By including numerous tracks whose appeal lies (if at all) in heavy drumbeats, the album of the movie of the same name has hoped to extend its relevance from beyond the movie to the dance floor.
Destiny's Child, Aerosmith, Fatboy Slim and Apollo Four Forty are some of the collection's stars. "Independent Woman (Part 1)" is a soul, R&B track with a sophisticated, groovy beat, while "Dot", also sung by Destiny's Child, comprises mostly of nonsense syllables. In both, the girl group's vocal synthesis comes to the fore.
The lyrics disappear behind the heavy metal guitar of Aerosmith's "Angel's Eye". Fatboy Slim's "Ya Mama" has repetitive lyrics, but uses a mixture of grunge and techno to make a listenable track. Apollo Four Forty gives the TV series' theme music a contemporary touch with their racy beat and heavy guitar in "Charlie's Angels 2000".
"Tangerine Speedo", by Caviar, is a split-style number that alternates between grunge and a swaying Caribbean rhythm, while songs by Leo Sawyer and Tavares are rather '60s in their approach. Spandau Bullet's "True" (released 1983) is made tolerable through the smooth voice of lead singer Tony Hadley. "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)" by Looking Glass is listenable because of its narrative and easy rhythm, while "Turning Japanese", by The Vapors, is unique in its guitar-playing, lyrics and singing style.
Barracuda's "Heart" sports a galloping guitar riff, occasionally punctuated by the lead female singer; it's a largely instrumental track. In "Got To Give It Up (Part 1)" by Gaye, the words are limited to a single line, but the beat can be danced to.
At the end of the album, the listener is left with the impression that they've been listening to one long song, since the style of most of the tracks is the same - angry guitars, pounding drums, and unimportant lyrics. You can't help but reach the conclusion that music of this kind is best heard against the more engaging action onscreen, rather than by itself.This article was first published on 12 Dec 2000.