Althought the hit DreamWorks film was constantly shadowed by Pixar's "Finding Nemo", the "Shark Tale: Motion Picture Soundtrack" is a total sucess in it's own. Working with a top roster of today's R&B and hip-hop stars (including two of the film's star's: Will Smith and Ziggy Marley), most contributing new recordings, the album is a total joy as it establishes a fun, bouncy party feel. On, another hand it is also a nice throwback to the classic days of hip-hop; when it was about the sheer joy in the music itself. Unfortunetly, only one song was released as a (very successful) single:
- Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott "Car Wash" (Shark Tale Mix) A-. Mixing the original with clever new lyrics from Missy Elliott creates a blissful, fun track. Both artists sing the song with full conviction, and seem to be enjoying it as well. After gritty, dark songs like "Beautiful" and "The Voice Within", it's refreshing to hear Christina do something so light and enjoyable. There's no depth here, but music should be about joy, which is more than abaundant here.
Many of the other songs on the album could have easily been released as Top 40 and Top 10 singles though. Notable selections include Justin Timberlake and Timbaland's "Good Foot"; a cool, slick "club song" which would fit just as easily on one of their albums. Mary J. Blige and Will Smith have a fun, catchy, and respectful remake of "Got To Be Real" which displays both artists at the top of their game. Strangely enough, for the second Will Smith movie-soundtrack in a row (after "Bad Boys II"(2003)), the former Fresh Prince has not contributed one of his own songs. His contribution is nice, but where's the "Men In Black", "Wild Wild West" or "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)"? His songs are always good. Anyway, JoJo and Avant add more of a ballad feel with "Secret Love" and "Can't Wait" repectivly; two tracks which show contemporary R&B at it it's best; capturing surprising depth and softness as well. D12's "Lies & Rumors" is a song so goofy and ridiculous that it has a quality charm to it; almost comical to hear D12 tone down from "R" to "PG". Selections from Ludacris, Sean Paul and Ziggy Marley, and India.Arie ("Get It Together" off her "Voyage To India" LP (2002)) round out the rest. And as a bonus, a compilation of excrepts from Hanz Zimmer's score, entitled "Some Of My Best Friends Are Sharks", closes out the disc.
Bottom Line: ****. This is hands down the best compilation soundtrack since "Moulin Rouge! Music From The Motion Picture" (2001). It is more than just a soundtrack to an animated feature; it's plays like an R&B hip-hop compilation; the kind of thing everyone can enjoy on some level. This is one undrsea treasure worth searching for