The best part about this CD is that it's exactly what it claims to be: a soundtrack. Not a "Best of" or "Selections from" collection, but a soundtrack that leaves nothing out. It captures the film's personality expertly.
And what a personality it is! This is an album that runs the gamut of emotions, from the cheerful groove of "Funkytown" and the driving energy of "Holding Out for a Hero" to the brooding "People Ain't No Good" and the outright desperation of "I Need Some Sleep." The individual songs are idiosyncratic, and taken as a whole package they're a step away from your everyday soundtrack. The much-praised single "Accidentally in Love" actually suffers compared to the rest of the album, becoming the bland pop love song amidst a sea of colorful tunes.
The decision to include the "in-character" music was definitely the right one -- from the moment I walked out of the theater I knew that my decision to buy the sountrack would hinge on the inclusion of Jennifer Saunders' version of "Holding Out For A Hero" -- but while the end of the film was a riot to watch, as a song "Livin' La Vida Loca" is showing its age. I don't feel that this is something you can blame the album for, though.
Overall, this is a great CD and a worthy addition to your collection. The only reason I knocked off one star is that there are one or two songs that have yet to grow on me. Normally I wouldn't be so harsh about it, but when the rest of the CD grabbed me so intently that gap is hard to bridge.