Kaafila Music Review
Music Director: Sukhwinder Singh; Lyrics: Babu Singh Mann; Rating: **
Dealing with the global issue of illegal immigration and based on the Malta boat tragedy, not much in the way of expectations were present for the ‘Kaafila’ audio.
Yes, one does expect some pining-for-homeland compositions, but that is about all! So, let us see what the Sunny Deol starrer has to offer, musically.
Simple melody and rhythm commences the first track of the album, ‘Hum Raks’, featuring two of the most talented sons of Punjab, Sukhwinder Singh and Daler Mehndi (who individually have contributed to numerous chartbusters). It is a melodious, dance-cum-joyous-mood, slightly fast paced composition. Singing is of top quality. Daler’s low pitched singing and Sukhwinder’s high pitched rendition makes it unique. Some good use of accordion and harmonium (instruments rarely heard these days) give elegance to the song. Babu Singh Mann’s lyrics are befitting and situational. The song will serve as a tension reliever in this taut, action adventure.
‘Hum Raks-Club Mix’ by Raju Shanker is a commendable effort. The rhythm is a tad on the racier side and thankfully the vocals have not been tampered with. It has a rap by Earl D’Souza, who does his required bit well and the added synthesized rhythm makes it quite a good dance track.
As the title suggests, ‘Lodhi Di Raat’ is about the Punjabi harvest festival, “Lodhi”. It is quite a unique blend/fusion of a simple Punjabi folk tune and Western beats. Though the mood is traditional(as demon-strated by Dolly Sidhu’s singing, the rap by Abei gives it that necessary Western touch. Its a celebration-cum-dance-number and overall quite good, as far as musical arrangements are concerned.
The title track, ‘Chala Kaafila’, can also be labeled as the theme track, since it sums up the spirit of the movie perfectly and is able to provide an insight(to the listener) as to what the movie has to offer. Sukhwinder tries a Stereo Nation type of echo-singing and succeeds. The track is racy and ear pleasing. Arabic folk tunes (heard quite a few times before this) are present, maybe because the movie has Afghanistan as one of the locales. The Punjabi folk song, “Bari Barsi” too has been used to give it the Punjabi flavour. The only sore point is that the tune that Sukhwinder has adopted has been heard innumerable times before, especially during the late 80s and early 90s. One instance being Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Khuda Gawah’ (which also had Afghanistan as its backdrop).
Lovely ektara beats and a simple melody commence ‘Kabhie Kabhie Sapne Bhi’, a heart touching song about the dreams and aspirations of the immigrants, who leave their homeland in search of a better future. The USP of the track is that it features Mohd. Aziz, the highly talented singer who was (for a short time) Big B’s voice during the late 80s (‘Mard’). Aziz demonstrates his skills by a flawless rendition. The other artists (Abhijeet, Gursewak and Madjnun) too are good, though one wanted more of Mohd. Aziz, maybe for nostalgia! The ample and good use of banjo brings back the memory of the music of ‘Gadar’, especially, ‘Udd Ja Kaale Kawa’.
A tense, inspirational-cum-camaraderie number is ‘Jab Tak Hai Saans’, a song about a group of people facing difficult situations and all the hurdles they face together. Putting it another way, it’s a desi prayer, service type composition, that should come at an important juncture in the movie. The lyrics are very inspirational and motivating – “Jab tak hai saans, Rahe saath saath, Haathon mein haath, Chale saath saath.” Abhijeet enters later and helps in giving his individual touch with some good high pitched singing.
The last number, ‘Sandesa Aaya’ starts with Sukhwinder singing a famous Rajasthani folk song that welcomes the guests: “Kesariya balam, Padharo maaro desh”. A lovely, soft, relaxed paced love song, sung wonderfully by Sukhwinder. The good use of Indian musical instruments are akin to that of Rahman’s music (for his period films). Maybe some of Rahman rubbed off on Sukhwinder, as he has sung a lot for the maestro!
To sum up, Sukhwinder’s music has the old-world charm and some nice traditional Indian numbers, which are entirely situational. Although, it remains to be seen as to how the audience will take to it, once the movie releases. However, one must remember that even Bollywood’s biggest blockbuster ‘Gadar’ (another movie that Zee was associated with) had this type of music and a very low key start. The rest, as they say, is history!