Tale of two audio blockbusters - Kadal & Ethir Neechal


By Kaushik

There has been a total change in the way music is being consumed now. Gone are the days when people used to queue up to buy cassettes and CDs. Now, majority of the music is being downloaded or streamed online thanks to the proliferation of music boxes on YouTube. With this introduction, we do a quick ‘dekho’ at the outstanding Tamil music albums of the year with specific focus on two albums which released just a few weeks back.

The Tamil music scene in 2012 has been quite a healthy one with majority of the hotshot composers raking up one hit after the other. Albums like Nanban, OKOK, Maattrraan, Billa 2, Neethane En Ponvasantham, Thuppakki, Podaa Podi and Kumki have managed to put up decent CD sales figures as well as countless hits and downloads digitally. Songs from these movies have found a place in countdown charts on TV, online and in the various FM stations.

With listeners having a good time with such a plethora of albums, two albums came towards the end of the year. Both the albums had fair bit of hype for various reasons. Both the albums were bagged by Sony Music and the way the music was promoted and reached among the audience was impressive.

While one had the Mani Ratnam – A.R.Rahman combo the other had the much raved Kolaveri duo Dhanush - Anirudh joining hands again. Yes, we are talking about Kadal and Ethir Neechal. Listeners lapped up both the albums like hot cakes and Sony Music had reasons to smile gleefully.

Thousands of CDs were pre-booked in the case of Kadal and the music was launched two days prior to the actual planned date. The songs which were launched on a phased basis like Nenjukkule and Elay Keechan made listeners visit heaven even if only for a short while. Heeding to the advance booking response, the full music was launched in advance and the rest of the songs have also slowly started making an imprint on listeners’ minds. Adiye, being a much spoken about track, for being something totally unheard in Tamil music till now. Rahman being Rahman, iTunes charts were also stormed by Kadal.

Ethir Neechal on the other hand is a peppy and youthful soundtrack which has been composed by Anirudh after the phenomenal success of 3 earlier in the year. There is nothing experimental or unique about the sound of Ethir Neechal but the youth aren’t complaining one bit. Anirudh being a 22 year old perfectly knew what listeners of his age would enjoy. The result is some really enjoyable numbers like Boomi Enna Suthudhe, Ethir Neechal, Local Boys and Nijamellam.

Both these albums are vying for the top slot in the music charts and they have come as a whiff of fresh air in the Tamil music scene. The sales charts look that much better thanks to these albums and we are sure that 2013 would be peppered with tracks from these two films.

This is what composer Anirudh had to say about the response to his music in Ethir Neechal and also about Kadal.

“I was thrilled as well as tense when I was thinking about the release of Ethir Neechal’s music. Now I am very happy as my music has been able to stand out despite the intense competition from so many other new releases. I am thankful to listeners for making my entire album a success, rather than just a couple of songs.

There are comparisons with my earlier work for 3 but I must say that both are different films. 3 was a tragic love story while Ethir Neechal is a fun filled entertainer. My music for both these films is different and in tune with the requirements of the movie. Ethir Neechal’s music is not too serious but peppy and enjoyable. My age was a big advantage when it came to Ethir Neechal’s music as I knew what the youth would enjoy.

A.R.Rahman Sir is my big inspiration and I actually feel honored that my album and his Kadal released around the same time. Kadal has its own audience and please don’t compare our work. It won’t sound right if I even talk about my film’s music in the same breath as Kadal. I am just happy that my film’s music has also worked. This only proves that music has no boundaries and that people would listen to anything that makes them happy.”

We wish both the composers the very best in the coming years. While Rahman is a proven phenomenon who just keeps getting better and better with every passing year, Anirudh has proved that he isn’t a one film wonder. He is here to stay, folks.



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