out of

Producer: Nitin Manmohan
Director: David Dhawan
Music: Anand-Milnd
Lyrics: Sameer & Nitin Raikwar

Reviewed by: Mandeep Bahra

Two decades ago two top film stars, Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor, took to the mike to croon, "Chal Mere Bhai" for music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal in Manmohan Desai's NASEEB. Thankfully, they had the brilliant Mohd. Rafi to prop them up, giving the song much needed credibility. Now, two of todays top stars, Sunjay Dutt and Salman Khan, have gate-crashed the recording studio and have warbled their way through the title track of this film, also titled, "Chal Mere Bhai". Anand-Milind and Sameer's creation has a similar theme to the Laxmikant-Pyarelal/Anand Bakshi number; One brother (Sunjay) is warning the other (Salman) about the evils of alcohol. What doesn't make sense is that Sunjay sounds just as inebriated as Salman. Sameer's witty lyrics, (especially Salman's amusing quips), will probably make for entertaining viewing in the movie, but they have no business being on the soundtrack! There is also a "remix" version of this number which has a completely different rhythm. As a result, the words, "Chal Mere Bhai" are sung faster. It's only when you hear this that you realise Anand-Milind have recycled their tune, "Mera Dil Na Todo" from RAJA BABU. Nevertheless, the remix is more ear -friendly due to some actual singing by Shankar Mahadevan, Lezz Lewis and Dominique.

The album gets significantly better with the sublime "Meri Neend Jaane Lagi Hai". Sonu Nigam is in his element with Anand-Milind's magic melody, and Alka Yagnik provides efficient accompaniment. Rewind time!!!

It seems a Punjabi song or a 'wedding' song are obligatory in Hindi cinema nowadays; Here we get both together in "O Mehndi Rang Laayee". What starts off as a run of the mill song ends up being one of the best on the album. A competent introduction by Jaspinder Narula leads us into an infectious melody with good lyrics and good singing by Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik. Definitely one to hear again and again.

Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik flex their vocal chords enthusiastically for "Chori Chori Sapnon Mein", spicing up Anand-Milind's catchy tune. However, strains of Nadeem-Shravan's "Love Tujhe Love" from BARSAAT are all too familiar here! The unimaginative 'sad' version of this song consists of Abhijeet and Alka merely singing the chorus at a slower pace to violins (YAWN!).

"Aajkal Ki Ladkiyan" is an enjoyable 'girls-Vs-boys' group song full of sarcastic comments about the guys and gals of today. Sonu Nigam overshadows everyone with his brilliantly expressive vocals, but to be fair, Vinod Rathod, Poornima and Vaijanti do quite well too.

Unfortunately, Kumar Sanu has been given a tired old tune on this album. His duet, "Thodisi Beqarari" with Alka Yagnik is nothing to write home about. Neither the singers, composers nor lyricist seem to have tried with this one, resulting in a dull dud!

Nitin Raikwar's only contribution, "Mere Baap Ki Beti" is a comic number with somewhat confusing lyrics. Abhijeet and Vinod Rathod manage to make the song worth listening to once, but my advice is to wait for the film to hear it again as it will probably make more sense.

The theme music is a very uninspiring instrumental track. Anand-Milind should take leaf out of A.R.Rahman's book; remember BOMBAY, RANGEELA, TAAL? All had 'out-of-this-world' instrumental tracks.

All in all, CHAL MERE BHAI is a fun ride - but what else can one expect from a David Dhawan film.