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Ordinary score from S A Rajkumar

This film stars the Alai Paayuthe hero Madhavan, and Sneha. Its songs show nothing very striking

Rs 45

There's big money in Tamil film music, going by how it is now attracting hardcore northern labels like Tips. HMV has started again to spend astronomical sums to buy the rights to A R Rahman albums, but then they are old players in the south who had for a while stopped netting the bestsellers. Tips seems to be testing the waters with an S A Rajkumar album.

S A Rajkumar has had to his credit some commercial successes like Priyamanavale, Thulada Manamu Thullum and Vanna Tamizh Paatu. But he has not entered the same league as Ilaiyaraja, Rahman or even Deva. The biggest accusation he faces from listeners is that he recycles his own songs. And this film seems to prove that charge right again.

Ennavale stars Madhavan and Sneha. Unnikrishnan sings Ovuru paadalum, a heavy-beat song with an all too familiar tune reminding you of old Ilaiyaraja melodies, and Deva's techno additions to them. A tearjerker version on Side B intensifies the already-heard feeling.

Sukhwindara Singh and chorus sing Kothu kothai dollar malai, a loud drummy song about enjoying life. This must be the umpteenth song with lyrics in a similar vein. Perhaps the most memorable one is Take it easy from Gentleman which was a big hit, thanks to A R Rahman's approximating a Michael Jackson track which was a new sound then. The lyrics are full of Bill Gates. Seems to be a familiar figure in Tamil songs these days! The Windows man also made an appearance (figuratively speaking) in the Minnale song Mama mama sung by Shankar Mahadevan.

Ra ra ra rajkumara by Rajesh, Sujatha and chorus cannot make up its mind as far the tune is concerned. A feel-good dance song. Let us say no more.

Remember Deva's song Engengo engengo by Asha and Hariharan? Kathal enbathu thungum mrigam follows such lines, with rich violin passages in the Ilaiyaraja style. The tune is familiar, the low flute staccato passages too. But that said, this is one of S A Rajkumar's better tunes.

Chaiya chaka... chuma chaka is often heard on the TV music channels. Sung by S P Balasubramanyam, Krishnaraj and Deepika, the swaraprastara-style passage is striking in an otherwise forgettable tune.

A real good album from S A Rajkumar is still to come.

S Suchitra Lata

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