Punjabi is certainly the musical flavour of the season with the latest hit in the form of Pritam's LOVE AAJ KAL, and this trend continues with KISAAN, a Sohail Khan and UTV Spot Boys productions, set in the Punjab heartland.
Both the producers (Ronnie and Sohail) are known for some chartbusting music in their films and although expectations are not of gargantuan proportions from the album of KISAAN, still one can go in with some, as the composer is Daboo Malik (brother of illustrious composer Anu Malik), who has shown promise in BAD LUCK GOVIND. So let's see what lies in store for us.
Since the setting of the film is Punjab, the opening song is ''Punjabi Munde'', which despite being sung by seven singers with the most creditable name in Punjabi pop Labh Janjua, the queen of item numbers Sunidhi Chauhan, apart from the composer himself and support artists like Shakti Singh, Siddharth Singh and Parthiv Gohil are at best average. The problem lies in its ‘million times' heard before tune, a derivative of the highly popular Punjabi folk song which has been incorporated in many earlier compositions in Hindi films. This fusion of hip hop and ''Bhangra' has been done to death and the need of the hour was a good tune to set the song to. The rap too is not very innovative; however the mix of Punjabi rap and English rap (Earl D) is quite interesting. The lyrics by S.R. Bharti and K. Juneja highlighting the Punjabi youth too is routine.
Just like the original the remix version of ''Punjbai Munde'' is routine and in parts inspired by the DUS signature tune (Vishal-Shekhar).
The reigning queen of melody Shreya Ghoshal, along with the bowl over charm of Shaan’s youthful vocals, opens the lovely romantic duet, ''Humko Kehna Hai''. Although the opening synthesized music piece instantly reminds one of Emraan Hashmi's ''Kaho Na Kaho'' (MURDER), but changes soon enough and comes into its own. Easily the best track of the album, it's the sweet, easy to hum melody that appeals instantly. The arrangements are once again in sync with the subject, the rural background of the lead protagonists is taken into consideration and even the suave and sophisticated Shaan and Shreya with perfect diction sing ''Mujhe manjoor hai'' on purpose and make it sound ‘oh so sweet', as well as rustic!. Panchhi Jalonvi lyrics are filmy but easy on the lips and that is a plus point.
From one Punjabi number to another , however thankfully with ''Jhoomo Re Jhoomo'', the tune that Daboo Malik chooses this time is pleasing to the ears, though the arrangements more reminiscent of the 60's (Dilip Kumar) days with a lot of emphasis on traditional Indian musical instruments like ‘tabla', ‘dhol', ‘sarangi' etc. Once again as many as six singers Ad Boyz, Abhijit Ghoshal, Daboo Malik, Tarrannum, Sujata Majumdar and Pavni Pandey have been hired to sing this romantic cum celebratory number. The lyrics by Panchhi Jalonvi (DUS fame) is no great shakes with the customary ''Sun soniye'' and ''Sun mahiya'' incorporated with ''Dil de diya'' and ‘Dil le liya'.
Since the film is based on the life of a farmer, who holds his land very close to his heart a song saluting the farmer and his efforts in feeding the world is brought to light in ''Neeche Saari Duniya''. The song can also be termed as the title track as the word ''Kisaan'' comes along a number of times. Salim Bijnori writes some nice situational lyrics which would go well with the narrative of the film and give a good insight into what the audience can expect when they go to see the movie. However Daboo Malik once again revisits 70's style (this time Laxmi-Pyare) for inspiration and this is not happening. Roop Kumar Rathod after a stupendous success in ''Tujhe Mein Rab Dikhta Hai'' sings with feelings and conquers the high pitches with utmost ease. He is the USP of the track and Harshdeep Kaur comes in for support.
Toshi makes an appearance with ''Waqt Ki Dhoop'', an inspirational cum philosophical track that talks about changing the fate with ones own hand by sheer hard work and propels one to go along and fight against all odds and stand vindicated. Panchhi Jalonvi who had disappointed earlier redeems himself with some nice motivational lyrics that once again may sound routine and filmy but do inspire. Toshi does a good job but somehow he just seems to be going through the motions without putting in his feelings. And this number required that. A Sukhwinder or Daler would have been better equipped to deal with this number that should serve as a background composition.
To sum up, the soundtrack of KISAAN is at best average and sounds too dated. Composer Daboo Malik, who had done a good job in BAD LUCK GOVIND, disappoints with his first big outing, although a few songs like Shreya-Shaan's ''Humko Kehna Hai'' and ''Jhoomo Re Jhoomo'' stand out and may click if the film manages to do well. Looks like the producer Sohail Khan already knew this and so he has taken permission from Manoj Kumar to incorporate his chartbusting patriotic number from his evergreen classic UPKAAR, ''Mere Desh Ki Dharti'' and that there is a buzz that Daler Mehndi may sing the re-arranged version. Must say one expected more from the makers, who are known for having ears for good music.