Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga – Music Review (Bollywood Soundtrack)

Songs at the end.

This review first appeared in the Mumbai edition of The Hindu.

There is not much point comparing the title track of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh with R D Burman-Javed Akhtar’s iconic composition from 1942 a Love Story – there is no way a recreation is ever going to come up on top. But full marks to composer Rochak Kohli for the way he has adapted the song to suit the movie’s contemporary Punjabi settings. Aside of the title refrain, the only things Kohli borrows from the Pancham song are the short instrumental passages (really liked the fact that he chose to vocalise them) – rest of the lyrics come from Gurpreet Saini, and Darshan Raval delivers it competently. The composer’s second song is also a recreation – this time the folk song Gur Naal Ishq Mitha, most famous probably in its Indipop form from the 90s by Bally Sagoo and Malkit Singh. In this song too the composer builds his own song around that familiar refrain (additional lyrics by Gurpreet Saini again), while retaining the celebratory spirit. The folksy arrangement is dominated by Punjabi percussion and harmonium, giving a solid backing to the talented Navraj Hans and Harshdeep Kaur.

The remaining three songs of the soundtrack are the original tracks from Kohli and Saini. House Party Song traverses along the predictable dance track route, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the lyrics are largely about daaru, including a rap portion in between (particularly irksome to listen to, so soon after all the hip hop in Gully Boy). Sukhwinder Singh leading the vocal department is good to hear though, supported by Arjun Kanungo and rapper Parry G. Good Morning starts in a charming fashion (the plucked strings by Ankur Mukherjee, the main reason), but gets predictable as it progresses. The overall energy levels in the positivity-instilling piece and the matching vigour in Vishal Dadlani and Shannon Donald’s voices make it worth a listen though. It is in another rustic track that Kohli delivers the best even in this “original” set. Chitthiye’s simple, soulful soundscape is familiar (to quote a fairly recent instance, Phillauri comes to mind), but effective, especially with Kanwar Grewal’s earthy voice delivering it.

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga. Rochak Kohli’s first full soundtrack contains songs that once again demonstrate his talent, like multiple songs of his have in the past, but it is only in the folksy tracks – recreations or otherwise – that the man makes his mark here.

Music Aloud Rating: 3/5

Top Recos: Chitthiye, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, Gur Naal Ishq Mitha

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