WHO DA MAN? SANTHOSH DA MAN! (KABALI – HINDI VERSION – Music Review)

Music Album Details
♪ Music by: Santhosh Narayanan
♪ Lyrics by: Raqueeb Alam & Roshan Jamrock
♪ Music Label: Think Music
♪ Music Released On: 12th July 2016
♪ Movie Releases On: 22nd July 2016

Kabali (Hindi) Album Cover

Kabali (Hindi) Album Cover

 

To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn CLICK HERE

To buy this album on iTunes CLICK HERE


Kabali is an upcoming Tamil gangster-drama film, starring the one and only superstar Rajinikanth, along with Winston Chao and Radhika Apte. The film has been directed by Pa. Ranjith, and produced by Kalaipuli S. Thanu. I am shocked at how the Hindi version of the film hasn’t been promoted too much, like the Hindi versions of ‘Robot’, ‘Kochadaiiyaan’ and ‘Lingaa’ were, but hopefully, the film attracts the audience to theaters! Behind the music, this time, we have not A.R. Rahman, who up till now was a regular in Rajinikanth’s soundtracks, but we have Santhosh Narayanan, a very promising composer, who incidentally also debuted in Bollywood earlier this year with ‘Saala Khadoos’, which had quite some good and energetic songs according to the movie’s theme. This time, his Tamil album has been released in Hindi for the dubbed version of the film, and what a prestige it must be for him to have composed for Rajinikanth in just his fourth year of being a professional composer! (He debuted as a composer for films in 2012). Expectations are high from the music, and keeping in mind that the movie is a gangster drama, I’ll be on the lookout for such music! 😀 Though I don’t always like such songs, hopefully Santhosh’s songs will make me change my likes!! So let’s get into the soundtrack for ‘Kabali’!!


1. Jag Hai Ye Dabang Ka
Singers ~ Shankar Mahadevan & Rohit Fernandes, Rap Written and Performed by ~ Roshan Jamrock

A powerpacked song is offered to you as the first song in the album. The song starts off with dynamic notes, indicating an energetic theme track that is about to start. The song is just that, a theme song that praises and worships the titular character of the movie, Kabali. The composition is just perfect for such a song; it has shades of inspiration, motivation and worship for a god-like figure (who in this case is a gangster 😲) Santhosh adds great variations in each line, and each line has a different effect. The hookline is pretty much the mukhda of the song, and though it sounds like a very typical Rajinikanth song, it manages to hook you very well. The part where they sing “Kabaliiii” sounds very beautiful. Also, the “Taakat apni himmat karde… ” sounds very inspirational. Santhosh Narayanan chooses singers wisely here, and in choosing Shankar Mahadevan for the lead vocals, exercises great cleverness. Shankar is perfect for the energetic and confident vocals of the song, and nobody else could’ve sung it be better. The backing vocals are very motivational and are a characteristic of such motivational songs. It is actually the composition that makes the song work so well. A rap portion by Roshan Jamrock in the interlude entertains and actually has better lyrics. At least it isn’t about party and drinks. Santhosh also wins in the arrangements. Energetic percussion (R.K. Sundar) helps the song to get the required zeal and enthusiasm. The occasional techno sound helps to increase the universal appeal of the song. Strings and electric guitars also add to the majestic part of the arrangements. Raqueeb Alan’s lyrics are, as I said, worshipping a larger-than-life figure, and are pretty functional. A winner by Santhosh right at the beginning of the album! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

