For Colored Girls Soundtrack14.11.10 # Soundtrack # 8 Comments
Let not the political correctness, nor the worthiness, nor the collection of respectable names in the cast, nor the unstoppable onslaught of earnestness persuade you, dear people, that the For Colored Girls soundtrack is a thing of soul, a thing of spirit, a force for good. Be not swayed by the shameless Oscar chasing, nor the legitimately prestigious source material (the film is based on Ntozake Shange’s Tony nominated play). For, good people, the For Colored Girls soundtrack is nothing more than a bunch of bland cliché-driven tracks from an array of female soul singers, some skilled, some mediocre, none hitting the necessary heights, few avoiding drivelling cliché.
For a film which deals with race relations and feminine identity with a soul and rhythm & blues backing, there is woefully little flash and anger, miniscule inspiration, Gladys Knight where you might want Aretha. Janelle Monae live is a thing to behold, in no small part due to her amazing band, but the track she’s contributed here is a tepid bucket of earnestness, and frankly the Archandroid mastermind should have a good long think about her output after contributing such an instantly forgettable number.
There is, admittedly, one great track here – a reworking of Nina Simone’s Four Women, in which the incomparable Nina (a woman of such presence, such power, that she once terrified an awestruck Nick Cave, himself a notoriously imposing figure, when they appeared on the same bill) has teamed up with her daughter, plus Laura Izibor and Ledisi. But shamefully, shamefully, this is followed by a track from one of Simon Cowell’s hatebreed, Leona Lewis. Lewis is one of Cowell’s many doom-bringers, spewing heartless production-line balladry onto us from their palatial balconies, full of saccharine nothingness, created by others, hired hack singers mouthing voicelessly the mock-poetry of hired hack writers to carbon-copy melodies fused together by hired hack musicians, their balconies earned by selling their souls to the Cowell machine, their new found luxury and day-to-day comfort won at our expense, and the voiceless majorities go along with it, encourage it, tired from their jobs and families and sadnesses and gut-punches they wave it in, fund it, scatter the remains of their paltry wages at the feet of the Cowell breed, applaud, worn out and furious and confused and desperate they cheer and sing along, but not the filmmakers. Dear God not the filmmakers. Take them off your soundtracks, filmmakers. Not the credulous ones, dear Christ, not the creators. Not you as well. Not you as well, Tyler Perry. Hang your head in shame, Tyler Perry. Hawking your co-opted wares to the hungry masses, and taking their monies and returning to your luxurious carpets and fresh linens and comfy chairs. Endorsing the Simon Cowell Musical Culture R*ping Machine, putting your name on it, signing it, smiling and plugging it. Go away, Tyler Perry, to have a good long think about art and culture and the role of the author, and take this mediocre soundtrack with you.
For Colored Girls Soundtrack (Songa & Score) – Track List
1. Main Title – Colored Girls Cast
2. Longer & Stronger – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
3. All Day Long (Blue Skies) – Estelle
4. What More Can They Do – Laura Izibor
5. Sun – Lalah Hathaway
6. Ansomnia – Zaki Ibrahim
7. Settle – Gladys Knight
8. La Donna In Viola – Karen Slack, Andrea Jones-Sojola & Holly’d S’dio Symphony Orchestra
9. Sechita (A Senhora Em Amarelo) – Anika Noni Rose & Carondelet Percussion Ensemble
10. Stand Up – Macy Gray
11. Without A Fight – Janelle Monàe
12. Four Women – Nina Simone, Simone, Laura Izibor & Ledisi
13. I Know Who I Am – Leona Lewis
14. Main Title (Instrumental) – Joshua Bell & Aaron Zigman
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