This soundtrack offers a pretty standard mix of new songs, old chestnuts, and excerpts from the score (here by John Debney). On the new tip, Joss Stone and Patti LaBelle engage in an overheated battle of the divas on CD opener "Stir It Up," a bouncy piece of fluff that sounds more like Aretha Franklin circa "Freeway of Love" than classic soul. Other originals include Barenaked Ladies' "One Little Slip" (this movie's answer to Counting Crows' "Accidentally in Love" from Shrek 2
) and the Cheetah Girls' peppy-but-bland cover of "Shake Your Tail Feather." But the real highlights are the songs performed by the movie's vocal cast, which includes Joan Cusack, Garry Marshall, Zach Braff, Steve Zahn, and Amy Sedaris. Their group cover of Elton John and Kiki Dee's "Don¹t Go Breaking My Heart," for instance, sounds as if half of them were drunk in the recording studio (and this is meant as a compliment.) Braff's a cappella version of "We Are the Champions" is smashing and Cusack and Zahn's take on the Spice Girls' "Wannabe" is completely demented. The kids will laugh; their parents will laugh even harder for completely different reasons. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
This is the soundtrack to the Walt Disney movie that features new music from Patti LaBelle with Joss Stone, Barnaked Ladies, Five For Fighting and more. Disney. 2005.