he 90s action genre was undoubtedly dominated by the action king of Bollywood – Akshay Kumar & his spate of ‘Khiladi’ films. Starting with Khiladi (in 1992), there came Sabse Bada Khiladi, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi, Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi (albeit comedy), International Khiladi & finally, Khiladi 420 (in 2000). After a 12 year hiatus, he is back with a dhamakedaar action flick, Khiladi 786. Hopefully, this will turn out to be a welcome change from the mundane crap that is being churned out by lackadaisical filmmakers in recent times. Anyway, coming back to the music, we have Himesh Reshammiya (henceforth, HR) at the forefront of the album with an astonishing 14 tracks. Why, Himesh, why? Are you seeking revenge on all those music critics who have dissed you in the past?
Is the first track Lonely a dance song? A sad song? Both? Who cares when HR delivers such an addictive track! Aside from his cringeworthy nasal twinge, this track manages to get your heartbeat racing with its extremely fast pace. Naysayers will definitely say that it is an Indianized adaptation of Alexandra Stan’s Mr. Saxobeat. Sadly, Yo Yo Honey Singh & Hamsika Iyer’s portions are overshadowed by HR. Moreover, what is this I hear? The line Teri Yaad Saath Hai from Namastey London’s Main Jahaan Rahoon (once again, music by HR) is used in this! A great start to the album.
The much talked about tribute track to R.D. Burman, Balma, is up next. Starting off with Pancham da’s iconic bongo beats, this one gave me a very wannabe Mehbooba vibe (from Sholay). HR is obviously trying hard, but me thinks he’s going a tad bit overboard. There are way too many elements in this song which take the focus away from the lead singers Shriram & Shreya Ghoshal. Moreover, Shreya Ghoshal shined in Chikni Chameli. With Balma, she sounds just below average. Better luck next time?
Don’t ask me how, but Long Drive is going to become a chartbuster. Starting off on a deceptive note wherein I thought it was a hardcore lovey-dovey track, it surprised the bejesus out of me with its hip-hop-meets-soft rock vibe. Mika Singh sounds so unlike himself – which works! Expect this one to have a dhamakedaar video. (P.S. One can compare this to Yaad Sataye Teri from Phir Hera Pheri – once again, HR)
Sari Sari Raat reminded me of HR’s beautiful music in Namastey London – until he started singing. The track opens up on a highly melodious note and just when you’ve fallen in love with the AMAZING interlude, HR’s absolutely unfit voice plagued my ears. WHY??!! How could you do this to your listeners, HR? You just ruined one of your best dreamy compositions. I feel like the child who has been offered candy and then some ruthless person snatched it away.
I have heard some weird & cheesy love analogies (“Love is like e^x, you can’t stop integrating it”) but this one takes the cake. A hookah bar? Really? The best, and ironically, the worst part of Hookah Bar is the sincere attempt to create something new. Sung by HR, Vineet Singh & Aman Trikha, the energy exuded by them is infectious but overall, the song fails. Very monotous.
In a surprising move, the title song Khiladi Bhaiyya is heard quite late into the album. Personally, I think the brief given to HR was to replicate Hud Hud Dabangg. If nothing else, the opening of this track is highly reminiscent of Salman’s now-famous track. The title song, especially that of a Khiladi movie, HAS to be explosive and this one fails to even come near that mark. Sung by Vineet Singh, Aman Trikha, Yashraj Kapil, Alam Gir Khan & Rajdeep Chatterjee, this track can be easily avoided.
By the time Tu Hoor Pari arrived, I’d lost interest in the album. Other than the vocals by Javed Ali, Shreya Ghoshal, Harshdeep Kaur & Chandrakala Singh, nothing about this track is worth mentioning. In fact, the constantly changing graph of the track left me confused.
Now comes the taxing part – reviewing the remixes!
Now comes the taxing part – reviewing the remixes! Out of the seven original tracks, five of them have a remix version (except Sari Sari Raat & Tu Hoor Pari). Just like the original, Lonely’s remix is highly energetic. Funnily, Hookah Bar & Balma sounded so much better in their remixed avatar. A Bhangra mix of Long Drive left me wanting for more. The only remix that sucked was that of the title track, Khiladi Bhaiyya.
Himesh Reshammiya has ensured that Khiladi 786’s score is addictive. The album will sell & the music will be a chartbuster. Yet, he can do (and has done) so much better. On a separate note, the lyrics (by Sameer & Shabbir Ahmed) don’t really do much for the album.