It’s been a long time since Rahman played to the gallery. He tried it in Blue and other recent ventures of his only to be caught between experimentation and cacophony. With S.J. Suryah, Rahman did get back to the balance that he used to maintain in his hay days of commercial cinema where the songs regardless of the experimentation were always foot tapping and catchy, pleasing everyone. Though the audacity of the director to don the grease pant was frustrating, it was sheer pleasure to witness them on silver screen with all the gloss and not the mellowed down situational ones where the songs were pushed to the background. But with Komaram Puli we will get to see Pawan Kalyan so the visual segment of the song will surely be entertaining. And the songs? Lets get to them one at a time.
Power star (Vijay Prakash, Tanvi Shah)
Techno songs are always not easy on ears. With Rahman at fore we know with the kind of experimentation (ring tones, car crash et all) it is bound to be bizarre. It starts with the drums beating to the well known police theme in Arabic influence fused with synthesized sounds creating and eery feel whispering ‘power star’. It’s a cocktail of sorts after that, when the ream of lyrics patronizing the ‘Yuva star’ moves from the electronic feel to folkish style, backed by the genre trademark ‘organ’. Any hero worship song from Rahman is not complete with the “hai hai” sound and here it is combined with “blue blue” cry, reminiscing us of the blue theme. The beauty of this cocktail is that after getting the grasp and when the familiarity sinks in, the peppy adulating lyrics and the intricate modulations especially whenever Vijay intensifies the mood as he acclimates to the top scale, grabs our attention.
Amma thale (Naresh Iyer, Swetha Mohan)
There is the celerity and then the melody. It seems to be repeating in loops. So what is this song? Doesn’t it sound like it was poorly tacked together? If you stop right there, then you are going to miss something special. As we take that notion away, the celerity becomes a breathless travel into the nooks in whips, pacing our heart only to be soothed by the melody. But the melody now doesn’t remain only that; it becomes more of a funny retaliation to the rambling antecedent and the fun increases with the curt notes of the violin & trumpet. So what if the celerity is borrowed by “thee kurugiya” song from Kangalal Kaithu Sei with heavy accent from “markandeya” of New; when each complete note of that saranam layered using different instruments, attention turns to the variation that Swetha brings to the note joined later by Naresh. Though Naresh intensifies the tune to a great level, the “na nana na” hampers the flow, only to be saved by the faithful trumpet with which Naresh swiftly transforms the song into a classical one at the coda.
Maaralante (A.R.Rahman & KMMC Choir)
Maaralante is a double treat in that it will become the anthem of Andhravalas and as a song that will become the identity of Power star for the rest of his life. What is with Rahman and patriotic songs? When he sings them, even the average tune raises goosebumps and with lyrics which highlight the importance of change, the impact is even higher acclimating to greater heights when he touches the top note for rendering “maa telugu thali” backed by the cherubic choir; reminding us the “mannipaya” of VTV effect. Rahman takes the song to the next level when he increases the tension using carefully arranged instrument in the other half of the song, which when we thought was the best it could get to, knocks us out with the superb placement of Chandrabose’s punch line as the finale.
Maham Mahamaye (Javed Ali, Suchitra)
Sometimes we just have to hand it over to the guys behind the microphone and let them enthrall us. Even though Maham Mahamaye seems to be Shankar Mahadevanish, Javed Ali gets into the groove and comes up with a rendering that is packed with passion and gusto. The consistently flat Suchitra is beautified with disciplined singing that falls between zeal and childish joy. The alternation between staccato and the melodic note of the pallavi that the singers perform in the later part of the saranams, the majestic symphony in violin and the confluence of these two towards the finale ends the song in a content note.
Dochy (Shreya Ghoshal, Lady Kash 'N' Krissy)
Gangster blues seems to have become police blues for this club number. The rustic & erotic mood initiated by Krissy carries over to Shreya Goshal which she blends well with the wiggling setup of the notes leaving us in trance. The way she renders lowering notes of “aashalatho anveshanatho aapai aapai adigai” and then climbs higher only to touch down safely into our heart, makes us forget that this is just an item number. The Arabic orchestration with organ sneaking in between at equal intervals under the aegis of synthesizers takes us to an elevated state; not to mention the firing sounds and the prickling guitar that fills the entirety of the song.
Namakame (Chitra, Madhushree, Harini)
Should there be only one tune, when a lady is praying to the God? Why does Rahman repeat the same tune be it in Lagaan, Swades, Jodha Akbar (interestingly all Ashutosh Gowarikar films), Connections and now in Komram Puli? Lack of novelty apart, the choice of different voice whenever there is a change in the notes and different combinations of them makes the age old song intriguing and when Chitra takes over with an alaap backed by mouth organ like sounding trumpet we are sent back to the Duet days.