FOOTLOOSE 2011 soundtrack

While I didn't see this year's remake of Footloose, it's safe to say -- from the trailer, and the original -- that the theme of the movie is that teens just gotta dance. Considering that the remake is set in the south, it also follows that they just gotta dance to country music. This year's Footloose soundtrack delivers plenty of country music; but as for the dancing...

This Footloose soundtrack is almost half remakes of songs from the original movie and soundtrack, and half original material. The covers are a mixed lot: Blake Shelton stays pretty close to the original for the title track, giving enough of a country twang to make it remain fun. Likewise, the country music feel that Jana Kramer brings to "Let's Hear It for the Boy" makes the song fresh and uplifting. But the duet of Hunter Hayes and Disney singer Victoria Justice on "Almost Paradise" is a little too close to the original, while making "Holding Out for a Hero" into a slow, almost-mournful ballad doesn't quite work.

The new songs are also mixed. It's hard not to want to get up and dance to songs like "So Sorry Mama" (a tribute to those irrestible bad boys) and the Big & Rich=Gretchen Wilson collaboration "Fake ID" (about an underage kid eager to sneak into a bar to hear a band). But the soundtrack takes an odd turn halfway through, slowing down for the aforementioned "Almost Paradise" and following that with two blues songs and a slower rocker before returning to dance with David Banner and Denim's cover of "Dance the Night Away." Maybe this shift from dancing makes sense in the context of the movie, but it's an odd change of mood on the album. I'm also surprised that Julianne Hough, the movie's co-star, doesn't have any songs here since she has her own country album out.

Overall, the Footloose soundtrack is a fairly enjoyable collection of mostly country songs.

I would have though the soundtrack to a movie about dancing would have a lot more songs you could dance to, but there are plenty of good covers and originals through this album.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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