2. Jadoo Rawan Rawan
Singers ~ Pradeep Kumar, Ananthu, Shreya Ghoshal & Sanjana Kalmanje

In the next song, we get bliss for 4½ minutes, and Santhosh leaves no stone unturned while ensuring that the listeners get the best experience of their lives listening to the song. To start off, we get a ravishing guitar loop, which is what makes you get goosebumps right at the beginning of the song. When Pradeep Kumar starts singing though, you know nothing can get better. Santhosh has created such a soulful, emotional, melancholic composition with strong classical undertones, haunting to the core. Each and every line holds a surprise for the listener. It is a melody that will take the listener into an altogether different space for 4½ minutes. It is the hookline that’s sooooo well composed and haunting, and giving you the most haunting experience you’ve had since a long time. I wish more songs like this were composed in proper Bollywood! Coming to the singers, it is not a surprise that the song needed three voices to make it sound so good. The two male voices are excellent. On the one hand, we have Pradeep Kumar (a Tamil singer), whose voice is so sweet and smooth, while on the other hand there’s Ananthu, with a folksier voice. He has taken charge of the hookline, which is composed like a Carnatic classical song. The composer has brought a great contrast between the two. And then we have our very own Bollywood singer Shreya Ghoshal, who handles her parts so charismatically, it actually feels like a dream. Sanjana Kalmanje with the backing vocals, in the second interlude too, does well. Arrangements have to be fabulous if I’m praising the song so much. Santhosh weaves magic with the tablas (played oh-so-wonderfully by Sai Shravanam) and then there is the acoustic guitar by Keba Jeremiah, which impresses highly! The Spanish guitars (by the singer himself, Pradeep Kumar) bring a great variation into the song in the first interlude. The Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra does some wonderful strings in the song, too. At the end of the song, though, it is the tabla that has left a striking impact on us. Raqueeb’s lyrics are great, too, and make you think, or rather, are meant to make you think. I’m saying that because Santhosh’s wonderful composition hardly let’s you think of anything else except the composition, arrangements and the vocals!! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

3. Veeron Ki Bheed Men
Singer ~ Francois Castellino, Rap Written & Performed by ~ Roshan Jamrock

After that beautiful classical gem of a song, here’s a song that takes you back to the jazz era. The song sounds quite weird at the first listen, but later you start grooving to it, dancing along to it and whatnot. The song starts off with an awesome acapella group, that makes the start of the song really interesting. Santhosh doesn’t really have to compose much in this song, which leaves you thinking where you are, and whether you’ve played the right song. The whole song is like a rap song, with most of it being just rao and nothing else much. This really makes it sound a lot like what it should, being a song in a gangster-themed movie. The problem is, there’s nothing to follow in the song, with everything going haywire. Arrangements make up for the minimal composition, and Santhosh really experiments with jazz — the trumpets (Vijay) accompanying each other nicely. Drums (Tapass Naresh) are another highlight of the track. Jhanu Chantar’s electric guitars give that groove, a characteristic groove that each song of this type usually has. Francois Castellino, who I remember only as the ‘Nakhre’ (Action Replayy) singer, ‘sings’ or rather, says the song with the required ‘swag’ and attitude. At some places, he actually sounds like Amitabh Bachchan. 😀 Raqueeb Alam writes the Hindi lyrics, while Roshan Jamrock writes the English rap, and performs both Hindi and English raps. 😛 Both are situational, so there really is no point in deciphering what they mean. Pretty good, but without that gripping factor that the previous two songs had!

 

4. Taare Saare Chhup Gae
Singer ~ Pradeep Kumar, Backing Vocals ~ Vasudevan, Senthil Das, Sam, Sunderrajan, Balaji, Murali

A dazzling flute (Vishnu Vijay) opens up this song, another melodic piece composed on classical notes. The composition does have shades of ‘Jadoo Rawan Rawan’, and seems like a reprise of it, but it isn’t. The composition is endearing, and Santhosh puts all his soul into it. It results in a melodious song which seems to be placed at a very critical scene in the movie. Again, the composition is totally unpredictable, with vast ranges of notes and sudden changes. It is heavy on the ears, but grows slowly. The vocals by Pradeep are applause worthy. He very beautifully puts the emotion into the song. The backing chorus does well too, arriving mostly after the first antara, and singing a haunting operatic piece. The haunting composition stands out because of the minimal arrangements. Piano notes play out the melody, while the strings (again by the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra) impress a lot. The flute happens to impress thoroughly though, and like every song has a highlight, the flute is the highlight of this song. Haunting percussion are present after the first antara, when things get more heavy and haunting, replacing the minimal guitars (Pradeep Kumar) that led through the first part of the song. Raqueeb’s lyrics are good, but of course the dubbing disadvantages kick in at places, and some lines seem out of their place. Another beautiful symphonic piece! #5StarHotelSong!!

