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WHATEVER IT TAKES : SOUNDTRACK

"There has been significant cache attached to producer William Orbit’s imprimatur since his supposedly ground-breaking work with Madonna. Personally, I find much of his output to be a personification of his name: goes round and round in circles without making an impact (on me).

Here he teams with former Spice Girl of the Sporty variety, Melanie C, who seems to revel in the lines "I’ve got to go and find another direction" and "it all started in another dimension". She may have the toughest image of the Condiment Quartet (nee Quintet), but pure pop is pure pop whatever the season (or seasoning), and flavouring your Spice roots with gritty guitars is hardly a quantum shift. No new dimension here at all really, but like most of the radio friendly ditties from these singing merchandise opportunities, it’s better-than-average fluff.

Which is true of the most of the teen-oriented glitter, rap, rock-pop and hip-hop-soul that follow Sporty’s lead on this soundtrack. The stand out is Alechia James’s sensitive rendition of the Simply Red perennial Holding Back The Years. I have always found Simply Red – and Mick Hucknall’s solo career for that matter – something of a paradox. The inevitably well-crafted songs, slick arrangements and tight performances, for some reason fail to move me as they might. But James manages to hit me where it counts in a way that Hucknall, fine singer that he is, never has. Shame she doesn’t get much support from the infinitely tedious drum programming that sits beneath her.

Best of the rest here is the simple melody and disturbingly intriguing lyric of Stereophonics’ I Stopped To Fill My Car; and the smooth groove of Jungle Brothers’ V.I.P., with its super-silky bass line.

But for a pure booty-shaking catalyst, you just can’t beat the Old School disco-funk of Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music. Apparently, these Cherrys are right in season; the Funky White Boys getting a run with the same song on the fabulous Keeping The Faith soundtrack."
Brad Green

Review published: 28/9/2000

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TITLE: Whatever It Takes

ID: HR-62273-2
Hollywood Records

FEATURED ARTISTS: Melanie C, V.I.P., Jeremy Toback, Spy, Alechia James, Deadsy, Ky-Mani Marley, Stereophonics, Wild Cherry, Jessica Riddle

TRACKS: 11







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