Album Track Listing
Release Date: 21 February 2005
Reviewed By: Alf Pomells
1. All Night Long - Red Cafe
2. No Need For Conversation - Fabolous, Mike Shorey
3. Professional - Chingy, GIB
4. Southside - The Game, Lil Scrappy
5. Roll With You - Ciara
6. Wouldn't You Like To Ride - Kanye West, Malik Usef, Common
7. Hope - Twista, Faith Evans
8. Your Love - Van Hunt
9. This One - Ak'sent
10. Beauty Queen - Cazrnok
11. Balla - Mack 10, Da Hood
12. Time - St Lunatics
13. What Love Can Do - Letoya
14. About The Game - Trey Songz
- Loyal To The Game
Original Soundtracks are probably the most frustrating type of album to review. Dependant on the executive production team, the movie content, the actors involved etc., you could end up with something brilliant such as ‘Life’ (Eddie Murphy & Martin Lawrence) or ‘Bad Boys II’…which was just bad. The other thing to stress is that the review is of the music that may (or may not) appear fleetingly somewhere in the movie, not the movie itself. You’d be surprised how many people look at the cover of a CD and then ask you if the movie’s any good!!
The truth is, the soundtrack will usually be released months before the movie to try and generate some interest. This one is slightly different in that it goes to the trouble of telling you when the artists are to be releasing new material as well. ‘Coach Carter’ the movie stars Samuel L. Jackson as a high school basketball coach, and also features Ashanti in her transformation from songstress to actress. Being an MTV Films production, it’s safe to assume that it’s targeting the young adults, or just the young, I’m not exactly sure. But there’s no parental advisory on this, so the cussing is minimal if not non-existent. At this point it’s worth noting that Ashanti doesn’t actually perform any of the tracks on the album, but there are 14 tracks featuring the likes of Fabolous, Red Café, Chingy, Ciara, Kanye West, Common, Malik Yusef, Van Hunt and LeToya. From the roll call you’ve probably guessed that there is a lot of hip-hop on this with, by my reckoning, four R&B tracks. The snatch is that if you want the good tracks, you’ve usually got to buy the album, as it’s unlikely that the decent efforts will ever see a single release.
Red Café’s ‘All Night Long’ has a definite Jay-Z/Roc-A-Fella feel to it. The beat is banging and the melody in the track hypnotic. The lyrics are not exactly insightful, but far from banal and meaningless. The same can’t be said for Fabolous’ ‘No Need For Conversation’ which delivers pretty much more of the same of what he’s been churning out for a while now. I was once told by my beloved mother that if I didn’t have something nice to say, then not to say anything at all. So I have absolutely nothing to say about Chingy & GIB’s ‘Professional’ or The Game’s ‘Southside’. Ciara’s ‘Roll Wit You’ is an OK track, but that may be misleading just because what came before was so mediocre. On any other album it probably wouldn’t get much of a mention.
‘Wouldn’t You Like To Ride’ features Kanye, Common, Malik Yusef and JV, and whilst Kanye seems to have as many critics as he has advocates, this is head and shoulders above everything else that came before. Sonny Charles’ ‘Pretty Balloons’ is the sample, and as usual Common does an excellent job and the sung chorus is quite sublime. Faith Evans and Twista combine on ‘Hope’ a tune that reminds you a lot of Skeelo’s ‘I wish’. The swift delivery and optimistic lyrics are inspirational, as is Faith’s gospel-like rendition of the chorus.
Van Hunt’s ‘Your Love (is the greatest drug)’ deserves a better arena than this to be showcased. The characteristic soft, soulful groove is as smooth as Chinese silk and as sweet as melted chocolate - a wonderful tune by an under-rated artist. Meanwhile, ‘This One’ features Ak’Sent and has all the makings of a club banger. Chunky beats and bass, sweet female raps and the speeded up sampled vocals are nicely used. CzarNok’s ’Beauty Queen’ drops some of those dirty south beats; the lyrics are crisp but the chorus is a bit weak.
Mack 10’s ‘Balla’ and St Lunatics’ ‘Time’ are easily overlooked, but former Destiny’s Child member, LeToya’s ‘What Love Can Do’ is worth a mention. This is nowhere near as good as some of her other material, but as a taster of what might be on her forthcoming album, this does make you sit up and pay attention. Trey Songz’ ‘About Da Game’ is a nice easygoing jam; simple two-step beats and hand-claps accompanied by some quality vocals is all there is to this. It doesn’t sound much, but sometimes less is more.
As soundtracks go, this is one worth investing in especially
if you want to get hold of the Van Hunt track.
Top 3 tracks:
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