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Acclaimed director Vishal Bhardwaj has returned again to the silver screen after Omkara with the Shahid Kapur and Priyanka Chopra starrer Kaminey. Vishal who is also a music director (U Me Aur Hum and Omkara) has composed the soundtrack for Kaminey. Lyrics have been penned by Gulzar. The album is made up of 8 songs, 2 of which are remixes and 1 of which is the movie’s theme music.

Produced under the banner of UTV Motion Pictures, Kaminey hits screens on August 14th.

The soundtrack literally kick-starts with Dhan Te Nan. If you thought ‘Beedi’ from Omkara was the biggest song of Vishal’s career, prepare to retract that comment after you listen to Dhan Te Nan. It’s energetic, comical, loud, well-written, well-composed and brilliantly sung by Vishal Dadlani and Sukhwinder Singh. It also manages to make you want to stand up and try every crazy dance move you own. While Sukhwinder may be the man with the velvet voice, it is Dadlani that takes the cake. His enthusiastic vocals remind you of R.D. Burman. Lyrics by the legendary Gulzar are outstanding as always. It is really hard to describe the song…you have to hear it to believe its magnificence! The remix, miraculously, is equally brilliant. In an age where remixes are just cheap shots at filling an album as opposed to an attempt at creating music, Dhan Te Nan’s remix is as good as the original. Do not even dare to press the skip button on your mp3 player.

After the mind-blowing ‘Dhan Te Nan’, the album slows down with a melodious love ballad, Pehli Baar Mohabbat. Sung amazingly by Mohit Chauhan, this melodious rock number is soul touching. Special attention is drawn to the lyrics ‘mohabbat ki hai pehli baar, mohabbat ki hai aakhri baar’ by Gulzar meaning that the singer has fallen in love for the first and last time. It is quite refreshing for love to be expressed this way as opposed to the usual tere bina etc etc we have to hear. Gulzar simply out does himself as lyrics of the song just keep getting better and better with every line. It is simple yet profound in its simplicity.

Next is the absolutely delightful Raat Ke Dhai Baje. The brilliant mix of the shehnai amidst the essentially modern percussion must be commended. The ensemble of singers, namely Rekha Bhardwaj, Sunidhi, Kunal Ganjawala and Suresh Wadkar is what makes the song more enjoyable. Suresh Wadkar with his sweet endearing vocals stands out the most, followed by Rekha of course. Also the play on the ‘Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai’ lyrics from the previous number is commendable as the same lyrics which conveyed sadness in the previous number, conveys joy and celebration in Raat Ke Dhai Baje. It goes without saying that the song’s lovable playful lyrics are great. The song appears as a remix later on the album and as equally good as the original if not better.

Fatak could have become a weak twin of Omkara‘s title track because the song’s beginning is very similar to it. However, Vishal, unlike other composers did not try to re-create his previous masterpiece and eventually delivers an original and thoroughly enjoyable number. Sung by the dynamic duo of Kailash Kher and Sukhwinder Singh, ‘Fatak’ is an energetic desi dance number. However, it is the song’s end that is brilliant. The song slows down with the lines ‘yeh ishq nahin asaan, aji AIDS ka khatra hai’ (love is not easy these days, as there is a risk of catching AIDS) which is followed by the well-known line of love being akin to a lake of fire which has to be crossed by drowning yourself in it. It is this amalgamation of modern topical issues and its age-old poetic counterparts that makes Gulzar a brilliant writer.

The title song, Kaminey, is next and it catches you off guard. One expects a loud, maybe crass number with screaming vocals depicting anger and anguish but instead you get handed a sweet, soft number sung by the man himself, Vishal Bhardwaj. To top it off, it is enchanting. The song is essentially cursing the protagonist’s hopes and dreams, calling them ‘kaminey’, but in the most beautiful (yet sad) way possible. If you have listened to ‘O Saathi Re’ from Omkara and the male version of U Me Aur Hum‘s title song, you will understand the down to earth yet heavenly qualities of Bhardwaj’s vocals. It is as if he sleep-walks, or rather sleep-sings, through Gulzar’s brilliant lyrics but still ends up giving you this gem of song. Hear it to believe it!

The album ends with the remixes and the theme of the Kaminey, Go Charlie Go. It is a short, instrumental piece basically made up of the ‘Dhan Te Nan’ chorus. Again, if the movie is anything like what its theme music suggests it is (thrilling with a touch of suspense) it will be a winner all the way.

In summary, Kaminey is an incredible piece of work. Vishal has musically out-done himself. While Omkara‘s soundtrack has speed-breakers and cannot be listened to from start to finish, Kaminey can be and therein lies its beauty. Obviously, ‘Dhan Te Nan’ is the awarding winning number by far, but the excellent compositions and Gulzar’s outstanding writing makes Kaminey one of the finest albums of 2009. Don’t even try to give this one a miss!

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