A.R. Rahman’s compositions are among the few songs that I can listen to on repeat without actually getting bored. When someone asks me what my favorite album of his is, my brain becomes a blank slate, and choosing just one is suddenly difficult. I enjoy almost every single album of his as if it’s my favourite, but overall, I would have to say that Mani Ratnam‘s Alaipayuthey is my favourite album of his.
The songs from Alaipayuthey have held a special place in my heart since I was a child. I’ve been listening to the songs from this album since I was born, without even realising they were from Alaipayuthey. Every single Indian movie I watched on DVD would always start with songs and ads. Almost all of the songs from Alaipayuthey would be featured there, and I would always sing along, especially to ‘Pachai Nirame’ and ‘Snehidhane’. I practically have those songs memorised.
I saw Alaipayuthey for the first time nearly fourteen years after I first heard the songs, after a friend recommended the movie to me. The first song, ‘Yaro Yarodi’, came early on in the movie, and I was surprised to hear it. It felt like a jolt of nostalgia, the same feeling you get when you meet an old friend after a long time. It was refreshing to hear that song again. (I didn’t know that I was in for more surprises with the rest of the songs in the movie.) I kept skipping back and listening to the song over and over again before moving on to the rest of the movie. Indeed, it was something small to get excited about, but it’s not every day that something from your childhood pops up again randomly fourteen years later.
Even now, it’s quite hard to not get hyped up whenever the songs start playing. There’s some excitement inside me that rises, even if it’s a song like ‘Evano Oruvan’. Just the knowledge that it’s from Alaipayuthey makes me want to get up and start singing and dancing along. You can practically relive the whole movie through the nine songs on the album.
Another thing to note about the album is that it has elements of rap, Carnatic, hip hop, acoustic, pop, and folk. Almost all the popular genres can be found in that one album. Even if you don’t listen to another album of A.R. Rahman’s, you would know his brilliance and versatility just by listening to Alaipayuthey.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.