out of

Producer: Tips Films
Director: Abbas Mustan
Music: Anu Malik

Reviewed by Mukul Deshpande

Anu Malik is getting a little repetitive of late. He's really overdoing the sickly simple love songs. Now he's back with Abbas Mustan, the same men who gave him the big break with Baazigar. I hoped Anu would give us something different this time, but unfortunately that is not the case.

The album starts off with "Soldier, soldier, meethi baaten bolkar" rendered by Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik. The song is no great shakes except for the line "Yoon milake nazar ... aage peechhe dolkar" which just sticks to you. Alka sounds sweet ... or maybe it's just that I'm thinking about the even sweeter Preity Zinta.

Anu Malik's lack of ideas is apparent in the next song "Mere dil jigar se guzree hai" sung by Kumar and Alka. We have heard the tune accompanying the lyrics "O rabba o o o ..." somewhere in "Neela dupatta peela suit". Unfortunately, "Mere dil" doesn't have the punch that was present in the song from Hameshaa.

"Mehfil mein bar bar" is another Kumar-Alka duet, but this one fares much better than the previous song thanks to an immensely likeable tune and wonderful orchestration by Anu Malik.

"Mere khwabon mein jo aaye" appears in two versions with slightly different lyrics - one has the voice of Alka while the other has that of Sonu Nigam. The song has some 'ear-friendly' music which Anu has been churning a lot of lately. But I don't know why Sameer has squeezed in so many words in the first few lines, because the result is that Alka and Sonu sound like they're having a race.

Just when we start feeling that all this soldier does is sing and dance, we finally hear some music that identifies with the title of the film. The "Theme of Soldier" starts off in a rather aggressive manner which sounds refreshingly good after the candy-coated songs on Side A. But alas, our happiness is short-lived. After some time, Anu takes a U-turn and starts playing the tune of the title song with different instruments (that might be a wrong word to use because I could almost imagine Anu pressing various buttons on his keyboard to get different sounds from it).

"Hum to dil chahen tumhara" is another sugary song with the hey-I've-heard-this-before feeling to it. Kumar's and Hema Sardesai's vocals do not enhance the song in any way and you're half-asleep by the time the song's over.

I almost puked when I heard the tune of the title song for the umpteenth time in this album. It was at the start of "Tera rang balle balle", a bhangra song with a foot-tapping rhythm. Sonu Nigam and Jaspinder Nirula try to do a "Akhiyon se goli maare" again, but aren't quite as successful, simply because Anu Malik isn't as good as some old Punjabi composer (in case you don't know, the song from Dulhe Raja was copied from an old Punjabi folk tune).

The basic problem with Soldier is that the music lacks variety. It's as if the whole album is one BIG song. Sameer's lyrics do not help Anu Malik's music sound better. Nor does the great music trailor of Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan which appears at the end of my album.

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