From a movie that has terror as its background, you don't quite expect a commercial score that would cut across audience. With Kashmir as the setting, there is scope for good music though but then it is mainly expected to be situational and totally theme based. However, on closer look, it comes to one's notice that the composer here is Mithoon who has given some fantastic music for films like Anwar and The Train in the past. Also, he returns with his favourite lyricist Sayeed Quadri and that again makes one look forward to what does the 'jodi' have in offing for the music lovers here.
First thing that strikes on reading the credit details is the album's duration. Despite only six songs here, the duration is 41 minutes which makes every song lasting an average of 7 minutes. This is certainly far more than an average of 4-5 minutes that a regular song lasts. In fact there are a couple of songs that run for more than 8 minutes each which makes one wonder what exactly are they all about.
The question is answered with 'Madno' as the opening number, a number which is as mesmerising as it gets. A smooth flowing number, it has minimal instruments in the background and relies totally on vocals by Kshitij Tarey and Chinmayi. Instantly reminding of the superb tracks that Mithoon had composed for Anwar - 'Maula Mere' and 'Tose Naina Laage - 'Madno' is a pure piece of work that sets the ball rolling for the album. Even though there is a touch of Kashmir folk to the song, there is a definite originality about 'Madno' which makes this Sayeed Quadri number special. Pick this one up; a song like this would have been loved even if it was 10 minutes long.
No wonder, it is repeated as 'Sajnaa' this time with (surprise-surprise) Mika giving company to Chinmayi. This proves yet again that given an opportunity, the singer has the range to do something different than the 'mauj-masti' that he is known for. Of course you do prefer the Kshitij Tarey version but that doesn't mean that Mika version is any pushover. If not for anything else, the song at least helps to keep the sound of the album consistent by arriving twice.
The serene sound continues with 'Salaam Zindagi' which has a bunch of Kashmiri kids kick starting the song with their laughter. Soon after Arun Daga and Mohd. Irfan comes behind the mike and pass on the message of unity in one voice. With additional Kashmiri vocals by Salim, this track about looking forward in life and saluting life is situational and should play in the background. The song goes well with the situation in the movie and the kind of setting Lamhaa has. However, it doesn't quite have life beyond the film's run.
The sound of a chopper followed by a dialogue - 'Welcome to Kashmir, yahan ka mausam aur mahaul kabhi bhi badal sakta hai' - is an apt way to kick start 'Main Kaun Hoon'. It isn't everyday that one gets to hear Palash Sen coming up with a rendition for a Bollywood soundtrack. This is much reason to rejoice as the singer comes behind the mike for 'Main Kaun Hoon' which is written by Amitabh Varma. A soft rock track which goes perfectly well with the theme of the film, 'Main Kaun Hoon' looks at the state that Kashmir is in state today and how it is being used as a target by vested interests. Play this one on and you won't mind putting this on a repeat mode, mainly due to it being easy on ears.
What is really noticeable about the album around this stage is that it doesn't loose focus from the overall theme. This is apparent in the way 'Zameen O Aasmaa' begins because yet again the mood stays on to be soft here. With Kshitij Tarey going solo for this almost unplugged track, this one is a take on sad affairs that Kashmir is engulfed in. In fact the protagonist here is shown to be urging God to drop everything, visit Kashmir, have a look at its state and take adequate remedies. Totally situational.
Last to come is 'Rehmat Zara' which sees a good kick start for itself by means of some exciting beats that sets the mood. With Mohd. Irfan and Mithoon coming together for this high on energy song, 'Rehmat Zara' by all means appears to be a Pakistani rock. A track that makes an instant impact, it again questions the state of Kashmir. However, despite the theme being repeated from song to song, this one is the best amongst what one has heard so far and rest assured would play on for a longer period of time provided a music video around this is made pronto.
From theme perspective, Lamhaa works well and doesn't stray even once. However, in the process of that happening, a universal and penetrated reach of the album can't be expected since not all would be enticed to play songs which have their roots in the condition of Kashmir. Still, there are songs like 'Madno' and 'Rehmat Zara' which should still manage to do quite well, courtesy Mithoon and Sayeed Quadri, who do give audience something to cheer about for long.
'Madno', 'Rehmat Zara', 'Main Kaun Hoon'