Some films are above commercial considerations and are made more for creative satisfaction and also for those discerning audience who really yearn for something away from the league. The music of such films too is a rare blend of class and quality and Times Music have always been a pioneer in promoting such works. Carrying on the same tradition is a heartouching film about a common man titled MADHOLAL KEEP WALKING, presented by reputed banner Dreamcuts and directed by Jai Tank. The music has been composed by relative newcomers Nayab & Raja and keeping in mind the fact that this is a Dreamcuts presentation for Times we can expect something exciting in store for music lovers, as can be guessed by the presence of stalwarts like Bhupinder Singh, Altaf Raja, Mitali Singh and Raja Hassan's names on the cd cover. So lets get going and see if our expectations are really justified!
Veteran singer Bhupinder Singh who has regaled us with countless memorable compositions (mostly ghazals and geets) comes up with another mesmerizing number, "Naina Lage"('Madholal's Theme') that will go down as one of his best of recent times. The song features thrice in the album- First by Bhupinder Singh as 'Madholal's Theme', second as 'Wife's Theme' and thirdly as 'Daughter's Theme'. The tune that is used is the same in all three versions only a portion of the lyrics and some basic musical addendums change. A totally Hindustani 'raaga' based track and may be that is the reason why it has a slight resemblance to Himesh's "Rafta Rafta" (NAMASTEY LONDON) because Himesh too uses a lot of Hindustani classical 'raagas' to compose his songs. Composers Nayab & Raja show their maturity and in depth knowledge of classical music through this beautiful number that can be best classified as a light classical 'geet'. Indeed the lyrics by Saani Aslam are in keeping with the Indian flavour of the composition with some delightful Hindi lyrics that are easy to comprehend and identifiable too. The last memorable commercial number that became popular and still can be heard in this category was "Na Kajre Ki Dhaar"(MOHRA) .
Singer Parveena renders "Naina Lage"('Wife's Theme') and she has strong vocals which suit the main character of the wife in the film.
Mitali Singh who renders "Naina Lage"('Daughter's Theme') in her honey sweet vocals, is a pleasure to hear.
Next it's pure unadulterated sound of harmonium and Altaf Raja's couplet- "Ye massalah hee aisa tha, Ki hal na kar saka, Aye zindagi main tujhko mukammal na kar saka.", that greets the enchanting composition "Falsafa yeh Zindagi Ka". A superb philosophically inclined number that is situational and forces you into the thinking mode. The USP of the song is Altaf's excellent rendition which despite the serious theme of life and death does not get boring or preachy. Same can be said about the lyrics by Saani Aslam which are so thought provoking but never get routine yet they are able to convey a strong positive message and urges one to never give up. The day to day life of a common man is conveyed so brilliantly, "Lambe safar ki khatir yun to sab ke sab aate hain, Kaee musafir raaste mein hee chup se utar jaate hain, Udd jata hai rooh ka panchhi mil jajaye mauka jo zara sa.". The tune that Nayab & Raja have chosen too is quite pacy and so overall the song is an excellent offering that will not only be loved by Altaf Raja's countless fans who adore his style but also by others who savour good music.
Sound of passing train and temple bells along with another superb trademark Altaf Raja style couplet, "Dard seene mein, To aakhnon mein samunder dekha, Zindagi humne tera kaisa muqaddar dekha", commences another excellent composition, this time a 'qawwali', "Khuda Ke Vaste" , the number with which the composers first showcased their talent and impressed the producer Jay Tank . The composition once again has the capability to get one into the thinking mode and the beautiful message of humanity and social service is conveyed ably through some strong lyrics that have a strong message of unity and peace. Hats off to the composers as well as the lyricist, Saani Aslam and also Aslam Sabri whose prefect rendition makes this 'qawwali' a delight to listen to. We have had 'qawwalis' that are more romantically inclined or even devotional but this is almost novel as it celebrates humanity, is motivational and exhorts all to work selflessly for the underprivileged and deprived. A song for all to hear and learn from.
Nice synthesized background rhythm commences, "Yeh Dharti", a composition that instantly reminds one of the classic, "Suraj Ki Garmi Se Tapte Hue Tan Ko" mainly because of almost the same tune that does change drastically in the 'antara' where it converges into a resounding crescendo. Singer Raja has tremendous control over his vocals and does a brilliant job. Once again a song with a strong positive message of being selfless and not to expect but to give. "Zara si tujhpe museebat jo aaye, To meri taraf tumne aankhein dikhayein, Kabhi gaur se dekho suraj ko mere, Jo khudko jala kar andhere mitaye..."
The album ends on a rocking note as it's hard rock time with reality show star Raja Hassan who throws a surprise with the rollicking title track, "Madholal Keep Walking" , an absolutely scorcher of a track. If you have loved Vishal Bhardwaj's "Dhan Te Nan" this song will automatically feature high on your list and it will not be an exaggeration to say that this number too ranks right up there with the iconic Vishal number because of it's highly rhythmic pace, the excellent percussion instruments that adorn this number, singer Raja Hassan who sounds and performs like a rockstar and also the lyrics (this time by Sahil Fatehpuri) which are so very inspiring and contemporary. The song is for the youths and all those who love rock. The composers too surprise with their in depth knowledge of rock and their use and arrangements of various western instruments to come up with a number that is simply scintillating. A rocking end to a good album!
Small can be beautiful, same can be said about the music album of MADHOLAL KEEP WALKING. One came in with not much expectation from the relative new composer duo Nayab & Raja but they are indeed 'nayab' (rare) and raja (kings) of music. The album has it all, 'Geet', "Ghazal", 'Qawwali' and Rock. Definitely a good album that is worth a buy, more so as retro is in! All the three "Madholal Themes", "Altaf's "Falsafa Yeh Zindagi Ka" and Raja Hassan's title track are our favourites.