hindi film music

‘Kaalakaandi’ music review: Spark and spunk, but only one potential earworm

The album has five songs and runs for just 15 minutes.

The good news: the Kaalakaandi soundtrack tries to do something new at a time when most big Bollywood releases fall back on an assembly line-inspired track listing that include the rap song, the party song and the Arijit Singh song (or the clone of the Arijit Singh weepie if the original is not available).

The bad news? It doesn’t always work.

The dark comedy marks the directorial debut of Delhi Belly writer Akshat Verma and will be released on January 12. With an ensemble cast led by Saif Ali Khan, the movie chronicles a series of misadventures over the course of one night

Kaalakaandi’s offbeat theme dictates the nature of its soundtrack. Just 15 minutes long, the album has five original songs that are a mishmash of genres. The music, composed by Sameer Uddin, is neither revolutionary nor memorable, but it has spark.

The closest thing to an earworm is its first promotional single, Swagpur Ka Chaudhary, sung and written by Akshay Verma. The part-funk, part-electronic number with some hard guitar riffs thrown in is short and sweet at two-and-a-half minutes. It does not play by the rules – there is a hookline, but the song does not follow a conventional structure.

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Swagpur Ka Chaudhary, Kaalakaandi.

The Kaalakaandi title track, composed by Shashwat Sachdev (who scored last year’s Phillauri) rests on an infectious groove that deserved a better tune.

Jive With Me is an electro-swing composition on the lines of the much superior Girls Like To Swing from Dil Dhadakne Do. Abhishek Nailwal gives us strong vocals, but no amount of production can save a forgettable tune.

Nailwal also sings Aa Bhi Ja, with Vishal Dadlani. The song offers an interesting melange of sounds, but is not memorable.

The only composition which is rightfully allowed to shine through, with minimal instrumentation and arrangement, is an adaptation of the Punjabi folk song Kaala Doreya, sung beautifully by Neha Bhasin, whose name has rarely been attached to a bad song. There is some part-English, part-Punjabi rap that blends well with the song, unlike similar transgressions in contemporary Bollywood music.

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Kaalakaandi jukebox.
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