The expectations are huge from the soundtrack of Love Aaj Kal. And why not? First and foremost it's the return of the Jab We Met team of director Imtiaz Ali, composer Pritam and lyricist Irshad Kamil. Now that's reason enough. Moreover, with Saif Ali Khan playing the twin role of an actor and producer, one can be rest assured that Love Aaj Kal would be a zero compromise project on both the film and music front. No wonder Love Aaj Kal is one of the most-awaited films of the season.
What a kick start! That's the immediate reaction to the opening number Aahun Aahun. A true blue fusion piece that has various flavours of Punjabi, Hindi as well as English coming together not just lyrically but also musically, Aahun Aahun has 'HIT' written all over it. Whether it's the way Pritam composes, Irshad brings the young flavour on or singers Neeraj Sridhar, Master Saleem and Suzanne set the perfect mood, Aahun Aahun is a winner. One can't wait to see what director Imtiaz Ali and his choreographer have done to this number that is all set to be a rage, especially in its 'remix version'. Watch out for the guitar track that opens and closes the song.
Just as you are completely overwhelmed by Aahun Aahun comes the distinctive naagin tune that marks out Love Aaj Kal. The moment you hear Pritam getting his rearrangement in place for this half-a-century old tune, you know that he is a master when it comes to giving an age old tune a new age sound. Soon after, Neeraj Shridhar gets into action and from there it's time for Twist. Colleges, discothèques, autos, marriage celebrations, youth night outs - expect the song to be played every where! Whether it's the original or its racy 'remix version', Twist is going to stay alive for many weeks to come.
After a couple of dance numbers comes Chor Bazari, which brings in a certain feel of relaxation to the album. If one hears closely, the number belongs to the kind of setting that Vishal-Shekhar have been known for. There is an R D Burman feel to Chor Bazari, especially the antara portion. Though with Neeraj Shridhar at the helm of affairs, there is a definite Pritam touch to the proceedings as well; however at heart, this number carries an innocent yet mischievous feel to it. Sunidhi Chauhan joins in the fun as well. Expect a dilli darshan with Chor Bazari.
It's time to reprise the mood of Tum Se Hi from Jab We Met with the arrival of Yeh Dooriyan. Mohit Chauhan is the common factor again in this melodious romantic number that has as much chance of being popular as the three songs preceding it, hence making it four in a row for the team of Love Aaj Kal. A song that has a slight hint of sadness to it, Yeh Dooriyan, as the title suggests, questions the relevance of distance and separation of two hearts.
Love Aaj Kal continues to be unstoppable as it comes up with yet another gem - Ajj Din Chadheya. With Rahat Fateh Ali Khan rendering it, the song has melody as its forte and doesn't bear any Western influence whatsoever. Bringing on further variety in the album, Ajj Din Chadheya has an old world charm to it. A number that is bound to work quite well in aiding the narrative of Love Aaj Kal, the song is about the protagonist asking God for getting the love of his life.
It's time to enter a Punjabi household with Thoda Thoda Pyar at a sangeet ceremony. The sound of shaava and aahas coupled with a bunch of women setting the shaadi-byaah-ka-mahaul is what makes Thoda Thoda different from the other tracks. Sunidhi Chauhan gets her first solo number in the album and she does well in getting the nuances right for Thoda Thoda Pyaar that could easily have fallen into the trap of being one of those cliched marriage celebration songs with a Punjabi setting that are unleashed every year. Also, Pritam and his arrangements give a hint of a 70s setting to Thoda Thoda Pyaar, hence making it sound different from the ones we've heard in the past.
The man for all seasons, KK, sings Main Kya Hoon. It's a return to modern times with this solo track that has a happy feel to it with a definite Pritam touch. Whether it's the interlude musical pieces or the overall pace of the song, Main Kya Hoon scores.
It sounds too good to be true but Pritam seems to have kept all his brilliant compositions on hold between Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal. Yes, he has had quite a few good albums with Race, Jannat, Singh Is Kinng and Kismat Konnection in the interim but his attachment to Imtiaz's films is visible in the compositions of Love Aaj Kal. It is not everyday that each and every song turns out to be extremely good in an album but that's indeed the case with Love Aaj Kal.
Verdict: Four and a half stars