I am a shamelessly proud fan of A R Rahman. And there are some times when I wonder myself whether there have been cases of me liking a Rahman song just BECAUSE it happened to be a Rahman song and whether he REALLY is as great as I like to think. In such rare moments of doubt, all I need to do is play any one of my favorite songs, close my eyes and lose myself in the immense pleasure those sounds bring to me. There are many many songs that have such an effect on me and a lot of them are famous enough so that most of you would've heard them. So, let me recommend one that you might've missed.
Two of ARR's most underrated albums (aren't they all underrated? even the most hyped probably deserve to be hyped even more! :P ) are Sangamam and Taj Mahal and its a pity that people who aren't exposed to tamil songs will probably never listen to these songs. They probably won't even be dubbed in hindi simply because of the tamil folk touch that most of these songs have. To people who are willing to invest 15-20 minutes of their time based on my recommendation, I'd suggest they listen to "Karisal Tharisal" from Taj Mahal. Play the song, increase the volume to the level that you enjoy most, close your eyes and relax. Try to ignore the fact that you don't understand tamil if that's the case. Then play the song again (you'll find that ignoring the tamil part isn't even an issue after the first listening). And once more. If you find even half as much joy as I get from this song, you'll thank me (and ARR, of course) for that!
strict instruction: don't even try to listen to the song on Raaga/Musicindiaonline etc. If you can't find it anywhere, send me a mail. It'll probably be within the realm of possibility to convince myself that I am not encouraging piracy by sending a tamil song to someone who wasn't going to buy a tamil song anyway. If I can convert even one person so that he/she then goes ahead and buys some tamil albums, I think it will be worth it.
strict instruction 2: don't blame me if you don't find the song great after the first hearing and decide not to listen to it again. "3 hearings before verdict" is the ARR rule. Follow it.