Music has always been an integral part of Tamil films and this year is no exception. Though some songs bolstered the narrative atmosphere of films, some of the best ones ill-fatedly ended up as momentum-cursers thanks to the cavalier approach of filmmakers in its placement in the story. Amidst the flurry of soundtracks that released, our team has cerebrated its way to pick the ten best albums of the year after heated arguments, much thoughtfulness and a good deal of ayes and nays.
- Kaaviya Thalaivan: Unquestionably, this year’s best album and a fascinating musical masterpiece from AR Rahman. In our review, we said, “Kaaviya Thalaivan abounds with spellbinding compositions and extensive sounds that it could easily be AR Rahman’s best soundtrack of the decade. It is an ode to the forgotten era of Tamil cinema.” And, that pretty much sums up its place in the list.
- Kochadaiiyaan – Superstar’s soundtracks always demand grandeur. AR Rahman provided that and more with Kochadaiiyaan which was one of the most beautifully thought-out and majestically composed albums from the mozart. With a superb choice of singers, Rahman balanced the reverberating tunes and the glorious lyrics in the album which rightly deserves its place in the Oscar long-list for Best Original Score contention
- Amara Kaaviyam – A melodious masterwork of Ghibran that bloomed with exciting arrangement of sounds and soul-soothing melodies. Amara Kaaviyam catapulted Ghibran as a responsible, matured music composer. For starters, Ghibran has three albums next year with Kamal Haasan – Uttama Villain, Papanasam, Vishwaroopam 2. In our review, we stated, “If there is a new-age composer in Tamil cinema who is reminiscent of both Ilaiyaraja and AR Rahman, it is Ghibran.”
- Cuckoo – With achingly soulful musical pieces, Santhosh Narayanan started off the year as the most exciting prospect and promising composer to watch out for. And, he has not disappointed at all, not yet. In fact, what followed Cuckoo were more assuring, knockout soundtracks from Santhosh throughout the year. Also, this year’s best, showcase moments of Tamil cinema have come under Santhosh Narayanan’s score.
- Idam Porul Yeval – It did take time, but Yuvan Shankar Raja finally shot his critics down with Idam Porul Yeaval, which is undoubtedly an album which he can be proud of. Poetic melodies galored and he sure did take us back to the days of his dad.
- Thirumanam Enum Nikkah – Though the film was a complete disaster, Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah goes on to become one of the most loved albums of the year. Ghibran brought in a lilting sufi flavour to the album, which took it a class apart from the rest.
- Velai Illa Pattathari – Anirudh Ravichander composed, arguably, the year’s most youth-friendly, party-friendly and ear-friendly album with VIP. With an electrifying title track, two floor-scorchers and two intensely moving pathos, he delivered an eclectic soundtrack to celebrate.
- Madras – Taking a different path from his other albums, Santosh Narayanan churned out an entertaining album in Madras in accord with the film’s commercial appeal. A chanting title track, a funky hip-hop number and two sweeping melodies, Madras is a soundtrack which lingered on everybody’s playlist for long.
- Kaththi – The VnA combo got together for the first time to deliver an exciting album, which easily hopped on to become the crowd favorite hands down. Brimming with foot-tapping high tempo numbers, Kaththi was a peppy album with a touch of authenticity.
- Kayal – A remarkably harmonious OST and Imman’s best this year. Though Imman appeared a little unvaried, he has kept his Kumki reputation intact with lyrical melodies and exhilarating tunes for this Prabhu Solomon directed film.
Innovative Albums of the Year: With toppingly ingenious tunes, AR Rahman’s I and Santhosh Narayanan’s Jigarthanda are our two most innovative albums of the year.
Special Mentions (that deserve to be in the year-end list but marginally missed the chance to be in the top ten)
Yennamo Yedho, Mundasupatti, Enakkul Oruvan, Vai Raja Vai and Darling.