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Wednesday January 17, 2001

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Save the Last Dance soundtrack

Headline Photo

Various Artists

Save the Last Dance soundtrack


Grade: B+

Marketing has taken over movie soundtracks, especially when the film is one targeted at a teen audience. The conventional wisdom is that producers need only to match up hot, young teen actors with any old script that will display their midriffs and angst in typical fashion and a compilation hip-hop soundtrack featuring the of-the-moment acts of the day.

The result? Bad movies, so-so soundtracks and a general disfavor with movie music on the part of the listeners. The problem is that few movies are able to adequately fuse the music and the film - each one seems separate from each other, both merely marketing tools, instead of the symbiotic union they are supposed to be.

This may all sound a bit wide-eyed and even cynical but when presented with a soundtrack that works to go beyond its own marketing tool status, as with the "Save the Last Dance" soundtrack, one cannot help but expect more from all the others.

The disc features an enviable mix of old and new hip-hop tracks, including 112's "Only You" (featuring the Notorious B.I.G.) side by side with K-Ci & JoJo's "Crazy." This is a soundtrack not influenced by trend, not by fad, but the music itself.

And here lies its intersection with the movie, just as soundtracks ought to do. "Save the Last Dance" is about the love of the music, and this disc provides the music to love.

Moreover, anyone who has seen the commercials, saw that the film prominently features dancing, and the album here again succeeds in providing the tracks to which to get one's "groove thang" on. Although its theme song leaves something to be desired, the album is a strong entry among the hip-hop compilation albums of right now, and worth checking out.

-Graig Uhlin