Music Review: Cheeni Kum

Film: Cheeni Kum

Director: R Balki

Music Director: Illayaraja

Lyrics: Sameer and Manoj Tapadia

Rating: 3/5

[The magnificence of having parents with different cultural backgrounds is the fact that you invariably get to hear different music.]

Illayaraja has a legacy of creating heartrending tracks that make you sit in a corner and devote yourself to the tunes in complete silence. A singer and music composer, he has to his credit, some of the most enchanting tracks ever created. In his latest, Cheeni Kum, there is certainly the emotional flavoring, however, there is lots you have already heard. 

The title track, Cheeni Kum, rendered by Shreya Ghosal is sugary, and sounds uncannily similar to the Tamil Song ‘en Anbe’ from Mani Ratnam’s Mouna Raagam. Sincerely, the Tamil version of the song is far more soulful. The lyrics of this song perhaps make sense in the film; otherwise, they do not qualify as a prolific penning of words. Ghosal sings well though, and the score is soft.

The second track in the album, Baatein Hawa Hain, is also inspired by the Tamil track ‘Kuzhaloodhum kannanukku’ from the film ‘Melle thirandhadhu kadhavu’. This one has been rendered by Ghosal too. While she croons, all you want to do is isten to the instruments, for they contain an undiluted essence of non synthesised sounds. The lyrics are unexciting, however. Lines such as ‘bandhe ko zoo main rakho, khulla na isse chodo’ are feeble; it is simply the composition that makes the song a worthwhile listen. (Remember the soundtrack of Jeans in Hindi? This one is just like that.) 

This song has two versions; one with Amitabh Bachchan rendering dialogues and one sans it. The latter is far better.

Call it coincidence if you will, but Jaane Do Na, by Ghosal is yet again similar to a Kannada song ‘ Jotheyali jothe jotheyal’. This one, like its inspiration, is outstanding; the lyrics convey the coy urgency of the character. Ghosal does exceptionally well in rendering the song. The lyrics though simple, are well written and phrased to complete the beauty that encompasses the song.

Vijay Prakash croons Sooni Sooni; the tune, though similar to the title track, is individualistic and slow paced. The orchestra does a remarkable job in creating an enchanting score. Prakash’s style of rendering this song, with emphasis on certain words, is extremely similar to maestro S P Balasubramaniam’s manner of singing. This track is by far the best and most poignant track in the entire album.

The soundtrack of Cheeni Kum features two instrumental tracks called the Veg Melody and Non Veg Melody, both of which are positively wow. Both are cleary distinctive, with the synthesiser, piano and saxophone creating sounds that are melodious and thoroughly calming.

Despite its resemblances to earlier compositions, Cheeni Kum is nevertheless a worthy hear. The sounds of the instruments and Vocals blend in harmony to provide a simple yet powerful score. This album is a must have, especially to play in between all those generated scores we are usually subjected to.