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Where Niagara rhymes with Viagra!

En Swaasa Kaatre
Rs 45

We've seen lovers staying together in life and death, but in this film, Isha Koppikar and Arvind Swamy unite by murdering the villain, Prakash Rai.

M G Sreekumar competently sings Oru thuli on a dandiya rhythm. The tune is sparse and attractive. In the stanza it resembles Rahman's earlier song Sembandi poo from Uzhappavan. Vairamuthu writes:

Payar verinile vizhandal navadanyama vilaivai
en kannvizhikul vizhandadal oru kavithai aga malarndai

If you had fallen on fertile land you would have sprouted,
since you fell into my eyes you bloomed into a poem

Theendai begins with words set on a soft musical intro. There's no credit on the jacket, but the wonderful voice makes you think it could be Anupama of Chandralekha fame.

She also sings Nayagra (that's the way it's spelt). Why is her voice so vastly underutilised in films?

The slow duet is by SPB and Chitra and is in Sri raga on a pop beat. Rahman uses this scale often, in Daud, in Karuthamma...

His other favourite raga is Kedara and he returns to it in the title song En swasa kaatre. He's made so many songs in Kedara Malargale, Enavale (Kadhalan), Enkadhale (Duet) ... they all sound similar.

M G Sreekumar and Chitra sing this duet. The chord movements are predictable. The pleasant surprise is the veena towards the end. The pleasure of pure acoustics!

Parts of the song are syncopated as in Karnatak music compositions. In the style of Enigma, the French group which blends religious music and pop, a church chorus is used in one of the interludes. The lyrics celebrate the sense of touch and revolve around the pleasure of being with the beloved. The second interlude has a pleasant shower of santoor phrases.

Jumbalakka has varying African, Arabian and Spanish colouring. The intro with a voice (Rafee) against a rhubab is very good. The bits are predominantly made up of Arabian drums, a voice and claps. The vocal harmonies add richness. A bass guitar keeps pace with the youthful exuberance. Rafee does an excellent job, though influenced perhaps by Rahman's singing in an Anglicised accent.

Nayagra has a heavy 4/4 beat split interestingly. Sriram's voice is mastered as though he's on the telephone. Harini's long alap on Anupama's refrain is well balanced. Vaali rhymes Niagara with Viagra -- Uyir kadhalai tundave needhan Viagra. The samba and carnival effect is captured by the beat, punctuated by whistles and cheerful trumpets.

Thirakkaatha, sung by Unnikrishnan and Chitra, uses a catch phrase from raga Neelambari before scattering itself into Rahman's usual Kedara. The grand violin ensemble and tinkling sounds that Hollywood musicals specialise in is here too. The guitar seconds remind you a little of his earlier hit July Madham from Pudhiya Mugam.

Vairamuthu's lryics are the usual mixture of traditional poetic Tamil and colloquism, as seen in the songs Theendai and Jumbalakka.

Divya Minisandram

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