Yes we can! That’s my rallying cry, dear readers. For ever since I began this humble blog with my riveting expose of Amelia Earhart, it’s been my goal to get the attention of corporate America, to have someone with deep coffers see my worth, acknowledge my contribution – and ask me to do more. And now it’s happened.
The powers-that-be at One2One Network have sent me-gratis-my very own copy of the Sex and the City 2 Soundtrack. Beyond that, they have ASKED FOR MY OPINION! Oh,how fervently have I awaited this day!
Sadly, when I listened to the CD and sad down to write my review, I felt a bit like Rory Gilmore at the ballet. I wanted so much to like the music so I could write a review full of joy and glee and appreciation for my new-found favorite summer soundtrack. Instead, I feel a little gypped. Because honestly, it pretty much blows.
The music stumbles from the start. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE covers, but Alicia Keys’ version of Rapture is thin and completely unnecessary – the producers would have been much better served with Debbie Harry’s original. Then there’s some random Dido number, reminiscent of 1999. Throwaway.
Fortunately the next two tracks, by Cee Lo and Erykah Badu are both modern and fresh and enjoyable – and they certainly shifted my mood. I thought there might be some life left in the disc, and I began to feel hopeful. Then the snakecharming, stereotypical Middle-Eastern fingerbells of the next two numbers sort of ran together and pissed me off – honestly, I didn’t make it all the way through either song. I remember thinking something about the Casio synthesizer I had in 8th grade, then blacking out.
When I came to, it was Liza Minnelli’s cover of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies anthem. God help us. Did you ever hear Pat Boone covering Ozzy Osbourne? It’s cute and all, but the novelty wears off pretty quick. And the over-enunciation couldn’t be more grating. So yeah, that’s where I stand on Liza’s first contribution to the disc.
Finally, after what has been mostly suffering, we are given a gift. Alicia Keys redeems herself with her own sequel: Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down. This is Keys at her best, her strong vocals soar and the song is invigorating and pulsating and finally breathes some life into what thus far has been a mangled mishmash of music that supposedly represents four of the strongest, most sophisticated women in the country, not to mention symbolizes one of the world’s most vibrant cities. At this point, I think we’re turning a corner, and I’m elated.
So yeah, we turned a corner alright. What I failed to realize was that corner take us down an alley to a Whitney Houston song graveyard from 1986. Jennifer Hudson had a beautiful voice, as does Leona Lewis…but if I wanted to listen to two grown women modulate and coo throatily about love being a color, well, I guess I would never want that, would I? WHO WOULD? After the joy that was Alicia Keys, this song was just insulting, a letdown and ultimately, irritating. I started to hate the cd case, the cover art and myself for the self-inflicted torture.
Now everything was going downhill, and fast. There are two songs no one ever needs to hear again. One is I Will Survive, and the other is I am Woman. Why anyone felt the need to have the four stars of Sex and the City belt out Helen Reddy’s tired old song is beyond me. What’s worse, the women sound as if they’re auditioning for a community theater production. It’s painful. It’s then I realize the soundtrack’s producers are just fucking with us – because they follow this earsore with three standards sung by the Sex and the City Men’s Choir. And I will not say any more on that subject, because my thoughts are so vicious I can’t bear to type them.
And really, there’s not much else to say about this disappointment. Liza Minnelli does a decent version of Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye and Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors is included for some random reason. I think there might be a couple of other songs, but let’s just let them fade into the wind, as this soundtrack is sure to do.
While I was a fan of the show and enjoyed the first movie, I haven’t felt compelled to see the sequel. Many reviewers have faulted the film for being out of touch with the modern economy – failing to account for the shift in style and tastes that has accompanied the economic downturn of the past two years. If anything, my thoughts on the soundtrack echo those criticisms – the songs are bloated and indulgent of a limited taste level with little thought to how times and style have changed.
So yeah, download the Alicia Keys song. Then move on.
If you ever get inspired to sing "I am Woman," please don't. Just don't.