This category has folk lyrics with western rhythm arrangement. This is a flavor that Raja uses rarely, but does have its attraction.
Some top of mind examples…
- Oru Kolakili from Uzhaipali (1993) – this entire track is set to western drumming and nice strumming guitar work. Interludes use the synthesizer extensively. Nice flavoring for a folk track!
- Nethu Oruthara Orutharu from Pudhu Paatu (1990) – the track is set to a western rhythm arrangement. Like the previous track, nice use of guitar and synth in this track too.
- Thenpandi Seemaiyile from Nayakan (1987) – this is one of the most popular Raja tracks in Kamal’s voice. Notice the orchestration in this track – fully western with its bass drum, violins The Raja version of the same song uses tabla for its rhythm arrangement and does have the bass drum and grand violins as it is also included towards the end.
- Maasi Madham Aalana Ponnu from Dharmadurai (1991) is one of the best Raja compositions in the Western major scale. The beats get everyone’s attention, but not the wonderful compositions. The choir arrangement along with the violins is mesmerizing
The clip below has three tracks in it. It starts off with Oru Kolakili followed by Nethu Oruthara Orutharu and finally it has the mesmerizing pallavi of Maasi Madham Aalana Ponnu. That’s a sample of Raja’s Neopolitan Flavored Clevrfolk.
The arrangement of these songs are so clever that you either get swayed by the Western rhythm arrangement or the folk lyrics that it escapes the listener's mind how innovative the composer has been in putting such extreme musical elements together. This must be contrasted with the remixes that composers are doing today with old Raja folk tunes. While it goes without saying that this is original work, I call Raja as the microchip maker - he somehow sticks stone and metal together and none of us realize what he does!