Pritam has become the darling of the nightclubs what with his chartbusting dance anthems. As my writer colleague, Aakash Gandhi, has pointed out, Pritam is going down the slippery slope of plagiarism. " Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena" has some very catchy tunes and Pritam uses inspiration from other sources to create music masti. Relax, there is no case of plagiarism here (not that I´m aware of) but what he does is use influences from other songs and blends it with other styles to create a rocking sound.
The prime example of this is "Ankhiyan Na Maar" - a foot-tapping cocktail of Punjabi pop. Inspiration has been derived from traditional Punjabi folk songs and stirred with the modern taste for throbbing techno/disco music. Sunidhi Chauhan forgets the feeling of deja vu and just runs with the song, giving it her all. Her honeyed voice just laps up the beats and the fast tempo. The "Ankhiyan Na Maar (Remix)" version is a mistake as it distorts Chauhan´s voice - a highlight in the first version.
Hmm, I wonder why the CD keeps stopping. It sounds like it is being scratched. Oh, hold on, the song is designed like that! Silly me. Pritam frequently pauses the rhythm of "Ishq Hai Jhoota" so that dancers on the disco floor can freeze regularly for fun. Remember those ishq bashing songs from a couple of years back? Now, "Ishq Hai Jhoota" brings it all back with Sunidhi Chauhan pondering ´Chalta jaye ishq musafir, Ruke kahin na ishq yeh kaafir, Ishq main tera sab choota...´ This hip-hop number with healthy portions of rap and techno mix is good for a few listens and Chauhan leads the show, leaving Kunal Ganjawala in the shade. It is impossible to keep up with the tempo in the "Ishq Hai Jhoota (Remix)" version as the singing is speeded up. Those who have ultra-flexible legs may enjoy dancing to this one.
Amitabh Varma laces the next track with some very erotic words that are brought to life with Sonu Nigam´s sensual vocals. My personal favourite of the album, "Jal Jal Ke Dhuan", shows that you don´t need a speedy pace to come up with a chartbuster. Nigam shines at the centre of this gem; he wonderfully captures the subtle erotic nuances of the words with his deep and longing rendition. “Yeh is kadar milgaye hai hamare badan, Yeh bhi nahin hai pata kaun tum kaun hum…” Momentum is sacrificed for some tacky flashing beats in the "Jal Jal Ke Dhuan (Remix)" version. This is a very superfluous remix that loses the layers of the lyrics and expressions portrayed in the non-remix version.
Tiring of other genres, Pritam now moves onto slow rock for "Jhoom". Suzanne D´Mello´s American accented rendition is energetic and her lithe vocals (similar to Britney Spears) are a pleasure to listen to. You can imagine letting the song soak into you while you´re in a quiet bar late at night. Sukhwinder Singh pops up with "Nasha", an unappealing song that doesn´t do any justice to his talent. Parts of the track are clearly inspired from "Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe" (" Dil Chahta Hai"). Thankfully, neither of these songs have another remix version on the album!
"Yaaron" is an amiable friendship anthem with Sonu Nigam and Shaan jumping into the spirit of things. Saxophone interludes underline the relaxed mood of this chill out number. "Yaaron (Part 2)" is totally unnecessary... the only difference being that it has a bit of chat and one or two slower parts.
The music of “ Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena” is clearly designed to be a chartbuster and Pritam’s score is already doing the trick. The songs are fine and zippy enough for those who want to grab something new here and now. But, with the exception of “Jal Jal Ke Dhuan”, will most of us be listening to the rest of the numbers this time next year? I doubt it.