Music Review: ‘Love Aaj Kal’

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Imtiaz Ali’s much anticipated ‘Love Aaj Kal’ is due to hit the screens on Valentine’s day. Starring Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan, it would be very interesting to see their chemistry on screen after a year of speculation around their relationship off screen. Ali was able to deliver a big hit with leading lady’s father Saif Ali Khan in the original ‘Love Aaj Kal’ (2009) so this would be interesting to see how the daughter interprets her dads hit movie 10 years later. More interestingly it remains to be seen if Ali can keep it fresh and revive the concept of two parallel love stories to fit well in the 2020 setting. The promo seems a little confusing on the story front, but it has all the traces of deja-vu of the original film. The music of the original was a big hit across all songs and luckily that team hasn’t changed in this latest rendition of the film. The pressure is on Pritam and Irshad Kamil to create yet another round of hit numbers that will give these young love birds the room to deliver great vibes on screen.

While the 2009 movie ruled with hit dance numbers that still work well in 2020, one expected this album to start off with dance numbers and remakes of the original film. But the first release Shayad is completely unexpected and different! This is a beautiful love ballad that has the magic touch of Kamil at his best. The lyrics are simply amazing with a soft and warm touch to them. The romantic feeling that the song represents is very pleasing to the ear as his choice of words are quite poetic and delicate. The arrangement has a unique loopy character to it around the title Shayad which is very well structured by Pritam. He delivers a stunning composition that has a sufi music touch but delivered in a super modern cool musical styling. The combination is really interesting to hear and it totally works. Combine this with the vocal of Arijit Singh and this is THE song for Valentines this year! The soulful characteristic of his voice is very well used by Pritam and gives me a mission to deliver most of the song on a high pitch that Singh delivers as a master. A complete winner and a great song to launch this album with. 4.5/5

The customary remake comes in rather fresh in this album with the next single Haan Main Galat which is almost entirely a new song with new composition, new lyrics and a new melody. All new bits add up well until the chorus comes in and it figures that it is a very cleaver remake of Twist from the original film. This is a hardcore electronic composition with an interesting sound design and arrangement. The production quality is totally 2020 with no semblance of 1990s music even though those scenes feature in the video. The music is a bit out there and might be a little too radical for the dancefloor as it does not have that simple flow that makes it effective as a dance track but with that send we might just be surprised as it sure has a strong programming with a reminder of the classic hit from the original. Singh’s vocals are decent but not his best work since he usually stands out better in romantic numbers. Supporting vocals of Shashwat Singh are almost lost in the surround sound with a lot going on here. The top feature of the song are the lyrics with Kamil delivering completely new set of lyrics to the tune of a carefree fun message. The video delivers Aaryan & Khan doing a goofy set of dance expressions to this song but it doesn’t seem to click or look too appealing as they both are not perhaps the best dancers. Overall a good dance number with strong potential but perhaps a little too out there. 3/5

Mehrama is a sad romantic number and a good one thanks to the vocals of Darshan Raval. His vocals drive pain and deep emotions in a very effortless delivery. He sounds like a combination of Jubin Nautiyal and Arijit Singh in parts but with the best of both of them. He has the warmth and a great texture to his voice that feels really good while working perfectly in this song. Antara Mitra does a decent job too on the female vocal but sounds rather suppressed being a sad song setting. Pritam keeps the music simple but nicely balanced with some good use of flutes, violins, bass and guitars to a unique Tabla beat that almost sounds western going with the rest of the song. The melody of the song is nice with a good piece of arrangement and lyrics behind it. Kamil’s lyrics are well structured and fitting to the mood scene in the movie while independently being worth a listen as a single song. There is good amount of material in there centering around Mehrama the word signifying pain and love at the same time. A different but good song in the sad love songs genre. 3.5/5

Another solo from Singh on Rahogi Meri is a nice romantic ballad that could have been great. It has a deep grand sound but it is not super impressive in its execution. The composition is rather bland trying to keep it simple perhaps for a background music element in the movie. There is not much styling in the music nor the vocals except at the end where he is just humming. The humming is a nice touch to end the song with but everything before that is just mediocre and barely unique compared to any other Arijit Singh song. The lyrics are smooth but fail to impress for this song to get anywhere near charts. The chorus is the center piece of the song and the punch line is way too clichéd for a 2020 romantic number. The music is basic beats programming with some nice acoustic guitars added but ends at that really. This is a very average song and very easy to skip ahead of. 2.5/5

More singles from ‘Love Aaj Kal’ will be reviewed on this page when they become available.

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

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