Following this Karthik’s voice(not the Raaja one) sits in the backdrop of a nice rhythm and a smooth jazz arrangement, especially on the trumpet front. To me this one goes a few notches over the opening track thanks largely to a much more trained singer.

‘Mudhal Murai’ definitely seems to be much more of a situational song than a pure play audio stunner. The orchestration is still pretty rich, especially on the violin and piano fronts. Sunidhi Chauhan who renders this song has come a long way on her pronunciation front, but the tune by itself, atleast in the first few hearings, doesn’t impact in a major way.

Next up is the song of the album for me. Raaja Sir himself takes stage along with Bela Shende for ‘Vaanam Mele’. The lilting melody and great violins in the interludes are all great as expected, but, having had a chance to see the visual of this song, what takes it to another level is how the Maestro teaches us the sheer feeling of high school romance through his magic. Special thanks to Bela for her great feel and pronunciation and as for the male vocals, just listen to the line ‘kaadhalaanaullam renduuyirileinayum tharunam tharunam’ multiple times. Bliss!!! Move over Anirudh, the granddad of youthful romance is at work.

At this point the album takes a bit of a nosedive with ‘Pudikale Maamu’, which is apparently an intro song featuring Jeeva and Santhanam. There is nothing exceptional about the song though it may be saved a bit if it is set in the 80s or early 90s as the sound is more from that time. Also it weirdly goes for a western to folk transition with no smooth transition in place. The kuthu section by Karthik is even more ordinary in impact.

The album firmly comes back on track with ‘YennoduVaaVaa’(Karthik again) which is a lot in the Kadhalukku Mariyadhai mode in terms of melody and orchestration. Easy on the ears, steadily paced and very conducive for repeat hearing would be the best way to describe this song. The 2ndcharanam starts a bit like the ‘Chinapponudhan’ charanam of ‘Aasaiadhigamvechu’ from Marupadiyum, but the song is undoubtedly in the top league of this album.

‘Pengal Yendral’ symbolizes what all I despise about Yuvan’s singing and I would happily skip the song. The tune too is nothing home to write about. Yuvan’s pronunciation has improved slightly but that doesn’t save things in a large way. ‘SatruMunbu’ by Ramya NSK is the climax song of the movie and that is pretty evident due to the heavy instrument arrangement. Ramya has a voice well suited for western compositions and it looks like the song would work much more in the situational context.

Overall the album with 2 great songs, 2 good ones, 2 situational numbers and 2 very ordinary outings is no 8/8 stunner but is still a pretty good experience overall. It is probably no VTV in terms of chartbusting quality, but if the expectation out of the venture is a Raaja sound, that is comfortably met and if the few minutes of exclusive movie footage shown during the audio launch is any indication, boy do we have a great background score in store.

Also do check out the theatrical trailer of the film-


    1. Will beg to differ with you over this. While I agree this is not Raaja Sir’s best,its definitely not a reworking of his 80’s sound either. Its a mixed bag as Badri has pointed out but by & large it tilts to the positive. Give it a chance….most likely it will grow on you….


      1. dont forget about the background score by raja sir, which will be definitely better than ARR or harris jeyaraj


  1. Review was decent. I think you could ve given more words on ‘mudhal murai’ and how the breezy title of the movie has been treated differently. Point about the pronunciation and pitching of Bela was so true, i concur.
    And i think pudikala maamu was a new genre of Ilaiyaraja (the first part). Its simple guitar with such brilliance….


  2. Songs are not up to the expectation. Huge hype created (Marketing). Lyrics doesnt suits the music. Lyrics are simple and it is just like talking. Goddamn lyric writers. I dont know why the hell he composed sympony for such shit.

    One of Raja’s bad music. People never waste time in hearing this songs.


  3. Songs are not up to the expectation. Huge hype created (Marketing). Lyrics doesnt suits the music. Lyrics are simple and it is just like talking. Goddamn lyric writers. I dont know why the hell he composed sympony for such shit. singers selection is horrible. Pronounciation is bad.

    Overall one of Raja’s bad music. People never waste time in hearing this songs. Time to retire raja.


  4. At least now, that there is an audience for your blog, you should do some justice for your job by learning what a review means and how to do it. Some karma yoga for you. Drop your personality and your likes to help you present an objective review. Just bcos u think you understand music better than ur people in ur circle you should not dare touch a work of art.


    1. Objective to me is telling honestly what you think is good as good and bad as bad. Objective is not blindly liking something just because some big shot x or y did it. If you think this is not objective or is pretentious you are free to be specific and say where and what you disagree. But please dont make blind personal swipes on someone to make your point. Doesnt show you in great light…


      1. I know you personally. And I know how you “hate” Ilayaraaja. Remember CIT ??
        Don’t have Malathi Rangarajan or Bharadwaj Rengan etc as your role model for writing or understanding how to approach a review. Try to learn it from real good sources. Search for it honestly. Good Luck.


