Planet Bollywood
Aa Ab Laut Chalen
Producer: RK Films
Director: Rishi Kapoor
Starring: Rajesh Khanna, Akshaye Khanna, Aishwarya Rai, Suman Ranganathan, Kader Khan, Jaspal Bhatti, Satish Kaushik, Himani Shivpuri, Paresh Rawal and Special Appearances by Moushoumi Chatterjee & Aloknath
Music: Nadeem-Shravan
Lyrics: Sameer
Reviewed by: Mandeep Bahra  - Rating: 7.0 / 10
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RK films celebrates 50 years with the release of this soundtrack! The music of RK films has always had a very distinct stamp on it, making it easily recognised. However, AA AB LAUT CHALEN doesn't seem to follow the trend set by the old team of Raj Kapoor, Shankar-Jaikishan and later Laxmikant Pyarelal, and of course, Lata Mangeshkar. This will probably be disappointing to a lot of RK fans. I, personally, have never much cared for the traditional RK brand of music, and so this soundtrack is quite refreshing. Whether this 'departure' is deliberate or not on the part of first time director Rishi Kapoor is unclear. What remains to be seen is whether the 'new-look' songs will make a positive impact.

The album starts with the obligatory 'title track' which has some interesting arrangements that, for once, are not typical Nadeem-Shravan. Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik do their jobs very well, making "Aa Ab Laut Chalen" a reasonably good start to the album.

"Yeh Kaisi Mulaqat Hai" is an enjoyable duet by Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik, which is animated with peppy percussion. Nadeem-Shravan have travelled into new pastures (new for them, at least) and the result is a 'rewind' candidate.

"Tere Bin Ek Pal" is the big surprise! Nadeem-Shravan and Sameer have worked overtime on this one! This slow song charting the pain of separation is extremely well rendered by Jaspinder Narula. This, of-late, ubiquitous singer does a great Reshma impression but still brings her own unique brand of singing to the number. Jaspinder is so impressive that its easy to overlook her co-singer Udit Narayan, who surprisingly fails to match Jaspinder's vocal dexterity.

Jaspinder then switches into 'Asha Bhosle mode' for "Otashi Anata" (I'm not sure if these are even real words, but who cares). Jaspinder shows her versatility and proves she's a cut above the other new crooners around. The song is very westernised and modern in its orchestration and thankfully, Bali Brahmbhatt doesn't attempt to 'sing' anything in his invariably off-key voice. He merely provides a short, insignificant rap in the middle of the song.

Still riding high on the success of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai's songs, Alka Yagnik is in top form for "Mera Dil Tera Deewana". Again, the music is rhythmic and influenced by western beats. The tune is infectious and is helped by Alka's expressive singing.

Sadly, neither Udit Narayan, nor Alka Yagnik, nor Jaspinder Narula can save the dull dandiya number, "Yehi Hai Pyar". Even the chorus sound bored in this song! My advice: skip it!

"O Yaaron Maaf Karna" is the only number that seems to have some RK influence. The trademark accordion is used in typical Raj Kapoor style, but the song is unimpressive and doesn't warrant its two versions. Unfortunate that such a mediocre song boasts of such an array of talent, including Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Shabbir Kumar, Abhijeet, Vijayta Pandit/Shrivastava (which is it nowadays?), and Saud Khan(?).

It's difficult to predict the fate of this album as it is clearly not what anyone has been expecting. The release of the film may impact on the album sales, depending on whether it is a success or not. Nevertheless, AA AB LAUT CHALEN is worth a listen and a worthy addition to your film music library.

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