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Dhanam Music Review Dhanam Music Review
Music review By Malathy Sundaram
Starring: Sangeetha and Prem.
Music: Ilayaraja.

Sangeetha has dared to take on yet another controversial role here, that of a devadasi. The legendary music composer Ilayaraaja has scored the music for this film, the story of which seems to have impressed him a lot.He has seven songs to his credit here, out of which he has lent his voice for three of them. And for the first time, he has been designated on the cover as’ Isaignani Ilayaraja Swamigal’.

Ilamai Kanavugal…
Vocals: Karthik, Rita
Lyrics: Vaali

Right from the opening humming, the song drips with melody. The humming continues through the song on and off. Halfway down the song, we have lovely guitar pieces and a ‘sax like’ piece on the keyboard which are delicious. Appears to be based on the Karaharapriya scale. Both Karthik and Rita have sung very well. Though the song vaguely makes you recall a couple of his older numbers, the keyboard simply carries the song through. Expresses the deep love of a man for a special woman.

Ulagam Kidakkudhu…
Vocals: Sunitha Saradhy
Lyrics: Vaali

Yet another sizzling combination of keyboards and guitars with a vibrant trumpet bit thrown in the middle. The song is all about rebelliousness and gay abandon. Sung with crystal-clear articulation by Sunitha. The trumpet interlude captures the gay mood in just the right fashion. Again appears to be Karaharapriya on the 1-kattai scale. The keyboard follows the singer sweetly in places. The interludes float around you even after the song is done with.

Dhanam Dhanam…

Vocals: Karthik & party
Lyrics: Vaali

This song is a perfect example of how ear-friendly and delightful even a ‘kutthu paattu’ can be! Ah, the sheer pleasure of listening to original drums! The song which begins’ thaana thandhana---‘simply glides into’dhanam dhanam dhanam’ as the lyrics take off. Yet another lovely trumpet interlude which tapers off with the swaras, ‘sa rig a ma pa dha nii—‘.simply moving. Please listen to it. Vaali’s flowing lyrics hold a candle up to the main character, Dhanam. There are some amusing lines like’Adhai pottu pottu cinemaakkaaran pannuraanda kasu’ referring to kutthu paattu. Riveting rhythms and enthusiastic singing by all. Could shoot up the charts.

Koothu onnu Koothu onnu…
Vocals: Ilayaraaja, Peji
Lyrics: Palanibarathi

The opening bars themselves are quite soft and sensual. A real smouldering sexy number from ‘Ilayaraaja swamigal’. Passion laden lyrics which have been sung with gusto by Peji and though Raaja’s voice appears a little flatter, it is a nice foil to her voice. Here too guitars, keyboard and flute have combined to warble delicately and magically. Makes you recall some of his other hits such as ’nila adhu vaanathin meley’ for the sheer mood it evokes.

Unakkulle Irukkindren…

Vocals: Sriram Parthasaradhi, Billsandey
Lyrics: Mu.Metha

A very thoughtful use of mridangam halfway through the song elevates the listening experience. A simple love duet with subdued words. Natabairavi scale seems to have been used. The later flute bits too deserve special mention. They underline the soft passion the song portrays. You vaguely recall another song of his from ‘Avatharam’.

Kannanukku enn…

Vocals: Bavadarini, Sriram Parthasaradhi ,Prasanna
Lyrics: Vishali Kannadasan

Welcome back, Vishali! Smooth uncomplicated lyrics, just like her father! Bavadarini has another super hit on her hands, with this number. This, like the one before, again appears to be Natabairavi on the 1-kattai scale. A brilliant synthesis of sitar, flute, tabla, violin and guitar. The song has to be repeatedly listened to savour the instrumental bits. And a very imaginative swarakkorvai at the end along with mridangam nicely rounds off the aesthetic listening pleasure. May stay on the charts for long.

Kattilukku Mattumdhana…

Vocals: Ilayaraja
Lyrics: Muthulingam

Truly a very hard-hitting lyric. Please devote some time to listing to the sharp words. All in praise of womanhood. And exposing the double standards of men! The song is based on the Sindhubairavi raga and set to tisra beats. The bass flute at the beginning is haunting. There is a surprise use of shehnai sounds, too. A little ghatam is also heard. Sung with a lot of pathos by Raja.


The maestro has certainly delivered, and how! What is remarkable about Ilayaraaja is the way he captures the natural cadence of the lyrics and frames his beats and sangatis to adorn and embellish them. But at the same time he works his technical wizardry into the song. Though keyboards are used he never hesitates to employ original instruments wherever necessary. Some combinations in this album are just magic. He still has so much to offer!

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