A look at the CD cover and Ali Zafar is the name that dominates the credits; Music Composer, Lyricist, Singer and Lead Actor! London Paris New York (LPNY) is one soundtrack where the listeners don’t actually know what to expect, sole reason being that this is Ali Zafar's debut soundtrack in Bollywood. His past record is his energetic singing in “Madhubala” (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan) and his singing / composing in Tere Bin Laden. However, writing / composing / singing for an entire album is a different challenge altogether not to mention risky affair (Himesh Reshammiya is a prime example). Says Ali Zafar “I wanted to create sounds that are fresh and since the film touches on different emotions I could experiment with genres”. LPNY pairs up Aditi Rao Hydari and Ali Zafar where Aditi Rao is also seen crooning two songs and one acoustic version.
It kick-starts with the title song "London Paris New York" which starts off beautifully with some female alaap by Sunidhi Chauhan alongside piano and Ali Zafar joining in with his 'worth noticing' dictions. Although nothing particularly new on the music front here with an ordinary interlude, the singing by Ali Zafar is appreciable. The Hindi-English lyrics will attract ears and the cool promotional video will surely make up for a number with some repeat value. Peppy and foot tapping if nothing else!
The piano dominates the second track, "Vo Dekhnay Mein" which has a Déjà Vu feel attached to it, especially the antaras. Ali Zafar does well in creating a soft and soothing romantic ballad. The lyrics are intentionally simple and thus appreciable. In the singing department, he is impressive but at the same time falls flat with the high notes and almost does a Kishore Kumar at the end. Wonder what a voice like Mohit Chauhan would have done to this number! Anyway one of the better songs on the album.
"Vo Dekhnay Mein-Female Acoustic Version" starts off gracefully with Aditi Rao Hydari doing the vocals alongside polished guitar strums. To everyone’s disappointment, the duration is only one minute and leaves you wanting more. Aditi makes one fall in love just with few lines; wonder what was Ali thinking by including a one minute version which would go unnoticed, what otherwise could have been a fantastic reprise.
After two good tracks, one expects some more pretentious tunes, but sadly the next track, "Ting Rang" is rather disappointing. An attempt to bring in the Punjabi flavour with the blend of Dhol and western beats alongside harmonium looks good but the singing is a big letdown. Quite honestly, Ali Zafar's voice doesn't suit the genre and a Mika or Master Saleem would have provided that extra zing and infused some more energy into the song. The video and the picturisation might do some damage control but as an audio, it’s an average composition.
"Thehree Si Zindagi" is gripping and certainly the best of the lot. Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari create an Aura that stays with you and is a kind of composition that is made for the REPEAT button. Ali Zafar is surely a reincarnation of Atif Aslam! Aditi Rao Hydari is simply terrific and strikes gold in her sensational debut as a lead playback singer. The lyrics are refined and first-class. Ali Zafar certainly deserves a pat on the back for the multi-tasking job. However, the last one minute of the track looks a tad bit overstretched with a never ending chorus and could have been eradicated. Still, an absorbing composition which definitely deserves a hearing or two. Don't miss this one!
"Aaja" is an interesting tale of heart-break which shifts gears after 1.30 minute with the drunken voice of Ali Zafar who makes sure that he remains the only name as the Male lead playback in the soundtrack. Some Punjabi lyrics dominate the proceedings and ends much sooner when the listeners try to adjust to the unusual pace of the 2nd half. Nothing much to boast about this 3 minute composition.
The album makes a good start but loses its way somewhere in the middle. It certainly lacks in the singing department with an overdose of Ali Zafar and he should have stuck to seasoned artists to bring in the much needed variety. Sunidhi Chauhan hardly makes her presence felt in the title song but Aditi Rao Hydari is opulent. Another area where it could have done much more is with the lyrics which are way too simple at places and some which we have been heard before many times. Overall LPNY is decent in places, certainly “Thehree Si Zindagi” is quite appreciable and “Vo Dekhnay Mein” storming up the charts with Valentines Day on the horizon. However the soundtrack should have been a lot better given this is a debut for Ali Zafar and he would be wanting to make a bigger impression than what this ends up offering.