top tamil songs

10. ‘Naan Yaar’

Pariyerum Perumal

Music director – Santhosh Narayanan

‘Naan Yaar’ closes Pariyerum Perumal‘s album on an uptempo note, and does manage to sound completely different from the rest of the album. The song has a thrumming rhythm and soaring vocal choruses, and fantastic singing by Vijaynarain, Ananthu and Santhosh Narayanan. Mari Selvaraj’s lyrics, with a vignette of ‘Who am I?’ questions, is highly absorbing.

9. ‘Dhooramaai’

Peranbu

Music director – Yuvan Shankar Raja

Yuvan’s first interlude in ‘Dhooramaai’ is quite literally like soaking into the beauty of a cool, green mountain, as the music simply flows. Vijay Yesudas adds to the effect with his exquisite singing too, while Vairamuthu’s lyrics imaginatively allude to the maternal instincts, in both the anu pallavi (“Inge thondrumsiriyamalai, iyarkkaithaayinperiyamulai, parugumneerilpaalinsuvai… “) and charanam (“Thaaippaalpondraneerootru…“).

8. ‘Alathi Anbai’

Asuravadham

Music director – Govind Vasantha

In a year when Govind Vasantha had 96 and Seethakaathi, it’s hard to believe that Asuravadham was his first full Tamil album (if you ignore the single from his long-pending Oru Pakka Kadhai that released in 2017). Perhaps owing to Ananthu’s singing, the song does sound a lot more like Santhosh Narayanan’s, but Govind’s stamp is evident too all over the song. The gentle, poignant melody is affecting, with Govind’s work shining in the interludes.

7. ‘Geedhaara Kiliye’

Nimir

Music director – Darbuka Siva

Composer Darbuka Siva will forever be remembered as that unfortunate Mr.X composer of an upcoming (upcoming for a few years now) Gautham Vasudev Menon film. Meanwhile, he composed two fantastic songs in Nimir. ‘Geedhaara Kiliye’ is the pick of the album. Sathyaprakash is superb with the wonderful melody that has an instantly-recognisable homage to Ilaiyaraaja’s ‘Poomaalai’ (Sindhu Bhairavi), in the anu Pallavi.

6. ‘High on Love’

Pyaar Prema Kaadhal

Music director – Yuvan Shankar Raja

Between Peranbu and Pyaar Prema Kaadhal, Yuvan has showcased some excellent music this year. ‘High on Love’ should ideally be called ‘High on Yuvan’. The entrancing melody is vintage Yuvan, with a deeply engaging orchestration and Sid Sriram’s stupendous vocals.

5. ‘Kalyaana Vayasu’

Kolamaavu Kokila

Music director – Anirudh Ravichander

Kolamaavu Kokila is Anirudh’s best album in 2018, despite his big-ticket film featuring Rajinikanth, Petta, being in the same year. ‘Kalyaana Vayasu’, sung by Anirudh himself, is an incredibly catchy song. Sivakarthikeyan’s lyrics seem influenced by Simbu, particularly that ‘Wait Pannava’ line. Yogi Babu, channelling his inner Senthil, adds to the fun in the video.

4. ‘Kaarkuzhal Kadavaiye’

VadaChennai

Music director – Santhosh Narayanan

Led by Sriram Parthasarathy, ‘Kaarkuzhal Kadavaiye’ is a complete change in sound from the rest of the album, and is actually the album’s best. The song’s guitar and flute mix, interludes ideated by Sean Roldan, the change of tune in the anu pallavi and the background vocal mix are enchanting.

 3. ‘The Journey of Ayya’

Seethakaathi

Music director – Govind Vasantha

Govind Vasantha has had a stupendous year – no doubt about that at all, with two great songs in Asuravadham, 96 and now ‘Ayya’. If the title song and ‘Avan’ were brilliant, this one, based on Gowrimanohariraaga, is incredible. The trailer had featured this song’s snatches and I had mentioned how fantastic it sounded. It turns out to be an instrumental and one that melts you.

2. ‘Anthaathi’

96

Music director – Govind Vasantha

‘Anthaathi’ could easily be called a celebration of love. Right from Karthik Netha’s fascinatingly beautiful exploration (“Ithyaadhi Kaadhal” is particularly interesting, literally meaning, “et cetera love”), to C. Prem Kumar’s poem (narrated by actor Nassar) that imaginatively anthropomorphises love, the words are stupendous. Govind’s tune is another story altogether. The serene way it starts with Chinmayi and Govind’s vocals, the manner in which the mildly throbbing rhythm takes over oh-so-slowly, paving way for a splendid chorus… to introducing Bhadra Rajin’s ethereal interlude and re-introducing the chorus to end with the song’s title… the tune is hugely likeable.

1. ‘Pottakaatil Poovasam’

Pariyerum Perumal

Music Director – Santhosh Narayanan

Santhosh Narayanan had a great year – Kaala, Pariyerum Perumal and Vada Chennai.‘Pottakaatil Poovasam’ is a jaw-droppingly beautiful song. Santhosh produces an incredibly orchestrated melody that even takes a heart-stopping pause right in the middle. The vocal harmony between Yogi Sekar and Fareedha is scintillating, even as Ananthu’s backing vocal offers a superb parallel layer (complete with an incredible classical vocalisation towards the end).

 

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