 

5. Aag Hun Main
Singers ~ Suraj Jagan & Arunraja Kamaraj

To end the soundtrack, we have a grungy heavy metal song, which really suits the theme of the movie, but kind of tough to digest for me! Nevertheless, I will try to rate it unbiasedly. The song starts off with a weird, wailing, siren sound, which is earsplitting. Until someone says in a grungy voice, “Aag Hun Main!!!!”, which makes you make that weird facial expression signifying “What have I landed myself into!?” The composition by Santhosh is very situational, and definitely not to be liked by everyone. It is more like a theme track, like the ones that play in a movie when the bad guy has finished doing his bad deeds, and walks away with the camera focusing on his evil smile. The tune is really tough to catch, but will be devoured by rock lovers. The arrangements however, provide really interesting stuff to hear! The rock guitars (Jhanu Chantar) are soooo electrifying. They do resemble the rock guitars in ‘Dil Haara’ (Tashan) a bit in the beginning of the song though. The next main highlight in the arrangements is the whistle. It is as good as the whistle in the ‘Kill/Dil’ title track, which had that type of whistle, and which was lapped up by all kinds of listeners. Vijaynarain and Sri Shyamalangan have done the whistle wonderfully! Nothing else is really prominent, except maybe the drums by Tapass Naresh. Electronic noises are present as well, making it just as much of a dynamic affair. Suraj Jagan is at comfort, with the vocals, as it is his forte. Raqueeb writes lyrics that again, are situational, so I don’t really mind about them. Pretty disappointing for someone who doesn’t hold much interest in such heavy rock, but will be devoured by the rock lovers!


Kabali is a great theme-based album. It may be lacking in its qualities as a whole album, but it does have some good songs. Santhosh, after proving himself in Bollywood with ‘Saala Khadoos’ earlier this year, also makes it big in his first Rajinikanth album. (And I say first because I believe there are many more to come!) Santhosh sticks to the theme of the movie, and proves that he’s da man!

 

Final Rating for This Album: सा < रे < ग < म < प <  < नी < सां

Note: The letter which is underlined is the final rating.

Recommended Listening Order: Jadoo Rawan Rawan > Taare Saare Chhup Gae > Jag Hai Ye Dabang Ka > Veeron Ki Bheed Men > Aag Hun Main

 

Which is your favourite song from Kabali? Please vote for it below! Thanks! 🙂

KOCHADAIIYAAN – HINDI VERSION (MUSIC REVIEW)

So the time has come for me to finally post my first review on this blog! I hope you guys enjoy! I’m a very big Pritam fan but there isn’t a new album composed by him to review so I decided to start with this album because it is by the ‘Mozart of Madras’, ‘Musical Maestro’, the one and only, A.R. Rahman! One of the finest and most popular composers in our country nowadays. Read on!


Album Details:-

Music by:- A.R. Rahman | Lyrics by:- Irshad Kamil, Raqueeb Alam & Mehboob | Music Label:- Eros Music | Music Released On:- 13th March 2014 | Movie Releasing On:- 9th May 2014

Kochadaiiyaan Album Cover

Kochadaiiyaan Album Cover

 To hear the full songs of this album on Saavn  CLICK HERE

 


Kochadaiiyaan is the latest film starring the ‘Thalaivaa’, Rajinikanth. This film has been in the news since the past three years or so and it has got delayed many times. However, it is finally releasing on the 9th of May this year! In this film directed by Rajinikanth’s daughter herself, Soundarya Ashwin, Rajinikanth will be starring opposite the current queen of Bollywood, Deepika Padukone. What’s more, it is an out-and-out animated film using Motion Capture Technology, which is a first for India! It is a period drama film and its name is inspired by the name of the Pandya Dynasty king, Kochadaiyan Ranadhiran. However, the main thing which I was looking forward to about this movie was its music by A.R. Rahman. After an Okay Okay album for Highway, I had huge expectations from this album. So did the music meet my expectations? Read on to find out!


