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De-Lovely Soundtrack - De-Lovely Soundtrack

2006-03-29 20:03

Can there be anybody who hasn't had the lyrics, "Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's fall in love", echoing in their head at one time or another?

That song is on this compilation, performed by Alanis Morissette. Over-performed, perhaps I should say - Ms Ironic seems to have leeched all the sweetness out the song, applying virtuoso touches that don't gel with the song's simple message.

Robbie Williams does a good job with "It's De-Lovely", about as good a job as he did with the majority of the covers on his tribute album Swing when you're winning. Which is to say, Robbie has the presence to carry off a classic. I'm not sure that Kevin Kline is in quite the same category.

His version of "Night and Day" is marginally worse than U2's odd interpretation of the same song on 1990's Cole Porter tribute album, Red Hot + Blue. That album featured some bizarre reworkings of Porter songs, but at least had the benefit of novelty. Most of the songs on De-Lovely just sound average.

This is not to say that there aren't some good moments* on this soundtrack. Diana Krall does justice to "Just one of those things", and Natalie Cole is restrained with "Ev're time we say goodbye". Other singers that feature are Sheryl Crow ("Begin the Beguine"), Simply Red's Mick Hucknall ("I love you"), Elvis Costello (a version of "Let's Misbehave" that his fans will call jaunty, and others will call grating), and Lemar ("What is this thing called love?").

I haven't seen the movie, and perhaps that makes a difference. Porter's life was an interesting one, of course. Gay at a time when he had to get married to disguise his gayness, a wild living, drug taking socialite who lost his leg in a motorbike accident, Porter was hardly boring. His life story invests the music with a different resonance. The way it's told in the movie will affect the way you hear this soundtrack, so perhaps it's for you if you liked the movie. Others will want to turn to the original material for their shot of Porter.

- Chris Roper

*Listen to MP3 clips of some songs from the CD - in the lilac box to the left


What's surprising is how well many of the singers deal with the songs without the crutch of a contemporary pop retooling. Who would have thought that Alanis Morissette had such a natural affinity for "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)," for instance?
- Elisabeth Vincentelli on Amazon.com

It's very likely, no matter who you are, that you've heard a Cole Porter song. The American songwriter wrote hundreds of songs for dozens of musicals and Broadway shows, and his songs have been used in many movies, from Tank Girl to Woody Allen.


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