Trust me, 2017 has been a splendid year for Tamil music. With lots of young composers giving the experienced a run for their money, it is now cut and right that assembling your musical kit isn’t a tough job but composing a good song is one. Picking my favorite 25 of the year was a really long process which took over 25 days of listening to more than a 100 hits of the year, and zeroing down on this list.
Before taking the jump, let’s pause and congratulate Bejoy Nambiar for pulling off the impossible with Solo. The album had a colosseum of variations, with each song being celebrated in a different direction. I would have loved to bring all the songs into this playlist, but that’s quite not right as there are many others which need to be mentioned. So let’s begin, with my 25 best songs of the year.
- Yavvana – Sathya – Simon
Easily the most lasting song of the year for me. A tune that we’ve never heard before, and two vocalists who complement each other wonderfully. Looking forward to much more such music from composer Simon soon.
- Aalaporaan Tamizhan – Mersal – AR Rahman
None other than AR Rahman to bring us a definite Tamil anthem that made us hit the repeat button. And it was lyricist Vivek who was the best member of the team, leading to a memorable song that will stay in our minds for years to come.
- Saarrattu Vandiyila – KaatruVeliyidai – AR Rahman
AR Rahman again, this time with the veteran Mani Ratnam. Simple but highly effective, it has Raihana’s voice taking over everybody else in the song. The best thing about KaatruVeliyidai, you have to agree.
- Yamma Yea Alagamma – Vanamagan – Harris Jayaraj
After a slew of underwhelming music, Yamma Yea Alagamma is Harris Jayaraj’s return to the party, taking help from Bombay Jayashree. The terrific hook is its USP.
- Enna Nadanthalum – MeesaiyaMurukku – Hip Hop Tamizha
Hip Hop Tamizha’sMeesaiyaMurukku had a lot of peppy and energetic music, but the best in the album was the composer’s combination with KarthikKrish for Enna Nadanthalum, a lovely medley of RnB.
- Sevatha Pulla – TheeranAdhigaaramOndru – Ghibran
Ghibran’sTheeranAdhigaaramOndru might have turned a new leaf in music for commercial cinema, but the first surprise was the coolest one. Ranjith lent his voice in a never-heard-before romantic rendition in this sweet little number.
- Venpani Malare – Power Paandi – Sean Roldan
Dhanush certainly proved that he can bring out the best from his composers when he sits and breaks their head. VenpaniMalare sung by the composer himself ended up as a really pleasing melody which luckily got blessed with charming visuals too.
- Yaaro Uchikilai Mele – Taramani – Yuvan Shankar Raja
The impact that this song had on me is quite big. I had to hear it about 30 times to get over it, and only then moved on to the rest of the album. That doesn’t happen many a times, and that’s how good this song is.
- Roshomon – Solo – Prashant Pillai
It came in as a single, and conquered thanks to its amazing beats. Roshomon is one track that immediately wakes me up however tired I go. It surely deserved better visuals.
- UsureUsure- Karuppan – D.Imman
Who is Ananya Bhat? How is her voice so soothing? What makes ordinary lyrics sound so special? I still don’t find answers to this magical song.
- Thangachi Song – MeyaadhaMaan – Santosh Narayanan
The most fun you can ever have listening to a song this year. Foot-tapping tune, funny lyrics and a sing-along result. You name it, you get it.
- Yaanji – VikramVedha – Sam CS
Sam CS who had brought up a noticeable soundtrack in VikramVedha, pulled up his shoes for Yaanji, a beautiful romantic number. With Shaktisree for company, Anirudh’s vocals shined in new feathers this time.
- Oxygen – Kavan – Hip Hop Tamizha
From the way it starts until its very high point, things are solid about this track. It’s a small example of how KV Anand always manages to pull out an addictive track for his special locale songs.
- Kadhalaada – Vivegam – Anirudh
Anirudh’s best album of 2017 had a flurry of motivational and loud tracks, but the odd one out is the most impactful personally. Kadhalaada, a brilliantly laid melody lightened up by Pradeep Kumar and ShashaaTirupati. Those violins, wow.
- Hey Penne – KattapaavaKaanom – Santhosh Dhayanidhi
In his sophomore outing, Santhosh Dhayanidhi was game for an experimental fusion on the lines of his guru’s ‘KadhalikkumPenninKaigal’. And when you have Sid Sriram and Alisha of ‘DonuDonu’ fame together, it gets easier to love this.
- En Oruthiye – KodittaIdangalaiNirappuga – C.Sathya
I’m saying it again, C.Sathya is one of the most underrated and under-utilized composers in Tamil cinema. Take this as an example.
- KaruthanvanlaamGaleejam – Velaikkaran – Anirudh
No best buddies like kuthu music and Anirudh. And when the lyrics make so much sense, you can’t help but dance.
- Mella Mella – Maayavan – Ghibran
Highly matured love duet from Ghibran, with tons of transitions and a fabulous female voice. Go back and listen to it if you haven’t.
- Great Ji – MeesaiyaMurukku – Hip Hop Tamizha
Though the effect of the song died down after the protests and the change, I really liked the idea that went into it. More of such compositions from Hip Hop Tamizha would take them higher quickly.
- Medhakavitta Medhakavitta – Ivan Thandhiran – Thaman
Thaman is known for making up these sudden special songs which take you by surprise and force you to hum them. With a profound rise and hook, Medhakavitta is superb stuff, undoubtedly.
- Naan IniKaatril – Yaakkai – Yuvan Shankar Raja
Though his music in 2017 was a mixed bag, Yuvan did not stop but compose a beaut of a song in Naan IniKaatril. It’s one of those minimalistic wonders where you can clearly concentrate on the worthy lyrics.
- Hai, En Kai Mela – Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae – Vishal Chandrasekhar
The kind of song that gives you hope that simple music is still up, running and scoring in Tamil cinema. Vishal Chandrasekhar’s variant use of the Yaanjipair and a string hook still hangs around in my playlist with a glee.
- Paarai Mele- Sathriyan – Yuvan Shankar Raja
Such an uplifting feel, this song has. Yuvan made sure that his music does not tamper with the vocals, and only proves the mettle in the chilling interludes.
- Mersal Arasan – Mersal – AR Rahman
As much credit as you give to AR Rahman for composing a super energetic dance track, you got to give the same to GV Prakash Kumar for doing a bombastic job on the mic. An adrenaline booster, this.
- Anbin Kodi – Aruvi – VedanthBharathwaj
Not a big fan of Aruvi’s soundtrack as I still believe that I have to see the film to get into the mood of things, but this one’s a standout. Different!
Other Worthy Mentions: Nee Illa Aagayam, SiruSiru, Dhevadhai Pol Oruthi, OruVeettil, KaarigaiKanne
Written By: Siddarth Srinivas