Most Underrated Tamil Songs of A.R.Rahman

Top 20 Tamil Songs of A.R.Rahman that are Most Underrated

As much as A.R. Rahman is celebrated worldwide, he's got as many songs that have become underrated over the years. Some turned underrated during the release time itself. But to appreciate his true potential, every Rahman fan has to listen to these songs. Here are the top 20 underrated Tamil songs of A.R. Rahman.

1. Chithirai Nilavu from Vandicholai Chinnarasu (1994)

Beginning with a lilting piccolo prelude, this breezy folk ballad oozes melody all over. Overshadowed by Senthamizhnaatu Tamizhachiye, this duet was not celebrated much. P. Jayachandran and Minmini complement each other very well with their pleasing rendition. Rahman uses the piccolo once again in the interludes. In fact, the interlude piccolo section was revamped and reused in the interlude of Rehna Tu from Delhi-6. 

Listen to the song here:

2. Karisal Tharisal from Taj Mahal (1999)

This movie had chartbuster numbers like Chotta Chotta, Eechi Elumichi, Kulirudhu Kulirudhu, and Thirupaachi Aruvaale. Nestled among such well-known songs is this gem Karisal Tharisal, sung beautifully by M.G. Sreeram and K.S. Chithra. The uniqueness of this song lies in the different layers that Rahman gives to it. The track begins with one tune, veers into another, and ends on a high note with the racy 'Mel kaattu moolaiyile megam illa minnal illa bhoomi nananjiruchu...' where Srinivas joins for the humming. This section was used for a scene in Ambikapathy, the Tamil dubbed version of Dhanush's Raanjhanaa.

Listen to this song here:

3. Endhan Nenjil from Alli Arjuna (2002)

Rahman reused his tune Sona Nahi Na Sahi from the Hindi movie One 2 Ka 4. It is mind-blowing how he chose the perfect singers, Srinivas and Janaki, to croon the Tamil version. Based on a Qawwali-ish rhythm, this romantic song has many nuances that get to you after repeated listens. The chorus which goes 'paahimaam paahimaam' is a delight to listen to.

Listen to this song here:

4. Signore Signore from Kannathil Muthamittal (2002)

When the album was released, this unique song went unnoticed amidst the popularity that numbers like Oru Dheivam Thandha Poove, Vellai Pookal, and Vidai Kodu received. Featuring Sinhalese lyrics by B.H. Abdul Hameed, this quirky number is a peppy track crooned by an ensemble of singers - Devan Ekambaram, Noel James, Swarnalatha, Karthik, Anupama, and Rafique. Though the song was composed for a situation, it still is a standalone favourite for many true-blue Rahman fans.

Listen to this song here:

5. O Kaadhale from Kadhal Virus (2002)

Kadhal Virus was a versatile album with chartbuster melodies like Sonnalum Ketpadhillai and Endhan Vaanil, the racy Vaan Nila, and the upbeat Ye Ye Enna Aachu Unakku. This heart-melting pathos was overshadowed by the rest of the songs. Picturized on Richard and Sridevi, this number appears at a crucial point in the movie. Having Mano's soul-stirring vocals and Clinton Cerejo's moving humming, this heartbreak song has the potential to become an addiction.

Listen to this song here:

6. Kaadhal Vettukkili from Parasuram (2003)

Parasuram was one of the weakest albums in Rahman's career. One good song to come out of it was this peppy romantic duet sung by Karthik and Sadhana Sargam. Though the composition has nothing unique to write home about, it still serves as a good listen for a breezy evening. 

Listen to this song here:

7. Kama Kama from Enakku 20 Unakku 18 (2003)

Rahman composed this youthful album with some mesmerizing numbers like Yedho Yedho Ondru and Santhipoma. Other songs like Oru Nanban Irundhaal, Asathura Asathura, and Azhahina Azhagi fared well with the visuals. But, among them, this peppy campus song went unnoticed. Sung by a host of singers like Kunal Ganjawala, Anupama, Blaaze, Aparna, and George Peter, this foot-tapping track is a must-have in your Rahman playlist.

Listen to this song here:

8. En Uyir Thozhiye from Kangalal Kaidhu Sei (2004)

Replete with scintillating piano notes in the prelude and interludes, this pleasing melody is a masterpiece to come out of Rahman's talent. The song is multi-layered and you can melt when Unni Menon goes 'Iniyavale...Amaidhi puratchi ondru nadandhadhe...'. Pa. Vijay's lyrics are delightful with quotable lines like 'idhu vingnyaana maatrama...meignyaana maatrama...ennulle nadandhadhu enna enna...'. The cherry on the cake is Chinmayi's soulful voice which flows like a river throughout.

