Ilaiyaraaja: Solla Solla: The Electronic Pop Sound of Kollywood 1977-1983

Solla Solla: the Electronic Pop Sound of Kollywood 1977-1983

Tell me it’s not a surprise to flip from the yahooing wildman on the front cover of this album to a current photograph of the composer, a mild-looking, traditionally-dressed, balding gentleman, respected composer of devotional music and soundtracks for Tamil movies. “Give me half an hour,” he once said, “and I can finish a film.” Finders Keepers/B-Music has boiled six years of his career down to a single 16-track playlist, describing their selection as “heav[y] dancefloor friendly electronic pop”, so his quieter side is downplayed, and instead we have something closer to the nutty and energetic idea of filmi music that turned up in the opening credits of Ghost World — a daggy and inventive go-for-broke landscape, stuffed with drama and orchestras, extravagant as opera, peopled with come-hither men and female vamps who trill high like Asha Bhosle. “Oh dohling!” croons one of them. “Don’t tickle me!”

RATING 7 / 10