Mention I Hate Luv Storys to a Bollywood fan and they will invariably say, I cannot WAIT to see this movie…have you heard the soundtrack yet? Directed by newcomer Punit Malhotra, the film stars two of the best young actors in Hindi cinema today Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor. In true Dharma style, this film is a modern look at romance, but it also has the filmi-ishness thrown in that audiences love. The talented duo of Vishal-Shekar was called in to create the tunes needed to match the hip and young flavor to the story. So, did they achieve that and make us hate or love the music?
Jab Mila Tu
‘Jab Mila Tu’ starts off very peppy and from those first notes the song makes you smile. The music is quite an eclectic mix of instruments and styles, but they all come together to make a happy song that makes your feet tap and your head sway. Vishal Dadlani’s delivery is very energetic with a kind-of rough inflection that keeps the song from being too jangly – his vocals ground the song and make it better. ‘Jab Mila Tu’ has already made waves with the song promo and though the track is good as a just a song on the OST, you love it even more in relation to the happenings in the film. The lyrics by Anvita Dutt remind you of ‘Jaane Kyun’ from Dostana a bit, but it does sound like a lot of thought has gone into the words. The emphasis on creative lyrics in Hindi film songs has been diminishing, however ‘Jab Mila Tu’ doesn’t follow that trend. At first, the repeat of the ‘tu ru tu tu ru tu’ stanza seems overdone and more a music filler, but by the end that is what goes through your head. This one would be a great addition for your happy bolly song list! 4 stars
Bin Tere starts off very nicely with acoustic guitar and chorus. The wonderful Shafqat Amanat Ali, whom you have heard on ‘Tere Naina’ from MNIK, joins in and the song gets better – even goes up a star. He has a great voice that is wonderful to listen to and fits perfectly in this song. The lyrics by Vishal Dadlani are classic romance with a great use of Urdu, which is nice to hear because it’s such a beautiful language that no longer remains as prevalent in our soundtracks. The little bit of English lyrics that are used in the chorus actually adds rather than detracts, which is usually the case. Sunidhi Chauhan is her usual amazingness…I love the tonal quality of her voice. However, I did not like the mix of their two voices…the registers did not mix and it did not sound good. Overall, it is a nice song but it seems to have too many parts musically…separately they are good, but together it is a little too much. At the same time it seems to be missing something. Would I put it on repeat? Probably not, but this one may grow on me, especially after seeing the film. 3 stars
Bin Tere – Reprise
I love, love simple acoustic guitar lines and vocals and so the reprise version had me at the first notes. This time it is composer Shekhar who does the honors and he is fantastic! He sings the song as if he is sitting in his room composing the song or singing to his love, and I love it! My favorite song on the album. Simple, sweet and perfect – not a wrong note anywhere! I cannot wait to see the film just to see what the director has going on during this song. This version should be on all your favorites playlists and on replay…it is on mine! 5 stars
Bin Tere – Remix
The remix by DJ Kiran is another totally different take on the song, a club mix stripped down to voices and the classic synthy beats that will get people on the dance floor. It is a little long, it could have been cut by a minute or more, but overall a good remix. Of the three versions of ‘Bin Tere’, the Reprise is by far my favorite, but this one is quite good, too. 3 stars
I Hate Luv Storys
After a few seconds of the teaser and trailer this song got lots of fans cheering and singing! With a wicked club beat and very, very catchy melody this one is going to make everyone dance. In fact, in the film Imran’s Jay is bustin’ a move to the song in a club! Vishal Dadlani again takes on the dual role of composer and singer with ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ and again the rough, deep tone of his voice makes the song’s groove. The lines penned by Kumaar are clever, creative and comical all at the same time. A balance between all three was essential because the song is essentially about feeling the total conundrum of wanting a relationship but not wanting the total package of a relationship, i.e. not a luv story! English lyrics are neither disastrous nor completely impressive. The hook of the song (Dil deke chhora chhori, Hui masti thodi thodi, Bas pyar ka naam na lena…I Hate Luv Storys) will go through your head but happily, not annoyingly. The music is great, but it is the vocals that make it too good! Another hit by the duo that know how to create, mix and make good music! 4 stars
This one changes up and instead of the fresh new sounds of the other tracks, it goes back to the classic Indian/Punjabi beats and the feeling one used to expect on a Hindi OST and it is wonderful. Having said that, it also transforms into a more modern song in parts, but all the while still retaining that flavor in the instrumentals and phrasing. Kumaar’s intro lyrics are authentic Punjabi to the core and quite refreshing compared to the three tracks heard so far, and as the track progresses it becomes a blend Hindi and Punjabi. Shreya Ghoshal is wonderful; her vocals remind me of her award winning ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’. In fact the vocals, chorus and solos, are all a highlight of the song. I really liked this track and know I will even more in the film. 3.5 stars
Bahara (Chill Version)
For the this version Rahat Fateh Ali Khan takes over at the mike and though I love his voice, for some reason this track did not show him off to best advantage. I think it was too fast. He almost seemed as if he was straining, and you don’t ever expect that with the power of his voice. Of course it is still good, but not great. I think since it was the chill version another few notches down on the tempo would have made it better. 2.5 stars
This track has two of my favorite singers, Suraj Jagan and Mahalakshmi Iyer, so I was really excited before I even heard the first phrase. They certainly didn’t disappoint; they both are brilliant! We hear Suraj Jagan in a more smooth rock avatar compared to his hard-hitting rock vocals we usually hear from him and I loved it! Mahalakshmi Iyer gives gorgeous vocals that are full of depth and feeling. I want to hear more from this duo! The music is very nice with a mix of musical styles that all work together to make a wonderful song. Anvita Dutt wrote the lyrics to this beautiful song and they make this classic ‘hero’s self realization’ track in which Jay learns the true meaning of love and turns from cynic to a believer of love. And the girls in the audience go ‘awwww’. On the chorus, can’t you just see Imran arms outstretched on top of a mountain? I can. (sighhhh). I think once we see the picturization, ‘Sadka Kiya’ is going to play even better and it is already a favorite from the album. 4.5
Vishal-Shekhar have definitely done it again! The album is full of fresh new sounds and great vocals. All the tracks are good, but my picks for the best of a good thing are ‘Sadka Hua’, ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ and I have to say again my favorite the ‘Bin Tere-Reprise’! Each song stands alone, but I really think the magic and awesomness will be increased once seen in the context of the film! I definitely say buy the CD or download from iTunes to hold you over for the long wait until July 2nd when I Hate Luv Storys releases.