Tuesday 4 September 2001

"Glitter" review

From The New Straits Times Press in Malaysia: Mariah Carey's soundtrack album Glitter is quite good actually. Yes, you heard right. After getting suitably shocked by the abundance of skin and lack of musically interesting bits, you'll be happy to know that this soundtrack harkens to to days Carey sang really good tunes.

Glitter is a 12-track album with songs Carey apparently wrote for specific moments in the film. Briefly, Glitter chronicles the meteoric rise (notice how all the cliches have come out, the movie is about a cliche-filled time after all) of Billie. Though her career is on the upside, emotionally, she constantly wonders why her mother abandoned her. All this is wrapped up in a 1980s setting. Thus, though the movie does mirror many aspects of Carey's own life, it isn't autobiographical. Music-wise, the soundtrack can stand on its own, which is a good thing.

It opens with a Loverboy Remix featuring Da Brat, Ludacris, Twenty II and Shawna, which is just as "good" as the original radio edit one with Cameo. Lead The Way has the vintage Carey singing the kind of ballad that made her famous. It's refreshing to know she can still elevate that kind of gut-wrenching tune many of us listen to but won't admit it.

Didn't Mean To Turn You On, made popular by Robert Palmer, gets the necessary 1980s cheesy synth and percussion treatment. Carey thankfully doesn't really let it rip here, because the song is cluttered enough with them synth riffs and unrestrained beats. Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica) features Mystikal, so expect a lot of his James Brown posturing. He even lets out a line or two from Shake Ya A** ("watch yourself!"), which makes this a lot more interesting than it appears to be at first. All My Life was written by Rick James and has his signature funky vibe. All that bighair chutzpah cues the best track in the album, which examines one of the plots of the movie.

Reflections (Care Enough) is a song to the mum in the film, and Carey's character wonders if she had ever loved her. It's poignant, but better yet, it's a winning tune. Not so much of the wailing kind, but well done with enough restraint to allow for introspection. Another cover, this time featuring Busta Rhymes, Fabulous and DJ Clue, shows Carey in a continued subdued mood. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life is Carey at her most clueless-sounding, as the sassy tune is just not her thing. But she gets back into form with Want You and Never Too Far.

The former is ballad featuring Eric Benet, and is as smooth as can be expected. The latter is her latest single from the film, and anthemic ballad to remind people that they should never take anyone for granted. There's no video for this for obvious reasons, and it's all basically the character belting the tune out at a concert in the film. Glitter, the soundtrack, closes with the original version of Loverboy. Carey apparently came up with the idea for the film as she grew up with the kind of movies that incorporated music into them, like Flashdance. Carey co-wrote most of the songs, and co-executive produced the album. The movie's official website is at www.glittermovie.com. Carey's official website is at www.mariahcarey.com. Glitter will be available in stores on EMI from Sept 3.

(The New Straits Times Press)

Many thanks Elin from to Mariah Online.

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