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Soul Men (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Various Artists

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Customer Reviews

Wow, ignore the first review

Yep, the only review we have of this currently is a one star vote from someone named Designstargirl who has only rated music from disney channel stars. You want this person judging your soul music? According to her, it's "not good" but any of these artists stomp on Nick Jonas. There are some great covers here by many of the brightest stars in neo-soul. A nice surprise.

Sweet soul music soundtrack celebration

Bernie Mac’s final film (he passed away August 9th, 2008) teams him with Samuel L. Jackson as partners whose soul music careers and friendship dissolve with the departure of their group’s lead vocalist, played by real-life soul singer John Legend. The film follows their cross-country trip to a reunion twenty years later to the funeral of their former lead singer, and lines the way with superbly reworked versions of classic soul songs, a couple of original hits from Isaac Hayes and Eddie Floyd, and the deep-soul single “You Don’t Know What You Mean (to a Lover Like Me)” from Lee Fields and Sugarman 3. If you hadn’t guessed, “s-o-u-l” is spelled here S-T-A-X, and in addition to classic songs, the album sports the formidable backing talents of original Soulsville players Willie Hall, Charlie Pitts and Ben Cauley, and contemporary vocal talents Legend, Anthony Hamilton, Leela James, Ryan Jones, Sharon Jones and Meshell Ndegeocello. Chris Pierce and Leela James provide a moving rendition of William Bell and Judy Clay’s “Private Number” that’s faithful in arrangement, but given an original spark by James’ edgier vocal. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings rescue Kenny Rogers’ “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” from its kitschy neo-psych origins with the toe-tapping go-go arrangement of a mid-60s spy film. Ryan Shaw provides a winning soul shout on a punchy backbeat-and-horns cover of Rufus Thomas’ “Memphis Train, and the film’s acting stars rock the mic for both Rufus Thomas’ “Boogie Ain’t Nuttin’ (But Gettin’ Down)” and the closing revival of Isaac Hayes “Do Your Thing.” Hayes’ own cover of The Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” remains as sultry and fresh as when originally issued on 1971’s Black Moses, and Eddie Floyd’s “I’ve Never Found a Girl (to Love Me Like You Do)” bridges from the nostalgic covers to the real deal. The album’s most startling remake is also its simplest, with Sharon Leal stripping Carla Thomas’ “Comfort Me” of its horns, backing singers and gospel inflections to render it stark and moody as a piano and voice ballad, exquisitely stretching to the upper end of Leal’s range. In an age where the marketing value of a pop soundtrack usually outweighs both the music’s value to the story and the experience of the soundtrack as a CD, executive music producer Alex Steyermark has winningly serviced all three. As accompaniment to the film, the songs create a mood that’s of the time (rather than purely nostalgic), and as a musical experience, these new performances are worthy updates. There’s no substitute for the originals (many of which can be found on the Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration, The Stax Story, or the three volumes of the Complete Stax-Volt Singles), but as a solid fifty-minutes of soul that stretches from original sides through inventive covers to new compositions based on the Stax theme, this is a great spin. [©2008 hyperbolium dot com]

RIP Bernie Mac

:( He will be missed

Soul Men (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: Nov 04, 2008

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