The audio of Pa Ranjith’s much-awaited Kaala was released at 9.00 am on May 9, and the album is an interesting mix of genres with politically loaded lyrics.
The makers of the film have also planned a grand launch at YMCA grounds in Chennai later in the evening on Wednesday. It is also being said that composer Santhosh Narayanan will perform live at the event.
A single from the film, ‘Semma Weightu’, was released a few days ago on May Day and has garnered over 3 million views so far. Earlier, in an album preview video that was released on May 7, composer Santhosh Narayanan shared that the Tamil album of Kaala will have 9 songs and that the other languages will have 8 songs each. Pa Ranjith’s previous outing with Rajinikanth Kabali had six tracks.
The album is a mix of rap, melodies and kuthu songs, cutting across the different genres. For example, Thanga Sela, written by Arunraja Kamaraj and crooned by Shankar Mahadevan, Pradeep Kumar and Ananthu is a kuthu romance between Rajinikanth and Easwari Rao.
The buzz surrounding the film had made it clear that it would be laden with political allusions and true to its mission, the lyrics speak volumes in this regard. ‘Nikkal Nikkal’, for example, is a gangster song presumably set in Dharavi where most of the action in the film is touted to take place. As is director Pa Ranjith’s usual style, the song takes caste hegemony head on asking, “Pathingi adangi vaazha naanga innum slave ah (Are we still slaves to hide and live in subjugation)?” The song references a particular line that warns "Ezhayoda vaithula adichi bank balance ah yethatha (Don’t hit the poor and then raise our bank balance)”, a possible allusion to the ruling dispensation claim of depositing Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every Indian.
The hip hop in the film is an ode to the African American subculture in the 1970s that emerged as form of a protest against racism in the United States.
‘Poraaduvom’ takes on communal politics, talking about the deafening silence of those who don't raise their voices.
Both songs, interspersed with Hindi lines, are sung by Dopeadelicz.
‘Semma Weightu’, which released earlier on Labour Day also celebrates the power of the working class, the unity present in Dharavi, their home. It also addresses Rajinikanth as 'Kaala Saetu' and has visuals from the film. Lines like "Odhuka nenacha, verati adipom" which speak out against oppression make it clear that Kaala will be politically loaded and speak from the point of view of the oppressed.
‘Kannamma’ is a melodious earworm, sung by Pradeep Kumar and Dhee, with lyrics by Uma Devi.
The additional track in the film is the acapella version of ‘Kannamma’ performed by singer Ananthu. In the preview video, Santhosh shares that he could not decide between Pradeep’s version and Ananthu’s rendition and left it up to Ranjith and Rajinikanth to decide.
The film is set to release worldwide on June 7.
The official jukebox is available on YouTube: