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Khiladi 786

After nearly a decade since the last Khiladi film, Akshay Kumar reprises the avatar in the forthcoming flick, Khiladi 786. Popular music director Himesh Reshammiya composes the music for this fun-filled entertainer and the album, jam-packed with 14 songs, has already found wide appreciation among Reshammiya fans.

Lonely (Himesh Reshammiya, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Hamsika Iyer) starts off promisingly with the synthesised signature tune and Yo Yo Honey Singh’s rap making an instant impact. Reshammiya’s voice quickly kicks in and he’s in great form, even spoofing himself to sound extra nasal. Iyer makes a brief appearance but makes her presence felt. Lonely is a typical Reshammiya number designed to stick in your head. Balma (Sriram, Shreya Ghoshal) is an addictive ode to RD Burman. This retro-sounding dance track features Panchamda’s trademark Bongo beats and sound effects. Shreya Ghoshal is at her sensuous best and Sriram, possibly influenced by the composer, sounds a tad nasal too.

Long drive (Mika Singh) is a languid hip-hop composition that boasts of some superb guitar strumming, and Mika Singh’s surprisingly restrained vocals. Besides, Sameer’s lyrics and the subtle techno rockbed help considerably in making ` an easy, breezy listen.

Sari sari raat (Himesh Reshammiya) begins splendidly with a haunting violin piece and with it, the promise of a poignant romantic number. The composer works his magic to create a lovely, dreamy ballad but the singer in him crash-lands it. Reshammiya is unable to get the right balance in his singing, sounding different in every note and hopelessly alternating between nasal and normal. Sari sari raat would have been an outstanding winner had it been sung by someone else. But to Reshammiya’s credit, the tune is soothing and gorgeous.

The chorus in Hookah bar is startlingly similar to the one in Chris Brown’s Turn up the music. That and the cheesy lyrics aside, Hookah bar (Vineet Singh, Himesh Reshammiya, Aman) is an energetic club number that’s bound to find its place in every local DJ’s playlist. The title track Khiladi bhaiyya (Vineet Singh, Aman, Yashraj) suffers from a serious Hud hud dabangg hangover and fails to impress.

Tu hoor pari (Javed Ali, Shreya Ghoshal, Harshdeep) opens beautifully with Harshdeep’s striking vocals. A fusion of traditional Punjabi folk and a qawwali, this number works as a fitting finale to an entertaining album.

The trade has already declared Khiladi 786 as very successful, what with Reshammiya fans going crazy over every track in the album. Reshammiya’s naysayers can bring the roof down with their rants, but the fact is that the man’s music sells!

Verdict: Mainstream masala

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