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Hero sings again

Priyamanavale, starring Vijay, shows that S A Rajkumar can rise above mediocre scores, but he hasn't taken wing fully

Rs 45

S A Rajkumar has a modest number of hit Tamil films behind him, but there was never anything particularly distinctive about his tunes. Here, finally, he takes a step towards creating something that rises above his earlier scores.

Mississippi nadhiyil has nothing to do with the great Beegees hit Mississippi. Sadly it begins like a copy of Aila re from Jung, the item number featuring Shilpa Shetty.

Vijay, the hero who has had a row of hits since Kaadhalaku Mariyadhe, sings this number with Anuradha Sriram. At some places he sounds better than the professionally trained but shrill Anuradha.

Hariharan and Mahalaxmi sing Ennavo ennavo, which sounds very much like Deva, especially Vanna nilave, vanna nilave, varavadu nee dana -- classical overtones, heavy bass and drum beats. The phrase Priyamanavale is sung with emotion, and could dwell in your mind for a while. The rest of the tune vanishes the moment the song ends.

Ennakoru snehite on Side B, with the same singers, sounds very much like this song. Composer fatigue? But the violins sound good. They are used with maturity, the phrases contrasted and layered. Also on the track is Mahalaxmi, who came to limelight with her remix hits from the group Instant Karma.

June July by Shankar Mahadevan and Harini is the only song by lyricist Vijay, while the other songs are by Vaali. Full of Anglicised Tamil, it looks forward to the beginning of the academic year, the time, it says, to get together and have fun.

Azhage azhage is an easy pop ballad with neat orhcestration. Unnikrishnan's modulation for this style is excellent. The quiet effect of interludes with a flute and some stringed instrument. The tune catches on. The short violin phrases which complement his humming use unusual, striking chords. But the pity is that the song ends in the pallavi itself and does not go on into the charanas.

Sukhwindara Singh sings the dance number Welcome girls, welcome boys. What tune "inspired" this one? Don't know, but it sounds like a lift. And what does the song believe youngsters are obsessed with? Swimming pools, Michael Jackson and dating!

S Suchitra Lata

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