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Pritam Love Aaj Kal Review

Soundtrack. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Enough quality on show to maintain Pritam’s reputation.

Steve Chatha 2009

After the success of 2007’s Jab We Met, Pritam Chakraborty and director Imtiaz Ali’s next collaboration was expected to meet if not surpass expectations. With Pritam plagued with allegations of plagiarism, this soundtrack was in danger of being overshadowed by controversy; but despite that it proves an addictive, diverse and enjoyable album, and one that credits samples where credits are due.

Twist is the first of several highly catchy tunes. Hinglish lyrics, energetic beats and a classical hook from the 1954 movie Nagin showcase Pritam’s talents as one of the best musical arrangers around. It’s fresh, funky and soulful, and kick-starts the album on a high.

In contrast, Chor Bazaar lacks any inspirational nods and as such is distinctly average – it will be relying on the film’s visuals to give it a much needed boost. Perhaps we need Pritam the Plagiarist after all?

Rising star Mohit Chauhan sings on Dooriyan. The lyrics are a tad sentimental, but the smooth composition keeps the mood light. Chauhan can hardly deliver a note wrong, but Dooriyan will prove more of a treat for his real fans.

Tabla marks the opening of Ajj Din Chaddeya. An absolute gem, Qawaali vocalist Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sings gloriously over traditional instrumentals. And it is on this track that Pritam returns to greater form and exhibits his worth as a Bollywood composer – the song is simply beautiful.

The Punjabi tone is bang on in Thoda Thoda Pyar but, for reasons best known to Pritam, Sunidhi Chauhan’s vocals have an uncomplimentary echo effect which gives the impression that she was made to face the wall of a tunnel whilst singing. It’s to her credit that she manages to leave any mark. 

Scattered throughout are the inevitable remixes, providing enough noise to fill the dance floor, but disappointingly leaving less room for more of the sentimental tracks one would expect with a film which portrays love in the past and future. However, there is enough to enjoy on Love Aaj Kal to rescue Pritam from recent controversy and maintain his award-winning reputation.

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