AR Rahman and Mani Ratnam collaborated for the first time for Roja, which released in 1992. Ever since, they have been making waves, churning out beautiful, unforgettable songs like Uyire, Dil Se Re and the most recent Nenjukkulle.
Here are other under-rated, yet brilliant compositions of Rahman for Mani Ratnam films:
1. Rukkumani Rukkumani (Roja):
This album is special for many reasons as it marked AR Rahman’s entry into Tamil cinema. The song features SP Balasubramanian and KS Chithra, a mix of percussion and cymbals, and quirky lyrics written by Vairamuthu.
2. Rasathi En Usuru (Thiruda Thiruda):
Rahman kept orchestration minimal and simple for this poignant love ballad, which is a brilliant example of acapella. This was sung by the late singer Shahul Hameed.
3. Poovukenna Pootu (Bombay):
Poovukenna Pootu can instantly spice up your mood when you are feeling low. The tablas, the guitar and the drums add a touch of rock to the melody. Did you know that GV Prakash was one of the singers along with Noel, Anupama, Shubha and Rahman?
4. Aayirathil Naan Oruvan (Iruvar):
Another brilliant composition from the Mozart of Madras! This song has some jazz elements, and Mano’s rendition has given a different spin to the whole composition.
5. Satrangi Re (Dil Se):
Satrangi Re (En Uyire in Tamil) marks the union of three big shots – AR Rahman, singer Sonu Nigam and lyricist Gulzar. The lyrics are supposed to depict ‘the seven colours of love’.
6. Endrendrum Punnagai (Alaipayuthey):
This refreshing, youthful number cheers you up no matter what. There is another famous song in the album – Mangalyam – which is a melodious version of the same tune.
7. Sattena Ninaindhadhu Nenjam (Kannathil Muthamittal):
This is one of the under-rated songs from the movie, Kannathil Muthamittal. Singer Minmini’s voice, powerful lyrics and the visuals of raw romance make it one of the best numbers of AR Rahman till date.
8. Nenjam Ellam (Aayutha Ezhuthu):
Vairamuthu’s lyrics deserves a special mention. It blends extremely well with AR Rahman’s brilliant composition. However, this song went relatively unnoticed compared to Hey Good Bye Nanba and Yaakai Thiri from the same album.
9. Ye Manpuru Mangaye (Guru):
Sung by Srinivas and Sujatha, AR Rahman has incorporated both Indian and Western music in this particular piece. The song starts off with the tunes of Aaruyire and sways with a classical melody.
10. Kaatu Sirukki (Raavanan):
Singer Anuradha Sriram and Shankar Mahadevan totally own this powerful, wild song. The film which fell flat, and the audio album too, went rather unnoticed.
11. Magudi Magudi (Kadal):
It’s important for music directors to keep themselves updated with new technology. Rahman went a step ahead with Magudi Magudi by composing it on his iPad using an app called Bebot. Dinesh Kothandaraman’s powerful voice is one of the highlights.