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Various - 102 Dalmations : Film Music CD Reviews- January 2001

January 2001 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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102 Dalmations  
  Edel 0122192DNY   [33:27]
  Amazon UK    Amazon US

Digga Digga Dog Oren Waters; Cruella, What Can a Bird Do?, The Language of Dogs, I'm Getting' Good at Being Bad, written by Mike Himelstein & Marco Marinangeli; Puppy Love Myra; Cruella De Vil 2000 Camara Kambon; My Spot in the World Lauren Christy; Bella Notte (from Lady and the Tramp - Tony & Joe, written by Sonny Burke and Peggy Lee); So Fabulous, So Fierce (Freak Out) Thunderpuss featuring Jocelyn Enriquez; Whatcha Gonna Do (With Your Second Chance) Nobody's Angel

Strange as it may seem, there was a time when the purpose of a soundtrack album was to present for those people who wanted it, the music written for a film. Such a ridiculously old fashioned concept has no place here. You will find not one note of David Newman's score on this disc. Dodie Smith, meanwhile, must be approaching lightspeed in her grave.

Smith, of course, wrote her own excellent sequel to 101 Dalmatians, The Starlight Barking (1967). But just as Disney have ignored that book in favour of a lazy rehash of their own 1996 second film of the original novel, so this 'music from and inspired by' album has nothing to do with the genteel and whimsical Englishness of Smith's fictional worlds. Rather it is filled with unlistenable rap and lightweight American pop, all utterly lacking in any inspiration from anything other than a bank account.

Of the 11 tracks on this brief album five seem to have been written for the film. Cruella De Vil 2000 is a jazz funk number which is probably heard over the end title. The other four are all written by Mike Himelstein and Marco Marinangeli. Two of these, Cruella and I'm Getting' Good at Being Bad feature Susanne Blakeslee in mediocre big band vamp numbers as the villainous Cruella De Vil. The material is so thin all Blakeslee can do is camp things up to a ridiculous degree of self-parody. What Can a Bird Do?, finds Jeff Bennett attempting to ape Eric Idle in a sub-Python comedy song with every cliché from the Eric Idle book of 1970's comedy songs. The Language of Dogs is a blues sung by Randy Crenshaw, and faint compliment, is the best of the four. It all makes one wish for the halcyon days of Lady and the Tramp, from which Bella Notte is extracted, confirming the mediocrity of everything else on the album. Completing the feeling that this is really one extended advert is a CD-ROM trailer. The plastic airbrushed face of Glenn Close on the cover is simply freakish. In a word, appalling.

Gary S. Dalkin


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