VALENTINE'S DAY soundtrack

"I don't wanna write a love song for the world/ I just wanna write a song about a boy and a girl." This line from Micahel Franti & Spearhead's "Say Hey (I Love You)" summarizes the soundtrack to the movie Valentine's Day, being released two days after, well, Valentine's Day. As one might imagine, the theme of the album is romance.

Valentine's Day features songs about love, be it love enjoyed, love hoped for, or love missed. There's a wide variety of artists here: old pros like Willie Nelson and Nat King Cole; newer artists include Taylor Swift (who has two songs here, possibly thanks to her role in the movie), Joss Stone, Jewel, Maroon 5, and Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl; and new artists (to me, anyway) like Black Gold and Steel Magnolia.

So what's here? There are lots of covers, of varying quality. Maroon 5 give an excellent big band feel to "I'm in the Mood For Love." Sausalito Foxtrot's perky "Everyday" won't replace the Buddy Holly version anytime soon. And I still don't know what to make of the Indian stylings of Anju Ramapriyam's "Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours."

While Valentine's Day is for the most part sappy and sentimental, the album does better by including artists with numerous styles. Taylor Swift's songs are her usual pop-country hybrids (though I found "Today Was a Fairytale" more country than most of her singles), but Joss Stone provides a jazzy touch with "4 and 20," Amy Winehouse delivers the blues on "Cupid," Michael Franti and Spearhead deliver a Caribbean tune, and Nat King Cole goes with the Spanish song "Te Quiero Dijate."

Overall, the songs are decent. As with most soundtracks the song quality varies, and few of the ones here really stand out. Then again, the songs are enjoyable as well, something light to listen to for getting in the spirit of the holiday. Valentine's Day is a nice little album, nothing awe-inspiring but a pleasant listen.

Overall grade: B-

Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: