Music Review: Dhanush's Tamil movie Maryan
Composer: AR Rahman
Lyricists: Kutti Revathi, Vaali, AR Rahman and others
An AR Rahman album comes with an unwritten condition—of not passing judgment on a newly released soundtrack. His music, in his two-decade long career, has the quality of growing over time: the free-flowing structures of his songs taking time to settle in to the pre-conditioned ears and his soundscape blossoming subtly, over a number of listens. So an early review of a Rahman album is always a tricky proposition. Despite being a Tamil album, his latest — Maryan, directed by Bharat Bala, starring Dhanush — like every AR Rahman album, is of considerable interest. Maryan's immediate premise: the real life story of three Indian oil workers in captivity in Sudan — allows the composer to use a lot of percussions, generous doses of folk elements and some occasional African music. The opening track Nenjae Yezhu assumes the vast scale of the African landscape. It has a sweeping, epic quality, and there is really no substitute to Rahman's own vocals. The sweet sound of accordions in Innum Konjam remind you of Nenjukulle from Kadal; it is steeped in folksy innocence underlined by singers, Vijay Prakash and Shweta Mohan. The composer returns to his most commonly used zone, of soul and synthesisers in Naetru Aval Irundhal, and has a comforting quality. Sonapareeya is infectiously foot-tapping, and is sung with zest by Rahman's most used vocals in recent times, Javed Ali. The African portions sound somewhat forced, as it does in I love My Africa, that sounds like a recycled version of the composer's Champions League anthem.
The standout track is the meditative Yenga Pona Raasa. The neat guitars, Shakthisree Gopalan's remarkably controlled low-pitched voice make it a pleasant listen.
Maryan is bit of a mixed bag, with few songs showing signs of new musical signature and some suffering from over familiarity from the composer's previous own songs. But as always with AR Rahman, multiple listen is a must.