24 is the soundtrack album, composed by A. R. Rahman with song lyrics by Vairamuthu and Madhan Karky, to the 2016 Tamil film of the same name, produced by Suriya and directed by Vikram Kumar. The film stars Suriya, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Nithya Menen in lead roles. The album features six tracks, and was released on April 11, 2016 by Eros Music.
In November 2014, A. R. Rahman was announced as the film soundtrack and score composer. Rahman had a six-hour script narration session with Suriya and Vikram Kumar before signing the project. Recording of the track "Punnagaye" written by lyricist Vairamuthu was completed by February 2015. In an interview with The Hindu, Suriya told that recording of one more track was completed by September 2015. According to lyricist Madhan Karky, for the track "Naan Un": Rahman was trying out a tune on his piano and Karky was writing the lyrics while listening to him. He wrote a line in Tamil, "Undhan Azhagil Iraivanai Kaankiraen" that translates to, "In Your Beauty, I See God." An inspiration before composing tunes, Rahman had read the same line from the Prophetic books before composing that track. However, the track was initially composed for some other film. Later, it was reworked to suit the film soundtrack. An additional composition written by Madhan Karky titled, "Dangerskku Hi5 Podu, Daredevilkku Vaanam Podu." was as an intro song only in the film score. However, the track was released as a bonus single under the title "24 Carat" on May 17, 2016.
The original and Telugu versions of the album were released at separate events held at Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai and Shilpkala Vedika in Hyderabad respectively on April 11, 2016. At the launch of original version of the album, there were live performances of songs from the film. Singer Benny Dayal sang the track "Kaalam En Kadhali", followed by Chinmayi singing "Naan Un". Shakthisree Gopalan was next with the track "Aararoo" and the Telugu version "Laalijo" was sung by actress Nithya Menen with A. R. Rahman playing the keyboard.
Gulf News based critic Mythily Ramachandran stated: "A. R. Rahman’s music grows on you and is refreshing." Latha Srinivasan of DNA India mentioned: "A. R. Rahman's songs and score add tremendous value to this script as well." Sify quoted: "Rahman’s songs are big plus for the film and the maestro scores well in the BGM of Athreya’s sequences, especially in the pre-climax portion." Critical review board based at Behindwoods praised the music: "The score in typical A. R. Rahman style sets the mood right for the tale." Mani Prabhu of NDTV Movies called the songs "eye popping" that fits into the entertainment." Anupama Subramaniam of Deccan Chronicle stated: "AR Rahman’s background score elevates the proceedings while the songs are already a hit." Subha Shetty Saha of Mid Day stated that the film has "melodius music" by A. R. Rahman.
Critic S. Saraswathi of Rediff stated: "The beautifully composed songs by Rahman are well picturised, but act as speed breakers to the narrative." Sreedhar Pillai, in his review for Firstpost wrote: "A. R. Rahman’s background music is in sync with the theme of the film, though songs are barely hummable". In his review for The Indian Express, Goutham VS writes: "A R Rahman’s background score blended perfectly with the scenes, especially when Mani’s wonderstruck mind was seeking answers about the mysterious watch, but Rahman seems to have lost his magic when it comes to the songs." For his review to Filmibeat, Avinash Gopinath noted: "AR Rahman's music is not up to the mark. While background score is only average, his songs are made bearable by brilliant visuals."
Baradwaj Rangan, in his review for The Hindu, wrote that the numbers by A. R. Rahman are lead up to only for the film. M. Suganth of The Times of India wrote: "AR Rahman disappoints with a rather serviceable score."Arathi Kanan for the online newspaper Manorama wrote: "Rahman interludes are welcome. However, the routine placement of the songs are boring."
Note–The order of tracks on the digital and physical versions of the album are different. The track listing below is according to the digital versions of the soundtrack album.
All lyrics written by Chandrabose, except track 5.
Credits adapted from CD liner notes of the soundtrack album.Backing Vocals
Dr. Narayanan, D. Sathya Prakash, Nivas, Santhosh Hariharan, Deepak, Maalavika Sundar, Pooja Vaidyanath, Sharanya Srinivas, Sowmya Mahadevan, Suzanne D'Mello, S. Kousihan, Gary Mesquitta, Alan D'Souza, Hrishikesh Kamerkar, Lara Pinto, Keshia Braganza, Poorvi KoutishPersonnel
Strings: The Sunshine Chamber Group
Indian Rhythm: T. Raja Kumar, Neelagandhan, Vedha, Chinna Prasad
Flute: Kareem, Kamalakar
Guitars: Keba Jeremiah
Cello: V. Sekar
Kora: Keba Jeremiah
Record Producer: A. R. Rahman
Mastering: Suresh Permal
Strings conductor: V. J. Srinivasamurthy (at AM Studios, Chennai)
Mixing: T. R. Krishna Chetan, Nitish R. Kumar, Ishaan Chhabra
Additional Programming: Hentry Kuruvilla, T. R. Krishna Chetan, Ishaan Chhabra, Jerry Vincent, Samir D. Santhosh
Music co-ordinators: Noell James, Vijay Iyer
Musicians' fixer: R. Samidurai