Kal, Aaj Aur Kal is Lakshya Bhatnagar’s debut EP with the band Lakshya. Even though the EP contains only six tracks, it’s still a roller coaster of emotions. Every single musician associated with this project is stellar and Lakshya Bhatnagar’s powerful pipes take the songs to the next level. The EP isn’t just a collection of tunes with random lyrics, Lakshya Bhatnagar has fuelled it with his own emotions and experiences. If this is the first time you have come across Lakshya Bhatnagar’s work, this EP won’t just introduce him to you as a singer, it will also introduce him as a person. You will know more about Lakshya Bhatnagar when you listen to Kal Aaj Aur Kal and guess what, you will be able to relate to him (except the amazing vocal abilities part of course). Without further ado, let’s dive into the meat and potatoes, the songs themselves.
The EP kicks off with the light-hearted and aptly titled track Rooyi. The track has a strong father-daughter vibe and we won’t be surprised if it’s about Lakshya Bhatnagar’s daughter herself. Oh and good luck trying to not sing Rooyi Rooyi Rooyi the next time you see a cotton ball in your first aid kit.
The second track on the EP, Mumbai Meri Jaan has the makings of an anthem. It’s an ode to the magical city of Mumbai. The lyrics echo the sentiments of all starry-eyed dreamers who arrive in Mumbai to fulfill their dreams of stardom. While the song is most likely about Lakshya Bhatnagar’s personal experiences in India’s biggest city, all Mumbaikars who have come from other cities (especially from North India) can relate to it (mausam hote hain do yahan par, sardiyon ko dhoondhta hoon main). Sing it loud and proud Mumbaikars, Ye Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan.
The EP slows down and takes a sombre turn with the third track, Pari. The song talks about a woman who comes to Lakshya Bhatnagar’s life and changes it for the better. The eponymous Pari or fairy is an angel of light for the downtrodden Lakshya who rescues him from his misery. The highlight of the song is the short but sweet guitar solo which would make an 80s power ballad proud.
The EP’s sombre tone continues with the fourth track Kya Woh Tum Thi. The song is a melancholy lament of a man stuck in a toxic relationship. The song builds up gradually and ends with the battle cry of a resolute man who is never going to put himself through the same hell again. Bhatnagar belts out Aayinda aaoge, to reh jaana and a soulful guitar solo plays till the spoken-word outro. A song of pain, misery, self-realization, and triumph. Powerful.
The EP shifts gears and picks up the tempo with the fifth track Raakh. The track deals with the struggles of a man dealing with the demons of addiction. His addiction has reduced him to ashes (main hoon raakh) and he is screaming out in misery. The raspy vocals suit the song very well, showcasing Lakshya Bhatnagar’s expertise at his craft. On top of that, the sprinkling of 80s keyboard sounds and some dubstep elements make the song really unique. Definitely the most interesting composition on the EP.
The EP’s sombre tone concludes with Raakh and the EP picks up the tempo to close out with the upbeat and catchy College Nahi Jaate The. Needless to say, if you have ever been to college, you can relate to this wonderful track. It starts off with the dreaded alarm clock sound which we all promptly used to ignore. All of the world’s snoozers can relate to Subah hoti thi 12 baj kar snooze minute par. If you ever skipped college and just hung out with friends for the whole day, you are going to be hit with a tsunami of nostalgic waves with this track. College Nahi Jaate The is a thoroughly enjoyable track with a catchy chorus and a wonderful guitar solo. A fantastic closer to the album. You might have skipped college before, don’t skip this track though.
Verdict: A triumphant debut. Just play on repeat.
Produced by: Ankith Sinha
Mix Engineer: Yash Singh Rathore
Guitars: Sharad Nirmalkar
Bass: Hemant Aligi
Recording Engineer: Nitin M Krishna at Gray Spark Audio
Mastered by: André Castro Mastering, Portugal