Music Review: ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’

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'Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga'
From a romantic remake to a Punjabi superhit remake, this album seems to be riding on some of the biggest songs of the 90s.

BizAsia Rating

3.5

A Vidhu Vinod Chopra production comes with some very high expectations. Especially if it has a star cast as strong as Anil Kapoor and daughter Sonam Kapoor Ahuja on screen together for the first time along with Juhi Chawla and Rajkummar Rao in the leading roles. ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ looks quite interesting in the promos with a coming of age family story based around the wedding theme. The film is written and directed by debutant director Shelly Chopra Dhar presenting what she calls ‘the most unexpected romance of the year’. This looks like a complete family entertainer and the wedding and romantic theme will surely help bring the music alive for this soundtrack. After delivering one of the biggest hits of 2018 Tera Yaar Hoon Mein of ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ (2018), Rochak Kohli is delivering his first full soundtrack with this film. He is multitalented and highly capable of delivering great music in diverse genres so this should be quite interesting to listen to. The lyrics are by Gurpreet Saini getting his big break as a full-time lyricist after a few acting jobs.

Title song Ek Ladki Ko Dekha is a deep and soulful romantic number in the voice of Darshan Raval of Chogada fame with supporting vocals by Kohli. The depth in Raval’s voice with a touch of husky crudeness is quite pleasing to the year especially as he sings the chorus. The chorus like is of course quite iconic and one can’t help compare his rendition to that of the famous Kumar Sanu who made it one of the most famous songs ever in Bollywood. But Raval holds his own with his soulful voice and adds some extra zing by delivering a great Punjabi vocal too. Saini has smartly patched in the iconic chorus to what is almost a brand new Punjabi-Hindi song. The lyrics are really the story of the film rather than the feelings that would follow the chorus line (as in the 1994 original song). The music is simple and soothing although the melody is quite clichéd and rather very familiar sounding. The uniqueness of the song is mainly the collaboration of the vocals and lyrics here which really works in making this song a hit. The familiar cliché is ironically what works in favour of this classic remake.

The lyrics are entertaining and capture a whole plethora of tease, romance, and showering blessings to make this a song for the full family to come together on.

From a romantic remake to a Punjabi superhit remake, this album seems to be riding on some of the biggest songs of the 90s. Navraj Hans and Harshdeep Kaur deliver a fresh new take of Malkit Singh’s Gur Naal Ishq Mitha with some good production elements to it. Kohli delivers a totally different take on the musicality of this song going back to core Punjabi music compared to the original which really topped the charts then with a western beat throughout. The stark contrast in treatment actually works very well putting this song strongly in a wedding sequence making it instantly relate-able and super enjoyable. The lyrics are entertaining and capture a whole plethora of tease, romance, and showering blessings to make this a song for the full family to come together on. Kaur’s warm vocals are the best part of the song while Hans has such a unique style that the song genuinely works as a pure traditional Punjabi wedding song. Strong Punjabi dhol treatment mixed with wedding brass band makes this melody work perfectly for the setting of the song and an easy one to get up and dance to. This is a sure shot hit song that will literally rule the wedding music scene at every mehndi, wedding, cocktail and reception party.

Vishal Dadlani leads the vocal of Good Morning with supporting vocals by Shannon Donald. Dadlani gives a top performance with a very versatile vocal that is warm, powerful, has a touch of masti and excitement as well. His range is iconic but his vocal adlib is something spectacular to listen to. Donald delivers a very cute vocal for the female lead. She sounds great and has an engaging vocal personality that is very likeable. The composition sounds rather weak though and is simply boring in parts to be completely honest. The instrumentation is mediocre and seems to compete with the vocals in parts. The lyrics are quite average too with no real message coming through to drive the song. It’s a morning wake up song with a cheerful attitude to take the world head on with a smile but there is nothing new or different to push the song to a stand out place.

Chitthiye features a brand new voice of Kanwar Grewal. Can’t recall hearing him on a soundtrack before or clearly he wasn’t worth a notice there but he sure creates a mark here. A sufi style vocal mixed with a touch of Punjabi ghazal in the composition makes this a very soulful song to listen to. Grewal’s vocal has a rustic grainy character to it that is warm and heart wrenching to hear. Saini has written the Punjabi lyrics beautifully delivering tons of sadness through each line. Each stanza has a flow of sadness communicated through writings in a letter written with the ink of tears. The thought is profound and touching in parts amplified by the terrific vocals. The arrangement is very nice and easy on the ears thanks to the simple but intricate work by Kohli. The use of a plain dholki with some piano, violins and guitars is soothing while keeps the focus entirely on the lyrics and vocals in the song. This is a very powerful piece of music even though not one destined for mass commercial success.

Although the song has a strong beat pattern, the fact that it doesn’t sound like one for the club-going youth thing song might struggle in the club charts.

A club party song was the only missing element on this album and so comes in House Party Song to fill that gap. Interestingly this features the vocals of Sukhwinder Singh with Arjun Kanungo and Parry G delivers the rap. Electronic club music is not one would typically hear Singh’s voice with he does a good job with it. The song has an uncle vibe to it and so one would imagine this song is pictured on Anil Kapoor leading the vocals and dance moves in the video. Although the song has a strong beat pattern, the fact that it doesn’t sound like one for the club-going youth thing song might struggle in the club charts. But it sure will find its place in wedding parties appealing to the older folks towards the end of the night. The lyrics are simple and fun with a different arrangement giving it a unique sound.

FINAL WORD
Rochak Kohli does a good job overall on his first full soundtrack of a mainstream A-list Bollywood film. Although ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ is a short album, he manages to bring in the perfect mix of musical genres needed in a full scale Bollywood album. The soundtracks success rides on the remake of two of the biggest songs ever viz. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga and Gud Naal Ishq Mitha which are obviously the leading songs for the album promotions. No doubt they are big numbers and will be a success but Kohli and Gurpreet Saini on lyrics have done a good job in maintaining the sanctity of the original while bringing a fresh sound to revitalize these two classics. The sheer strength of the original songs has made their job a lot easier once they have got the basic melody correct and singers Navraj Hans, Harshdeep Kaur and Darshan Raval doing the rest to push these songs up the charts. Chitthiye is another well done song with some stunning vocals & lyrics by Kanwar Grewal. House Party Song and Good Morning are quite average to listen to but have a place in the album building the overall depth of the album. On the whole, this soundtrack has good variety, good performances and strong star value songs to make a mark on the 2019 charts.

BizAsiaLive.com rating – 3.5/5

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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