Television

The year’s first quarter ain’t even done and Love Aaj Kal's music has already won

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More often than not, in Bollywood, a soundtrack is tied to a film's fortunes at the box-office. Very rarely does an OST make its mark independently and shine brightly nevertheless. And that's what makes Love Aaj Kal's music, released through Sony Music India, an exception in a sea of norm.

 Here's why this is significant. In the era of multi-composer OSTs, this soundtrack by Pritam and Irshad Kamil is a first full-length album packed with great songs. Much has changed on the Bollywood soundscape in the interim. Shorter albums have become a mainstay with promotional schedules for songs getting tighter and tighter. Releasing albums with longer run-times are widely considered a risk few will take. And yet, LAK boasts of a 11-track album that has found favour with audiences and industry experts as well (more on that in a bit). It’s a celebration of melodies.

 Right from the release of the first single Shayad to Haan Main Galat to the third, Mehrama -- LAK's musical run has been exceptional. This much is evident in the fact that Shayad, Haan Main Galat and Mehrama feature in Top 20 lists across audio streaming platforms -- Spotify, Apple, JioSaavn, Wynk Music -- consistently since its release.

 The picture is no different on national television, radio and on Shazam, where the film's songs feature in the Top 10 lists. Haan Main Galat is sitting pretty at the #1spot across national television channels with Shayad and Mehrama following close at a tied #3. Haan Main Galat is ranked #2 and Shayad is ranked #5 on radio (Source?). The all-India chart of music search and discovery platform shows that Shayad is the 10th most searched song in India. The film’s music has crossed 300 mn+ streams across major audio and video streaming platforms and is the most streamed album of recent times.

 And it isn't just the figures doing the talking. The music has been loved by audiences as can be gauged by the comments below the song videos. But let's not be as surface-scratching as that. The Indian national daily, The Hindu went as far as noting that "Love Aaj Kal's songs belong to a blockbuster".

 Writer Vipin Nair observed, “The soundtrack by Pritam is even better than that of Imtiaz Ali's 2009 original (which was also composed by Pritam, with lyrics by Irshad Kamil).

 Acknowledging that the OST features 'repeats from the earlier soundtrack' -- KK and Mohit Chauhan return for vocal duty on Aur Tanha and Yeh Dooriyaan respectively -- Nair notes that Yeh Dooriyaan and 'Twist' redux Haan Main Galat are two aptly contemporised "throwbacks" evoke "welcome memories".

 In fact, Nair went on to add that while the 2009 Love Aaj Kal soundtrack has "aged wonderfully and will always be counted among Pritam-Irshad Kamil's best works", "for sheer number of quality songs (and fewer Punjabi influences) in this  [2020] album, I'd rate the new soundtrack higher".

 Case in point: Love Aaj Kal (the 2020 version), as Nair concludes, joins a rare league of films by visionary directors, "whose movies get looked forward to purely for their music."

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