Music Review: Darbar

Album: Darbar Composer: Anirudh Ravichander

Music Review:
It isn’t a bad album, you know. But do the songs of Darbar weave the same magic that Petta’s songs did? Sadly no. In fact, some of Darbar 's songs sound like hastily re-arranged Petta songs ... disappointing the Anirudh fan in you ... So, you end up in a déjà vu situation, trying to recall where you heard all of this before , like the 'Rebara Rebara Rebara' refrain ... And, there's a lot of musical noise that drown out the lyrics, which are no great either. Vivek’s lyrics are a bunch of non-sensical words thrown in to sound trendy, with the ‘u’ added after each one to make them rhyme (really?), Padded up with the swag and arrogance of Rajinisms. Music-wise, you get a sense of flat champagne. More of a revisiting of older Rajini songs and not a creation of new Rajini moments. Composer Anirudh Ravichander, the lyricists, all have fallen into the classic trap all Rajini’s movies fall into - that of eulogising the actor, instead of going by the situational and thematic demands of the script. Ani has tailored the songs around Rajini, and that’s where the beats falter.

Let’s begin with Tharam Maara, sung by Anirudh and Arjun Chandy. Average, one of many such songs. They say it’s a romantic number. But with lyrics that go ‘Romance a indha face la varalanalum’ and a ‘reba rebara’ refrain ... only one question here: Thevaiya? Next, Thalaivar Theme. Trumpets, trombone, all ‘kingly’ instruments push the rhythm along, only to be let down by the intermittent chorus of ‘Thalaiva’ (remember Shah Rukh Khan’s All the Rajini Fans, Thalaiva!).

That brings us to Chumma Kizhi, the very first song that this team released. Anyone who’s listened to Marana Mass will end up comparing the two and find Chumma Kizhi unnecessarily kuthu-ish, and wanting in oomph. Let’s hope wordplay like ‘Billa in Varalaaru’ gives this one some whistle-podu moments in the theater. Also, this one is that ‘lucky’ must-paatu in all Rajini movies, the one that’s sung by SP Balasubrahmanyam (along with Anirudh Ravichander, in this case). But the best part of this song? Rajini closing the song with his signature laugh and a ‘Chumma Kizhi’.

Thani Vazhi is a rap in which Yogi B spews nonsense, with Anirudh and Shakthisree Gopalan joining in here and there ... Unsurprisingly, lyrics are by Yogi B, Senthuzhan and Syan - which is laughable as the lyrics are actually Rajini’s film dialogues. But this is that song in which the much-touted punch-phrase, ‘Adhisayam-arputham’ finds mention. Then there’s Dumm Dumm - sung by Nakash Aziz. The nadaswaram, tabla, mandolin, and the lyrical refrain make it appear to be a wedding song, and somehow, you feel like listening to it again. And finally, the Villain Theme. A synth composition by Anirudh. Remember the music that’s come up each time Vijay Sethupathi came on screen in Petta? We aren’t saying anything pa - you listen to it and tell us, same-same feeling varadha, illaya?