You will agree that one of the most therapeutic ways to deal with the current crisis and lockdown is by surrendering to the sounds of good music. Whether it is a soulful melody or a peppy riff, music has the power to uplift and heal. So let the dopamine flow as you listen to these mellifluous Tamil soundtracks from the following films.
This unforgettable debut album of A. R. Rahman is probably still his most popular and hailed soundtrack that paved the way for many future blockbuster collaborations between Maniratham and him. From the vivacious Chinna Chinna to the romantic Pudhu Vellai Mazhai, from the haunting Kadhal Rojave to the anthemic Thamizha Thamizha, the album featured a fresh new sound in Tamil cinema and heralded the rise of a genius in the Indian music field.
Will there be anything to surpass the intoxicating symphony of those silken violins in Rakamma Kaiyya Thattu! Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja’s magnum opus Thalapathi created history by being adjudged the 4th best ever album in The Guardian’s coveted compilation of 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die. Apart from the scintillating opening track, Thalapathi has a potent mix of soulful melodies like Sundari Kannal and Chinna Thai Aval interspersed with raga and percussion-based renditions like Kattukulle, Puttam Pudhu Poo and the much interpreted Yamunai Atrile. This is an album that you can revisit time and again to discover a nuance not experienced earlier.
Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya (2010)
This A R Rahman musical is again a confluence of many stimulative blends of tunes that resonate deeply with the listeners. Straight up, the sprightly Hosanna enlivens the senses setting the stage for the stirring Mannipayaa. The album steers into another breezy pop Carnatic fusion Omana Peene, a favourite signature of the composer, and breaks the shackles with the bluesy Aaromale. Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya is a heady cocktail of genres that are compiled masterfully to create an album that is contemporary, relevant and pleasing to the ear.
Mouna Ragam (1986)
Evergreen is a word that comes to mind when one mentions this masterpiece of a soundtrack composed by Ilayaraja. The test of any song or album is its instant recall down the years and Mouna Ragam is testament to that. The energetic Oho Megamvandhadho is offset by the soul-stirring Nilave Vaa, Mandram Vandha and the fan favourite Chinna Vanna Kuyil. All the songs are based on a specific Carnatic raga thus highlighting the maestro’s ability to marry tradition with modernism. The film is also known for its rousing background score which was appreciated in equal measure.
Agni Nakshatram (1988)
During this golden era of Ilayaraja came another scorching soundtrack that garnered immense popularity for its eclectic tunes. Every youngster would be seen dancing and humming to spirited beats of Rajathi Raja, Ninnukori Varnam and Rojapoo Adivandhadhu. Throw in a lilting semiclassical gem Thoongatha Vizhigal Rendu and you’ve got an album that’s a sure shot winner. The unique feature of Ilayaraja was that his compositions elevated the actors they were picturised on to star status as well. Actors Prabhu, Amala and Karthik were always and are still associated with songs from this movie.
Duet yet again showcased A R Rahman’s adaptability to merge musical influences from the east and west. With the saxophone taking centre stage, he regales us with some of the most invigorating compositions. The western and classical versions of the sax (played stunningly by Raja and Kadri Gopalnath) permeate through the whole album giving us an insight into the intricacies of the instrument. The melodious Anjali Anjali is the most popular track. The classically tuned Naan Paadum Sandham and Mettu Podu keep our feet tapping but the tour de force is the haunting and brilliantly sung En Kadhale which will give you goosebumps.
Thiruda Thiruda (1993)
This Manirathnam film failed at the box office but is always remembered for its heterogenous soundtrack that resonated with the youth in a big way. In the film, A R Rahman introduced the novel concept of a folk-based acapella with the exciting Raasathi. He followed it up with a classic western pop track in Chandralekha and the energetic Thee Thee which is possibly the most recognised piece of the album. The big band style entertainer Veerapandi Kottayile further enhances the soundtrack along with the light and easy Putham Pudhu Bhoomi and the youthful Kannum Kannum.
While you say thank you for the music, don’t forget to scroll down for many more movies with wonderful melodies like the above.