Sex and the City 2 - Original Soundtrack

2010-06-08 07:57
Sex and the City 2
So imagine my delight when confronted with the far superior follow-up, opened up by the impeccable Alicia Keys. "Rapture", Keys' cover of the Blondie classic with some SATC-style sequins and sparkle added, opens up a gorgeously free-flowing collection of songs that takes in Middle Eastern influences and a much-improved line-up of seasoned artists.

For some reason, when Alicia Keys sings about 24-hour shopping and grabbing a cab with her girlfriends, it makes the laughable excesses of Sex and the City 2: The Movie almost tolerable. She's got some kind of voodoo power, that woman. And it just gets better. Dido, who made a comeback sometime last year, in case you missed it, goes back to her chillout dance roots on a song co-written and produced by Rollo and Sister Bliss of Faithless.

Since the movie sees Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda head into the Abu Dhabi desert for a decadent vacation, the musical flavour of the Middle East is all over SATC 2, even woven through the hypnotic "Language of Love" by Gnarls Barkley singer Cee-Lo, and if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of Natacha Atlas' fusion of Arabic grooves, reggae and electronic music, then here's the perfect opportunity to get yourself acquainted. Gorgeous stuff.

The inclusion of soul-conscious Erykah Badu seems quite a coup. The languid, luscious "Window Seat", off her latest album New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh, feels a million miles away from the material world of the Manhattan girls though. What does come straight from the movie itself though, is Liza Minella doing her best Beyonce-impersonating-Liza-Minelli-as-a-25-year-old-in-Cabaret with the terribly campy, hinging on awkward "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)".

Like its predecessor, SATC 2 is all about giving the ladies their due, so there's some more Alicia Keys (on the stately, broken-down version of Empire State of Mind), Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis, and even an old Cyndi Lauper nugget that's more reflective of the SATC girls' heyday. Those Manolos must be doing a number on their knees.

I can't begin to say how much I disliked Fergie's "Labels or Love", the atrociously misconceived theme song of the first Sex and the City movie soundtrack. I find Fergie a rather irrelevant musical presence at the best of times, and the rest of the soundtrack did very little to pull the chick-pop soundtrack out of the doldrums.

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