When it comes to an Akshay Kumar film, there are expectations of a full on 'masala' score. However, when the name Nagesh Kukunoor gets attached to the project, you know that soundtrack won't have a core Akshay Kumar stamp. It will be something different for sure and certainly not the kind where Akshay Kumar will get to let himself loose in a way that he has done in his recent films like Chandni Chowk To China, Singh Is Kinng or Welcome. Add to the project composers like Salim-Sulaiman, Neeraj Sridhar and Bohemia and it certainly makes you curious to play 8X10 Tasveer.
There is an underground feel to 'Nazaara Hai' that is dark, haunting, exciting, involving and pretty much in synch with the theme of the film. Boasting of an urban contemporary sound, 'Nazaara Hai' makes an impression in the first hearing and sets the tone for the rest of the soundtrack to follow. A closer hear (especially after the 'remix version' is played) makes one identify the sound of 'Nazaara' with the kind of music that is heard in Sanjay Gupta's films!
A love song comes next and this time around too, the urban mood of the film is kept intact. 'Haafiz Khuda' is a kind of number that plays in the background of the film but that's about it. It sounds decent but doesn't have enough power in it to make listeners play it day in and night out. Also, for a song like this which was completely melody based, there wasn't really a requirement of a 'remix version'. Moreover, for reasons best known to the makers, the song's tune is repeated for 'Kuchh Is Tarah' (which also has a 'remix version' by the way).
Neeraj Sridhar composes 'Aaja Maahi' which follows a route similar to that of 'Haafiz Khuda'. Yet another love song that carries forward the mood of the song preceding it, this one too is an average composition which acts merely as a gap filler. Same is the case with the 'remix version' which only makes you look forward to the song to follow.
It's Bohemia's show all the way with 'I Got The Picture' (yet another song which also appears in a 'remix version') where he plays the triple role of composer, lyricist and singer. Carrying forward the mood that he created earlier in his rap song for Chandni Chowk To China, Bohemia is much darker this time around, hence going with the theme of the movie. A number which has been placed completely from the promotional standpoint, 'I Got The Picture' is an interesting number but could have made a far better impression if complimented by an exciting music video too.
Irfan Siddiqui writes 'Nazaara Hai' which stays true to the theme of the film as it brings in element of the photographs and Akshay's gift of peeping into the past and exploring the truth. He also writes 'Hafiz Khuda' and though this time too, there is a mention of the word 'tasveer' in the 'mukhda' itself, it is in reference to your loved one. Another version of the same song, 'Kuchh Is Tarah', also follows the conventional route of love and romance. Sameer writes for 'Aaja Maahi' and doesn't quite make one sit up and notice his work for the song. He stays within conventional boundaries here and that's about it.
Vishal Dadlani, who has now been pretty much a regular when it comes to flexing his vocal chords behind the mike, comes up with one of his best rendered tracks in the form of 'Nazaara Hai'. He gets to sing to opening track of the album where he goes all out in living up his rock star image. Mohit Chauhan is as usual in 'Hafiz Khuda' (also appearing in another version as 'Kuchh Is Tarah' though one feels that instead of Tulsi Kumar, whether Sunidhi Chauhan or Shreya Ghoshal), could have been a better inclusion.
Tulsi also sings 'Aaja Maahi' along with Neeraj Sridhar and this time around, she gets a bigger platform to perform when compared with 'Hafiz Khuda'. Surprisingly, Neeraj's voice doesn't quite make you wonder if he should be singing more romantic numbers in movies to follow. Give us the likes of 'Bhool Bhulaiyaa' any time Neeraj and we won't mind that!
8X10 Tasveer has an average soundtrack with Nazaara Hai being the pick of the lot. The two romantic numbers do not go an extra distance though the sole rap song (I Got The Picture) does make for an interesting hear. Still, if one is looking for a hit soundtrack here, then that is not quite in the anvil.