1. Aye Jawaan:- Singers ~ A.R. Rahman, A.R. Raihanna, Lyrics ~ Mehboob

The album kicks off with a song sung by the Maestro himself, along with his sister A.R. Raihanna, who is also the mother of composer G.V. Prakash Kumar who had composed for ‘Joker’ in 2012. This is her first Hindi song. The song kicks off with a trumpet fanfare like that in most movies about kings and queens from the past centuries. Then Raihanna starts with her part, which is the same paragraph repeating again and again throughout the whole song. Even though she just has to repeat the same lines in the whole song, she sings them very nicely and her vocals sound great with the trumpets in the background. Of course her pronunciations of some Hindi words are not spot-on. Then comes in the Maestro Rahman. When he sung his first lines, I felt great! I don’t know why but I just did! His voice is that powerful! The music is great and perfect for this type of inspirational song, especially the chorus part which starts from ‘Aye Hawaa…’ and ends with ‘….thakta hi nahi.’ It will make you forget everything that you’re doing at the time and just listen to the song! The lyrics are also perfect for an inspirational song. The song, in spite of being so loud, still has a calming effect on you. Especially, again, the chorus part, which is loud, but just as much calm as it is loud. The last stanza ‘Sona chandi tohfa hai…’ is just like a sweet conclusion to such a loud but great song. When the seven-odd minute song ended, I didn’t at all feel that it was so long! When it ends, you will feel that it was pretty short and you will be left wanting more. A must-listen track with fabulous vocals from the Maestro and his sister!

 

2. Dil Chaspiya:- Singers ~ Jonita Gandhi, Arijit Singh, Lyrics ~ Irshad Kamil

Ever since ‘Tum Hi Ho’ fever started last year, Arijit Singh had got a chance to work with almost every famous music director, right from Vishal-Shekhar, who he had worked with before ‘Tum Hi Ho’ also, in ‘Shanghai’, to Amit Trivedi and Sajid-Wajid recently in ‘Queen’ and ‘Main Tera Hero’. But there was one composer who he hadn’t yet worked with, and that was A.R. Rahman. So when he actually got to sing a song for A.R. Rahman and that too, as the voice of Rajinikanth, we can imagine what he must have felt. Anyways, back to the song. This song starts with a piano piece on loop and flute in between. Jonita starts with her part which sounds good, but when Arijit starts, you will forget that there is even a female singer too! He sings with such a great voice that the next time you will hear the song, you will want to skip the female parts and hear only the parts where Arijit sings. The lyrics by Irshad Kamil are also good. The music is great, and it reminded me of the old songs which Rahman used to make. The tune of the antara is better than the mukhda, which repeats after the antara. I was hoping for two antaras but the song had only one and then the same mukhda played again, which was the only disappointing part of the song. The traditional Indian percussion instruments like tabla and Matka are used very nicely throughout the song. Rahman returned to his old days with this song and the other star is Arijit who took hold of the opportunity when he got a chance to sing for Rahman! #5StarHotelSong  

 

3. Bol De:- Singers ~ Javed Ali, Rajinikanth and V. Umashankar (Vocals at the end which is known as Jathi in Carnatic music), Lyrics ~ Irshad Kamil

This song starts very dramatically with very loud percussion which, even though it is loud, is amazing! The track is full of inspirational sayings which are said by Rajinikanth himself. In this song, Javed Ali uses a different voice from his usual sweet voice. In this song he uses a deep and ‘buland’ (loud and strong) voice, but he still sounds great. Half of the song is not sung, but said only. However, you will never get bored of the dialogues because of the way that Rajinikanth delivers them. The chorus part is so strong that you will feel inspired to do something and incorporate the golden sayings which Rajinikanth is reciting. The song revolves around how important change is in life. At the background of the dialogue portions, there are instruments played like trumpet and orchestra bits have also been added. The end of the song is yet another awesome part of the song and that is a classical vocal part by V. Umashankar. He has done his part flawlessly. Must listen to this song for the excellent use of the percussion and orchestra and wonderful use of Rajinikanth’s voice in the song!  

 

4. Vaada Vaada:- Singer ~ (Female Version) ~ Shashaa Tirupathi, (Male Version) ~ Karthik, Lyrics ~ Irshad Kamil

This song is a wedding song and the moment it starts, you get lost in the music! It gives a soothing effect as well as a divine feeling. The singer of the female version, Shashaa Tirupati, has not sung many songs in Bollywood, but in this song, she does great! The music is great in which we can hear traditional Indian instruments like shehnaai and manjira. The tune is also very simple and sweet, just perfect for a wedding song. It is a very short track compared to the others and when it ends you feel like there should have been one more stanza or at least a little instrumental piece at the end to make it longer. But there’s a male version too, and I guess that’s why the song was deliberately short. The female version is better than the male version. The male version starts on a higher scale than the female version. I personally thought that this type of song didn’t need a male version as it was sounding good in the female version itself. However, the singer of the male version, Karthik, has also done his job sincerely. I guess all the credit goes to Rahman for composing such a divine track and choosing the singers well. Try it if you want to experience an awesome soothing effect along with a feeling of divinity.    

