Directed by documentary director Kabir Khan and starring John Abraham and Arshad Warsi in the lead, Kabul Express is a project that was subsequently taken over by Yash Raj Films. The theatrical promo of the film looked promising and the film opened to a good response at the Toronto Film Festival.
So what kind of music should you expect from a movie titled Kabul Express? Locally flavoured or Middle Eastern?
What kind of music should you expect from the debutant film music director Raghav Sachar?
The soundtrack opens to Kabul Fiza sung by Raghav himself. A peppy track with lots of percussions and also doses of a piccolo. This fast paced song moves from techno to traditional with the percussions replaced by tablas and a santoor subsequently. However with Raghav’s digitalized voice, this portion is still westernized with a fusion feel.
Immediately when the song Banjar opens up you realize that it has to be Sivamani. Banjar is a techno, fast moving yet rustic song sung by Shubha Mudgal and this one is straight out of her own backyard. An electric sitar used by Niladri Kumar gels well with Sivamani’s percussions. Shubha as usual goes high pitch and faster as the song progresses with Ã©lan and confidence. A good fusion of flute, drums and funk guitar is bound to make this song one big hit.
Keh Raha Mera Dil is a feel good song, something which Vishal and Shekhar give out occasionally when they are not going fast. Again sung by Raghav, this one has lighter instruments as compared to the first two songs though it is not really that slow. With the main instrument being a guitar, this one seems to be something like a stage song.
The instrumental Kabul Express theme composed by Julius Packiam gives you an eerie feeling yet moves differently at times giving it an 'Enigma' touch. A mysterious female voice is slightly seductive and the flute and beats give an Arab feel. However, this being the theme of the movie, it goes totally against what we saw in the promo of the film where it shown as more comical.
The rocking Banjar is back with Banjar Lounge Mix and this time it gets more commercial with Sunidhi Chauhan lending her vocals. The queen of lounge mixes takes away the rustic feel that Shubha Mudgal gave us in the original and sings in the distinct style that Sunidhi is always known for. This song moves in one path and Sunidhi mesmerizes and hypnotizes you with her voice. An amazing song!
Next in line is Yeh Main Aaya Kahan which is probably the weakest song of the entire album. One reason being that it is sung again by Raghav who does not offer anything novel in his voice from his earlier two tracks. The song sounds similar to Keh Raha Mera Dil mainly because of Raghav. The flute in the foreground reminds one of what Leslie Lewis used to do with his tumbler.
Kabul Fiza Theme by Raghav doesn’t offer anything novel. With a fast moving song like Kabul Fiza, you did expect the theme to be faster. This one will most likely go unnoticed.
The Kabul Fiza Remix by Raghav again is like any other remix with more beats and sung faster. However, since the original song was quite good, this one works well to the ears.
The third and last of the Banjar saga Banjar Revisited sung by KK is as usual at his best when he sings on high pitch. This one sounds great as well and something out of a Mumbai based thriller. With all the three Banjars sounding outstanding, one wonders which one will take the cake and be promoted more.
With songs like Banjar and Kabul Fiza, this album is sure to rock the charts especially with nothing exceptionally good coming out at the moment.
It is after a very long time then a debutant music director has come out with an amazing score (the last one can remember was Ram Sampat in Khakee). With Yash Raj’s backing and two popular stars in the movie, this one is bound to be a hit all the way. Watch out Pritam and Himesh, you have a budding MD in the making.