Composer: AR Rahman
Lyricists: Kutti Revathi,Vaali,AR Rahman and others
An AR Rahman album comes with an unwritten conditionof not passing judgment on a newly released soundtrack. His music,in his two-decade long career,has the quality of growing over time: the free-flowing structures of his songs taking time to settle in to the pre-conditioned ears and his soundscape blossoming subtly,over a number of listens. So an early review of a Rahman album is always a tricky proposition. Despite being a Tamil album,his latest Maryan,directed by Bharat Bala,starring Dhanush like every AR Rahman album,is of considerable interest. Maryans immediate premise: the real life story of three Indian oil workers in captivity in Sudan allows the composer to use a lot of percussions,generous doses of folk elements and some occasional African music. The opening track Nenjae Yezhu assumes the vast scale of the African landscape. It has a sweeping,epic quality,and there is really no substitute to Rahmans own vocals. The sweet sound of accordions in Innum Konjam remind you of Nenjukulle from Kadal; it is steeped in folksy innocence underlined by singers,Vijay Prakash and Shweta Mohan. The composer returns to his most commonly used zone,of soul and synthesisers in Naetru Aval Irundhal,and has a comforting quality. Sonapareeya is infectiously foot-tapping,and is sung with zest by Rahmans most used vocals in recent times,Javed Ali. The African portions sound somewhat forced,as it does in I love My Africa,that sounds like a recycled version of the composers Champions League anthem.
The standout track is the meditative Yenga Pona Raasa. The neat guitars,Shakthisree Gopalans remarkably controlled low-pitched voice make it a pleasant listen.
Maryan is bit of a mixed bag,with few songs showing signs of new musical signature and some suffering from over familiarity from the composers previous own songs. But as always with AR Rahman,multiple listen is a must.