"Two juvenile reflections on race relations and a dozen adolescent urges for some
racy relations. Thatís the lyrical content of this CD. But if you can live with the
absurd words, it does have some slinky beats and some soulful voices. Thereís none of
the ballet-side of the filmís soundtrack, nor many powerfully driving rhythms despite
the dance theme, but thereís plenty of mid-tempo hip-hop and R&B to encourage
encounters of the up close and pelvic-thrusting kind.
The film and soundtrack may be aimed at a young demographic but its an insult to the
rather sensitive and intelligent youths portrayed in the narrative, and condescending to a
target market of any age when Babyfaceís brother and others croon babybrained lines
like: "That negligee that youíre wearing is tight/When you take it off all I can
say is my, my, my." My, my, my, you really have to wonder if either author or
audience is actually old enough to legally engage in such activities. At least when Isaac
Hayes sings a lyric like this he sounds like he has his tongue so firmly in his cheek that
women immediately go week at the knees imagining what else he might be able to do with it.
No-one in that league here, but thereís some serious talent on the warbling, if
not the words, front all the same. Shining Through is a hip-hop
reworking of the old Cyndi Lauper hit, which featured her Brooklyn twang wrapping itself
around a rather appealing melodic refrain "I see your true colours shining
through" (although we never saw Ms. Lauperís . . . well, not her hair in any
case). Fredro Starr who has a co-starring role in the film raps effectively around the
equally appealing voice of Jill Scott, even if profound observations like "weíre
all the same colour when you turn out the lights" are unlikely to exterminate bigotry
in a single song.
There is undeniably some impressive singing and rapping talent on this disc with
highlights including the Chaka Demus & Pliers mid-nineties hit Murder She Wrote and
the tight rhythmic harmonies of Soulboneís My Window. My only
gripe with some of these tuneful soulsters is they commonly fall into the Stevie-wannabe
sound. A natural effect is one thing, but the artificial tremolo thatís creeping in
as the modern form of seductive serenade is not so much romantic as suggestive that
thereís a device, which in circles favouring circumlocution is oft-referred to as a
womanís personal electric pleasure stick, stuck down the would-be-serenaderís
larynx. X-2-C is the worst offender, and perhaps this theory explains the moniker.
Despite the surfeit of shaking by the singers and the less-than-subtle lyrics, the
music is consistently slick on this soundtrack. Itís not very original or passionate,
but itís certainly smooth enough to arouse the passions of those who like to dance
slow and close, and leave the last dance for the bedroom."
Published April 5, 2001