 

5. Mera Gham:-  Singers ~ Shreya Ghoshal, Javed Ali, Lyrics ~ Irshad Kamil

THIS was the type of song I was waiting for in this album! A song of the old 90s waala Rahman, a song which is purely classically inspired, a song like the hit songs he used to give back then such as ‘Hai Rama Yeh Kya Kiya’ from ‘Rangeela’. And yes, this song will remind you of that song. It starts with Shreya Ghoshal’s vocals which are supported with very minimal instruments until she says the haunting lines which will transport you out of this world and those lines start from ‘Meri jaaaaan…..aise, o aise…’ and end at ‘….kaisi hulchul meri palkon pe.’ Then Rahman makes her repeat those lines once more, giving a double treat to the ears. Then Javed Ali enters, again using his ‘buland’ voice. His part has more of percussion and instruments. When Shreya takes the aalaap after that, you will feel even more great! Then she says the lines once more! The same tune of the whole mukhada repeats and the song ends with the vocals of Shreya Ghoshal with only support of the taanpura. As it started, the same way it ends, with very less instruments, and a slow line sung by Shreya. The lyrics by Irshad Kamil are also great, but since this album is originally Tamil, and translated into Hindi, they might sound odd and as if they don’t fit in with the music. A great, haunting but still melodious track, which will make you feel proud that you have been born in the same time period as Rahman and Shreya Ghoshal! #5StarHotelSong  

 

6. Thandav:-  Singers ~ Kochadaiiyaan Ensemble, Lyrics ~ Raqueeb Alam

This can be called the title song of the movie, as it describes the main character, Kochadaiiyaan and his greatness. This song also starts with fanfare from trumpets, and a lot of percussion is used. The lyrics sound like an overdose of Sanskrit, but they are needed according to the time period of the movie. All the singers in the ensemble sing very well. It will remind you of ‘Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah’ from ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ because it is of the same type where the subjects are praising their king or something like that. Good song which is needed in such a film but not as great as other songs which Rahman has made in this genre.  

 

7. Rana’s Dream:-  Instrumental, played by London Session Orchestra

It is an instrumental piece which most probably will play in the background, and Rahman has conducted the London Sessions Orchestra very efficiently. It sounds great with flutes and violins being heard prominently. There isn’t much to say about this track except for a piece of advice, that is, to hear it with earphones/headphones for the best experience!  

 

8. Aaya Khwaab Ka Mausam:- Singer ~ Raghav Mathur, Lyrics ~ Raqueeb Alam

Turns out that the previous track was an instrumental version of this song, which was released last year, but only in Tamil, so I didn’t pay attention to it. It is a type of song which would be played while a war is going on. This song also has great percussion and brass instruments along with violins. The singing by Raghav Mathur (last heard in ‘Ishq Shava’ from ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’) is average, and please don’t ask about the lyrics, which do not fit at all with the music. Because of that problem I forced myself to hear the Tamil version, sung by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, which sounded way better though i didn’t understand it. The best part of this song, I felt, was the bagpipe part in between the second last and last stanza. Please forgive the lyricist of the Hindi version and listen to the Tamil version.  

 

Overall:- This album, which I had huge expectations from, has lived up to my expectations! I had expected Rahman to put aside his western side while composing most of the songs of this album, and he did just that! Most of the songs are classically based, and use traditional Indian instruments, like tabla, matka, shehnaai and manjira to name just a few. Since it is after all, a Tamil album, the lyrics might sound weird in some places, but translating songs is a very hard job, and Irshad Kamil has done it very efficiently. In this album, Rahman reminded us of the albums he had made ten to fifteen years ago like Taal, Rangeela, Lagaan. I cannot praise him enough for this album. This album has the capability to stay in people’s minds for generations to come and will go into history as one of Rahman’s best albums.  

Final Rating for the Album:- सा < रे < ग < म < प < ध < नी < सां

Note:- The letter which is underlined is the final rating.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:- You must have seen the hashtag followed by the words ‘5StarHotelSong‘ ; this means that those songs are the best songs in the album for me. Of course you can have different choices too, I’ve just given my opinion! 🙂  

 

Next “dish”:- Purani Jeans, Chef:- Ram Sampath

 

Review by Rujul Deolikar