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
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 < ध < 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! 🙂