Soundtrack to the earnest drama finds Jaheim and Eric Benet in soul-searching mood...
After ‘The Best Man’ and ‘The Wood’, ‘The Brothers’ is the third version of the following story: an African American wedding, a healthy serving of muscled, clean-shaven testosterone, a couple o’ honeys, and much soul-searching on questions of love, sex and commitment. If the package has become a little formulaic, it does, at least, imply that black actors, like black musicians way before them, now enjoy a steady presence and selling power in mainstream culture.
However, the film’s soundtrack might not warrant the same attention. There are high-flying names here – Jaheim‘s ‘Let It Go’, slickly laid on the rhythm track to Starsky And Hutch, Jermaine Dupri & Roc featuring Lil’ Mo steam in next to Eric Benet’s opener (‘Love Don’t Love Me’, soon to be released as a single) with the former club hit ‘Lay It Down’ – and some of those names are wearing melodies we do not often see them in – Snoop Dogg goes sassy soul on the effortless ‘Hi 2 You’, and DL offers a questionable dub-hued track called ‘Josephine’.
The cuts are also uniformly selected, all of them adhering to a funked up, retrospective take on soul, R&B and hip hop that seems centred around the ’80s. It is perhaps this sonically narrow remit that makes the soundtrack only partially accessible and increase in tediousness as it crawls towards its end.
Despite a splattering of worthy names from yesteryear – Marcus Miller, Maze and Frankie Beverley with the excellent ‘Teach Each Other’, and Gerald and Eddie Levert et al – the collection still fails to make a lasting impression.