Music Review: Panjaa (Yuvan Shankar Raja)
by Srikanth Mantravadi
Yuvan’s Panjaa is adequately snazzy for what appears to be a action laced romantic entertainer (or is it the other way round? You have to forgive me but interpreting trailers is not really my strong point). When I heard Yuvan was creating the score for this film, my mind invariably veered towards his Billa score which was for all its derring do coolness more style than substance. Panjaa had all the ingredients for an encore what with even Vishnuvardhan at the helm of affairs. But it appears to be a departure from that kind of music making.
Yuvan usually appears behind the mike with mixed results. His range is strikingly limited and his voice utterly low key and strained at most times. Like Rahman when he started out probably. However his callow vocals are a good foil to the techno overdosed title track here. It belies expectations and throws the listener offguard; You expect a Shankar Mahadevan muscling through the song with the energy of a nuclear reactor as if the hero’s whole strength was concentrated in the wholesome rev of his voice or even Viswa whose earthy vocals coax and goad inspiration out of you. But what you get is a mellow voice that is uneasily about to crack at the slightest exertion; like pale sunlight trying to pierce through the techno debris. The very struggle of Yuvan’s feeble vocals holding up against dazzling orchestration is a meta inspiration perhaps. Anyone? Anyway, well done.
The best song of the lot is Ela Ela; an unconventionally structured dulcet melody that is as smooth as whipped cream. And how can it not be with Haricharan in such sparkling form behind the mike. The tune is unusually free form with the Naa bhasha loni teeyandanam part exemplifying this. It is beautiful. It is like Yuvan chanced upon this fabulous hook and couldn’t let go so he decided to linger on it for a little longer, like an extra drag of a cigarette before stubbing it out or an extra sip before hiding away the bottle. Very good.
Veyira Cheyi is pretty mediocre while Anukoneleduga passes muster. It is a little sedate and unimaginative but the overall packaging of good orchestration and singing pull it through. Paparayudu is a Brahmanandam show all the way, who emotes so well through his voice alone that I can only marvel at his talent.Its slap sticky quotient though makes me worry about the comedy track in the movie.But that is getting too far ahead.So we’ll wait.Till then Ela Ela.