Listen to this song here:

9. Pookum Malarai from Udhaya (2004)

While Udhaya Udhaya became a rage, Hariharan crooned yet another song in this album. His carefree singing coupled with the breezy tune makes this number a joy to listen to. The visuals of the song too are lighthearted featuring actor Vijay in some casual scenes.

Listen to this song here:

10. Thigu Thigu from Anbe Aaruyire (2005)

The theme song of this movie, Mayilirage, and Maramkothiye became instant chartbusters. The rest of the songs didn't end up becoming popular but they were equally celebrated by Rahman fans. However, this particular song is a tad different from the rest. Sensuous, appealing, and romantic, this fruity song was perfectly helmed by Sadhana Sargam, complemented by Blaaze's vocals. 

Listen to this song here:

11. Maaricham from Sillunu Oru Kaadhal (2006)

While Munbe Va and Newyork Nagaram are still a rage, Machakaari and Gummi Aadi are still vibe-worthy, Maja Maja and the theme song still rule Rahmaniacs playlists, this unknown number has been lost in the shine of the other tracks. Though it is not known why Rahman composed it for this movie (maybe it would have been an alternative composition for Machakaari), it is an upbeat track with undertones of sensuality. Sung by 'Jingle Queen' Caralisa Monteiro, Mohammed Aslam, and Krishna Iyer, this underrated song deserves a listen.

Listen to this song here:

12. Naan Eppodhu from Sakkarakatti (2008)

Rahman reused his Hindi composition Yeh Rishta from Meenaxi. Reena Bhardwaj crooned both versions and her voice is a delight to listen to. Peppered with a mellowed rhythm and reverberation in the charanam, this melodious song embodies the concept of the female gaze brilliantly.

Listen to this song here:

13. Sollividu Sollividu from Kaaviya Thalaivan (2014)

Encapsulating the scenes of a war scene in a stage drama, this empowering song rendered by Mukesh Mohamed can infuse energy into lethargic mornings. Rahman's brilliance lies in the pathos section of the song that goes like 'Oh ulagame yuththam etharkku...'.

Listen to this song here:

14. Punnagaye from 24 (2016)

This underrated song beats the other songs on this list. Despite being in a popular album, it never appeared in the movie, thereby getting sidetracked and ending up unnoticed. The song sways between being a melody and a peppy number. While Haricharan's uplifting vocals provide the much-needed boost, Shashaa Tirupathi's mellowed rendition grounds the track.

Listen to this song here:

15. Tango Kelaayo from Kaatru Veliyidai (2017)

Azhagiye, Vaan, Nallai Allai, and Sarattu Vandiyila turned out to be chartbusters, while this song was overshadowed by them. Indulging in a Tango rhythm, this ballroom song is pleasant as well as evocative. Haricharan's excellence lies in his voice modulation which he does for a line in the Pallavi and sings in a female voice. Rahman fills the entire song with orchestral arrangement and ebullient chord progression to make it an eclectic listen.

Listen to this song here:

16. Dingu Dongu from Sarvam Thaala Mayam (2019)

This folk song celebrating our cultural arts did not garner the attention that it should have received. It is, by far, one of the late Bamba Bakya's best renditions. Anthony Daasan joins him and lends his energetic vocals to the song. A must-listen if you love foot-tapping folk numbers.

Listen to this song here:

17. Nee Illa Naanum from 99 Songs (2021)

Though the original Hindi version Teri Nazar sung by Shashwath Singh was released in 2020, it was this Tamil version that was more moving. Haricharan sings this heartbreak number with so much elan that by the end of the song you'd be hitting on the repeat button. Kabilan's lyrics are to be appreciated for bringing in the flavour of the original and not making the song feel like a revamp.

Listen to this song here:

18. Paavam Seiyathiru from Iravin Nizhal (2022)

The album as a whole is one of the most underrated albums of 2022. The songs were so musically rich that only true-blue Rahmaniacs could appreciate their excellence. While quintessential tracks like Kaayam, Kannethire, and Mayava Thooyava scored well, this classical number was forgotten. Crooned by Niranjana Ramanan and Keerthana Vaidyanathan, this song inculcates lyrics written by Kaduveli Siddhar. It is also one of the longest songs to come out in recent times.

Listen to this song here:

19. Idhudhaan En Kadhai from Galatta Kalyanam (2021)

No other song is as multilayered as this one in recent times. After a long time, Rahman has composed a number incorporating many ragas in it. The song passes through lots of crests and troughs as Srinivas croons the heartbreaking lines written by Kabilan, supported by melting guitar strums.

Listen to this song here:

20. Yele Ilanchingamey from Cobra (2022)

As soon as the album was released, this song became an underrated one. Sung by Rakshitha Suresh, this lullaby-like melody makes for a good sleeping pill at night. The song doesn't even have an official lyric video but it should find a place in your playlist.

Listen to this song here:


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