Music Review | Kaminey
It’s as if Tarantino and Timbaland’s love child went into the studio to put this soundtrack together. The real credits read Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar, who may seem like the odd pair, but they’ve done it again—collaborated on a piece of music that will be bloody hard to beat this year. Only these two could have turned the most spoofed sound that was once considered vital to any nail-biting twist of plot into a hook. Dhan Te Nan , the first track of the soundtrack is all grit, typical of Bhardwaj’s work and yet so atypical. He is splicing up a dance-y electro glam beast which is nothing like Beedi (of Omkara ) in form but everything like it in its effect. The rushing, shifting beats, churning strings, the distorted, now-twanging-now-grinding axe and two of the biggest gun throats of Bollywood (Vishal Dadlani and Sukhwinder Singh) take Dhan Te Nan on a menacing testosterone drive. Gulzar’s lines Aaja aaja dil nichodein/Raat mein matki todein/Koi good luck nikale/Aaj gullak to phodein turn the track around into a killer bad-boy number meant for mean street gangs. Gulzar brings the future with him in every dark twist of the lip: Koi chaal aisi chalo yaar ab ke / Samandar bhi pul pe chale . The remix, unlike most, pulls back the tempo and lays down some heavy beats fit for a floor full of bling. Sounds like? Dhan, boom, hiss, te nan, of course.
Kaminey: Composed by Vishal Bhardwaj, T-Series, Rs160.
After Dhan Te Nan everything else has to be an anti-climax. It’s as simple as the law of gravity. It’s impossible to bear Mohit Chauhan do the all too familiar sad song routine. Mellow’s all right for Pehli Baar Mohabbat, but melancholy? Chauhan does melancholy exceedingly well but it’s now inching closer to b-o-r-i-n-g. Like the rest of the songs, this one too isn’t short of glowing lines: Yaad hai peepal ke jiske ghane saayen the/Humne gilhari ke jhoothe matar khaaye the. You’ll warm up to the track after a couple of listens but if it’s a Bhardwaj slow-burner you’re searching for, it’s got to be Laakad from Omkara with vocalist Rekha Bhardwaj at her best. She returns on Raat Ke Dhai Baje on Kaminey’s soundtrack. Here she’s purring like a teasing sex kitten. Sunidhi Chauhan, Kunal Ganjawala and Suresh Wadkar all pitch in to build Raat Ke Dhai Baje into a hottie, but don’t expect Beedi.
Bhardwaj opens the track on a Maharashtrian folk beat only to surprise you with the shehnai and rap later. But 3 minutes into the track, and there’s Wadkar’s interlude which slows the track down and there’s a weirdo whispering a thank you speech. This is an experiment gone off track even if it’s just for a few seconds. It’s easy to lose interest in the track at this point but Bhardwaj fortunately has no more tacky surprises in store. The next track, Fatak, brings together Sukhwinder and Kailash Kher in a fantastic face-off of sorts. The track reminds you of Omkara’s title track in parts. But you’ve got to give it to Bhardwaj and Gulzar. These guys have a sense of humour. Chances are you’ll be laughing your head off to some cheeky sex advice that’s dished out in Fatak.
Let’s rock ’n’ roll: Shahid Kapoor in Kaminey
The title track is a slow solo by Bhardwaj that stretches itself over a rain-drenched evening of gloom well. It’s not his best blues but it will do nicely. I expected another fire-bellied, lung-exploding number going by the title, but the swear word rolls off Bhardwaj’s tongue as an endearment. He is impressive with the blues and he’s had some of the finest artists at work with him—whether it’s Laakad, Paani Paani Re from Maachis, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, or even a brooding ballad like Rozaana from Nishabd, which set Bachchan’s vocals in a Springsteen-edged melody.
Bhardwaj springs a surprise with his newfound hip-hop fangs and Gulzar goes on to shock again and again as he redefines Bollywood lingo with every new soundtrack. I was greedy for a lot more in Kaminey —maybe a stirring love song along the lines of Daler Mehndi’s Ru Ba Ru ( Maqbool) but then it’s good that I can’t get enough of Dhan Te Nan
Lalitha Suhasini is a freelance music journalist.
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