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The bland meet the spectacular on this retro soundtrack
on 10 November 2008
This is a pretty predictable soundtrack for Bridget Jones 2, mixing the usual smoothie suspects (Barry White, 10cc, Carly Simon) with contemporary chart toppers (Jamelia, Kylie Minogue, Beyonce). And yet there are some spectacular new recordings, in particular Amy Winehouse's superb, emotive cover of "Will you still love me tomorrow" - something to savour amidst the absence of any new material from her. Rufus Wainwright sings one of his mother's songs beautifully (although Dido sounds like she's reading out a menu in her self-conscious solo). And with "Misunderstood" Robbie Williams provides a surprisingly good confessional ("Trying to be misunderstood / Just a product of my childhood..."). These three tunes lend the soundtrack an authenticity gallingly lacking in the majority of the cover versions included. Do we really need to hear Jamelia trying to imitate Sam Brown on "Stop" or Will Young doing a Sade cover (especially when he fails to recreate any of the sexy steamy atmosphere of the original)? What, it might be asked, is the point of doing covers when they add nothing to the originals? The number of artists who have genuinely managed to fill old bottles with new wine are few and far between - e.g. Jeff Buckley's rendition of Cohen's "Hallelujah", Cat Power's Jukebox album or Vandross' rendition of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" - but that doesn't stop record companies churning out the blandest covers imaginable year after year (see Jamie Cullum's "Everlasting Love" on this album).
In spite of the hidden delights of Winehouse, Wainwright and Williams, this is a soundtrack playing it all too (commercially) safe.