Review by : Behindwoods Review Board
Album Release Date : Dec 15,2012
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Production: Mani Ratnam, Manohar Prasad
Cast: Arjun, Arvind Swamy, Gautham Karthik, Lakshmi Manchu, Thulasi Nair
Direction: Mani Ratnam
Music: A. R. Rahman
Cinematography: Rajiv Menon
Editing: A. Sreekar Prasad
Singers: A.R. Rahman, Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Chinmayee, Haricharan Seshadri, Harini, Shakthisree Gopalan, Sid Sriram, Tanvi Shah, Vijay Yesudas
Lyrics : Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Karky, Vairamuthu
Distribution: Gemini Film Circuit

Kadal, the latest offering from Mani Ratnam will feature two newcomers in Gautham Karthik and Thulasi Nair. The film also features music by Mani Ratnam’s trusty composer A.R. Rahman. The album has 7 tracks in all and has lyrical contributions by Vairamuthu, Karky & Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam.

Chithirai Nela
Singers: Vijay Yesudas
Lyrics: Vairamuthu

The song begins with comforting and caring vocals by Vijay Yesudas that ensues the new born baby’s cry. The song’s build up is highly stimulating and it’s simply masterful with the way the soft bassline leads into the percussions, and then with the entry of the grand vocal arrangement which changes the mood from pleasant to truly uplifting. It’s the words of Vairamuthu that lead this emotional uprising from the front.

Singers: Sid Sriram
Lyrics: Madhan Karky

A Ray Charles type of tune that culminates blues, soul and gospel styles. As per the requirements of this genre the emphasis is given to the earnest singing, and Sid Sriram performs with utmost sincerity. He’s supported by a strong choir that lends their voice as a shoulder to the young man who’s got the blues! Rahman keeps the musical style undiluted from Indian influences, thereby keeping the mood genuine.

Moongil Thottam
Singers: Abhay Jodhpurkar, Harini
Lyrics: Vairamuthu

A soft haunting ballad that sounds like it’s from a different time, in the past, with the way the words make the melody and melody the music, backed only by the guitar. Each time there is a beautiful build-up of strings and accordion in the bridges and interludes, the drama is diffused by quietness and making room for the words to be on top again. There is an undeniable chemistry in the performances of Abhay Jodhpurkar and Harini and their exchanges in the end sums up the romance in the song.

Elay Keechaan
Singers: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics: Madan Karky

A sort of hillbilly bluegrass guitar lick drives this absolutely whimsical tune. It’s not the sound we associate with the fishing community; still it works because it has its heart in the right place. Be it Madan Karky’s lyrics or Rahman’s singing, that is backed up by a solid backing chorus unit, the track possesses the spirit and camaraderie of seamen. The song is mighty chirpy both in mood and presentation, especially the surprise entry of hand-claps that instantly lifts the tune to another level. Rahman’s singing sounds affable and he soars through his performance in his own inimitable voice.

Singers: A.R. Rahman, Shakthisree Gopalan
Lyrics: Vairamuthu

By now this track would need no describing, let alone an introduction. Still, the studio version offers a crisper recording with supporting percussions and the guitar intro in place of the accordion we had heard in the Live performance. Comparisons to the Live version being better are bound to take place in some quarters. The Live version had the performers bare their emotions on stage delivering an honest rendering and it gave it a certain charm, and the studio track is no less. Shakthisree renders a soul stirring performance over the joyous melody composed by A.R. Rahman.

Anbin Vaasale
Singers: Haricharan Seshadri
Lyrics: Madan Karky

The song has a gospel feel to it especially with the church organ and bells in the beginning. The use of the booming church choir chorus reaffirms this thought. The lyric reflects the same and Haricharan leads the pack of voices in a performance where he literally surrenders himself to the song delivering a powerful showcase of great range and control over his voice. The symphonic orchestration reminds us of Rahman from his early days.

Magudi Magudi
Singers: Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam, Chinmayee,Tanvi Shah
Lyrics: Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam

This is probably the only ‘digital’ track on the album that’s racy and unpredictable but equally enjoyable. The sound of this electronica tune is upbeat but dark at the same time. The song uses some of the film’s dialogues which add to the seriousness of the tune quite nicely.

Verdict: Kadal is salt of the earth stuff from A.R. Rahman that is rewarding of your time spent on it.