      2. Madhu
        Though i am not able to place who exactly this is, I am happy someone from CIT is reading stuff I write and engaging in discussion. That apart there are lot of fallacies and untruths in your assumptions:
        1) I do not consider myself a stud reviewer. I am still learning and evolving. I do not find enough time to read 90-95% of what Rangan and Malathi write. I rarely glimpse through their work. I personally do not consider them as role models. Malathi is too simplistic and generous for me so I skim through even the little stuff of hers i read. Rangan is on a different arc and I do not find a wavelength fit with him. I like some of the stuff he writes, but these are not the review pieces, but film nostalgia he writes. I dont read most of his reviews


      3. 2)People who know me from childhood till date will tell you how much I worship Raaja. Right from the day I heard his 80s classics daily on my breakfast table when I was 5 yrs old, he has been more of a family member than a legend or an icon to me. I cant seperate raaja from my 28 yr existence. I do have problems with blind idol worship though. Given the 915 films raaja has done there is a lot of great work, but some average work and shitty work he has done too. See even in this album why are folks jumping up and down when i say there are 2 great songs, 2 good songs and 2 situational songs out 8. man that is 70-75%. every music director would give a right arm and a left leg for that. why do we want to blindly say everything produced by a raaja, rahman , mani ratnam or kamal is a masterpiece. That in my opinion is the biggest disservice a true fan can do. It is called ‘pampering’ or ‘overindulging’ them. Worship them for their greatness, crave for better when they slip up knowing what truly they are capable of


      4. 3) i cant even imagine myself expressing ‘hate’ over ilayaraja at any point in cit or elsewhere. hate is too strong. i dont even hate Deva or Anu Malik enough to use the word hate. I think they have done some cool stuff on and off. So hating Raaja is a joke. I did have issues about music club of Raaja being too Raaja centric and giving step motherly treatment to other composers. I felt they should played a bit more of other contemporary folks(they did it , but did too little for a lot of ppl’s liking).
        Till date, you can even ask ppl of this website, how crazy a fan i am of raaja. I was the first one to fight for an all year, weekly column on raaja. It was rejected as it is too wide a movie forum with a diverse linguistic audience to dedicate permanent site real estate for one person, however big a legend he is. But we will surely come out with some sort of periodical on Raaja


  5. Every time you listen, you will recognize a new feature and unique bit of instrumental work in the background scored by Raja which is the hallmark of his work. This too is no exception as you listen repeatedly. Moreover, usually, Raja’s works never reaches or touches your heart at the first hearing either. The background scores in the songs are really refreshing and can never be within the wildest dreams of contemporary musicians. Listen before comment.


    1. Balaji I purposefully gave myself a few days before I published this post. If you had asked me straight after the audience launch, I would have given only a 2 star vote. But on multiple hearings this is where I reached. I still feel with 2 great songs and 2 good songs it is a successful outing for GVM and the maestro. So why else should I ‘listen before I comment’. For me Raaja’s work has to be measure against Raaja’s best and by that metric this album is good not great


  6. Ho HO Ho..
    I am tripping over big time listening to these tracks. pure acoustic delight. Satru munbu is a stunner – best of the album, but pengal endraal and mudhal murai – Raja enters the fray of rock music after a long time in thamizh and he rocks with some very intelligent arrangements all reminiscent of the ‘classic’ rock era. Pudikkala Maamu is perfect 2 in 1 that begins in college canteen/concert hall and bustles into a percussion backed kuththu in the dusty bylanes of chennai college campus. Vaanam mella has some delectable and delicate horn,harp and piano works last seen in ‘deva sangeetham’ (Guru – malayalam) and theme of Lajja. Every milli second of this album is decorated with extremely tasty counterpoints and chord progressions from an array of instruments from a WCM ensemble we have never heard before in Indian Film Music. This one will be the pinnacle of the early years of 2010s in terms of music.
    Lyrics wise – Muthukumar doesnt try to do a thaamarai – but be himself and has brought out some neat word usages like “Anbil seidha aayudhangal Pennil EraaLam” (Woman has numerous weapons made out of Love – Really? wow) or a more colloquial “Theru theruvaaga thorathudhu knowledge, vandha varaikkum booksa edaikku poduda laabam” etc.,
    Overall this is Album of the year for a fanboy like me and I ain’t complaining.


      1. This recent years have been a bonanza from Raaja..
        Azhagar Saamiyin Kudhirai, Nandhalaala, Naan KAdavul, Vaalmiki, Pazhassi Raaja, ThandavakkonAe – serious music – simple music.. Just music – no nonsense… Loving this phase of Raaja’s career.


      2. i worship azhagarsamiyin bgm till date and naan kadavul songs are just divine and beyond human explanation in terms of connect


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