Managing to hold your ground in a highly competitive industry for more than four decades is no mean feat but Rajesh Roshan has managed to do just that. Although in the last ten years, he has only scored the music for films produced or directed by his brother Rakesh Roshan, the veteran composer’s contribution to Hindi cinema has been incredible. The last Rajesh Roshan soundtrack that I liked was ‘Krrish’ (2006) and that makes me a little skeptical about the quality of the soundtrack of ‘Kaabil’. Though the film is touted to be a revenge drama, it has a love story at the core of it. Hence, one expects the soundtrack to have a bevy of romantic numbers.
One’s reservations about the album got considerably sidelined as one listened to “Kaabil Hoon”, a highly addictive melody that casts its spell on you in no time. The song seems slightly overproduced (the electronic beats could have been a lot more subtle) but the tune has a saccharine sweet 90s charm to it which makes you listen to it over and over again. This is probably the first song that Jubin Nautiyal and Palak Muchhal’s have sung together and what a wonderful singing pair they make! Rajesh Roshan does very well as a composer, though one wishes he had supervised the arrangements as well. Instruments like guitars, horns and pads have been orchestrated well but the song could have done with lesser use of synthesised sounds.
Gourov-Roshin take the basic tune of the Rajesh Roshan composed “Sara Zamana” (Yaarana, 1981) and turn it into “Haseeno Ka Deewana”, an absolute mess of a track. This noisy and gaudy version might just ruin your memories of the Kishore Kumar number. As a singer, Payal Dev tries to put her best foot forward but the arrangements, programming and a new portion composed by Gourov-Roshin make this song sound unbearable. There is also a nonsensical rap portion which adds to the unlistenable quality of the song.
Some respite comes in the form of “Kuch Din”, sung by Jubin Nautiyal. After listening to a botched up version of a Rajesh Roshan classic, it is heartening to come across a Rajesh Roshan original that proves the composer is capable of making heart-touching melodies even now. The lyrics (Manoj Muntashir) suggest that the protagonist has recently fallen in love and is happy but the composition and the way the song is sung lend a melancholic feel to the track. The song would have made a better impression with some thoughtful arrangements instead of the mundane techno base that has been layered here.
The phrase “Mon Amour” and the arrangements give the song a Latin flavour but the classic Hindi film sound in the track comes across well enough too. Listeners of Latin music would agree to the fact that the composition is quite generic but that does not change the fact it is an extremely catchy number. Manoj Muntashir weaves “Mon Amour” around lyrics written primarily in Hindi and Vishal Dadlani gives an extra punch with his energized voice. One looks forward to see how this picturised as, according to reports, the lead pair will be seen putting up a tango or salsa dance performance.
“Kaabil Hoon (Sad Version)” is the track that one heard throughout the second trailer of the film. Though the song has a duration of just 1:37 minutes, it manages to leave a solid impression courtesy a heartfelt rendition by Jubin Nauityal and minimal arrangements that work wonderfully towards lending a haunting feel to the song. The track worked wonders for the largely (purposefully) grim trailer and one expects it to be played an important juncture in the film as well.
Gourov-Roshin make up for ruining Rajesh Roshan’s “Sara Zamana” by doing a rather swell job with the recreated version of, what is perhaps, Rajesh Roshan’s biggest hit song till date. “Kisi Se Pyaar Ho Jaaye”, spawned off from “Dil Kya Kare” (Julie, 1974) retains the magic of the original song along with some new-age arrangements and some freshly composed lines that gel effortlessly together.
Barring one atrocious track (“Haseeno Ka Deewana”), the music of ‘Kaabil’ turns out to be consistently engaging. Rajesh Roshan is in fine form here and Gourov-Roshin, too, leave their mark by coming up with a well-orchestrated, reimagined version of the veteran composer’s song “Dil Kya Kare”. The one complaint one has against most of the songs in the album are very little thought in put behind their orchestral arrangements. After two mediocre albums (‘Krazzy 4’ and ‘Kites’) and putting together an unbearable-for-most-part soundtrack for ‘Krrish 3’, Rajesh Roshan delivers a respected album in Kaabil.