Movie Reviews


De-Lovely | Various Artists Soundtrack
an emily blunt review

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Bluntly speaking? This collection of Cole Porter sung for the film De-Lovely is a musical delight, so delicious, so delectable, so utterly succulent you may want to verify you can even listen if you're on the dreaded lo-carb diet that's so the rage these days - it's that sweet!

The incredible cd is made possible thanks to producers Peter Asher and Stephen Edelman. They've gathered some of today's finest voices to croon Cole Porter's lyrical ditties both for the screen and mixed perfectly for cd.
For the selections they've chosen to give a few of Porter's more blatant amore dripping and scandalous tinkles a whirl. The result is near audio nirvana; each track makes one's toes curl with sheer delight as you drift into a time when music was fun and lifted the spirit to a plateau filled with strung pearls and dinner jackets - even if you were pushing a broom for your day's pay.

The soundtrack holds full versions of the film's narrating songs. The songs are used as punctuation work in the film to tell Cole Porter's life story. The film, out shortly, has Cole Porter played by thespian extraordinaire Kevin Kline with Kline's usual impeccable delivery, and a pinch of added panache that would have made even the persnickety Porter applaud. And the musical choices too would have made the man proud. Finally a biopic with the flair and theatrics worthy of this musical legend.

Our musical journey begins with Robbie Williams. The young lad from London gets the honors of crooning the film's title song 'De-Lovely'. It's a swell version of the work. Alanis Morissette makes Cole's 'Let's Do It' her own, while keeping in check with the maestro's original crescendos. Sheryl Crowe delivers the weakest on the cd with her 'Begin the Beguine'. It seemed, frankly - to me, passionless. If you can find Pete Townsend's version from his Happy Birthday release…you'll see there's a bit more that can be "felt" while lending voice to the piece.

On the other end of le passion' dela ooze is Elvis Costello. Yes, Elvis Costello. He positively steals the ensemble with his signature marbled brooding naughty-boy vocals in 'Let's Misbehave.' Cole's addiction to diction probably made the man turn a few times in his jewel-inlaid grave! But, for we Costello knowing/loving beings the combo of mega-talent of Porter done by Costello is a slice of auditory heaven; it's the kind of matching doesn't come along often enough in one's life. Ms. Caroline O'Connor belts out an Ethel Merman style (on purpose) vivacious rendition of 'Anything Goes' that'll have you shuffling into the 7-11 for your dose of coffee with an added two-step shimmy…. me at least! It's no secret Ms. Merman was one of Porter's favorite orators of his music so the impersonation (used in the film) is truly apropos.

Multi-facetted Kevin Kline, as Porter, sings a couple of tracks. One, which is the happiest ditty on the cd, 'Be a Clown,' pulls out all the old vaudeville whistles and will lift you from any mood of darkness that may have befallen you - within it's first refrain! He's perfectly pompous on ' Experiment ' and lends a hand to John Barrymore, err, John Barrowman on the scrumptious 'Night and Day' as well as a balls-out 'Blow, Gabriel, Blow' with fellow thesp., Jonathan Pryce.

Ashley Judd shows singin' is best left to her incredible sister Wynonna, but proves she's at least got the passion and chutzpah to even try with that last name of hers so indelibly a part of American music. She duets-ish with Kevin Kline on 'In The Still of the Night ' and with Taylor Hamilton on 'True Love.' It's not solo album time for the beauty…let's just leave it at that shall we?

After Costello the other song-stealing talents on the cd are Vivian Green who sings Porter's least played song - because of it's blatant subject matter -' Love For Sale' It's an eerie ode to the world's oldest profession, and as Viv purrs out over the deep notes you can see, smell and breath were she stands pushing her wares. The glorious Natalie Cole lullabyes 'Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye' so soulfully you may weep for your own never-forgotten goodbye...

And as if the fore mentioned tidbits were not enough to send you into a Cole Porter flutter, the brandy-laced cherry atop this grande caramel parfait of a musical treat is a vintage recording (scratch effect and all boys and girls) of the genuis behind our years of enjoyment, Cole Porter, himself crooning with a broad smile as his heart soars to, ' You're the Top'.

Run! Don't walk for this unbelievable treasure of sound.

Song list:

1. It's De-Lovely - Robbie Williams
2. Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) - Alanis Morissette
3. Begin The Beguine - Sheryl Crow n
4. Let's Misbehave - Elvis Costello
5. Be A Clown - Kevin Kline, Peter Polycarpou and Chorus
6. Night And Day - John Barrowman and Kevin Kline
7. True Love - Ashley Judd and Tayler Hamilton
8. What Is This Thing Called Love? - Lemar
9. I Love You - Mick Hucknall
10. Just One Of Those Things - Diana Krall
11. Anything Goes - Caroline O'Connor and Chorus
12. Experiment - Kevin Kline
13. Love For Sale - Vivian Green
14. So In Love - Lara Fabian and Mario Frangoulis
15. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye - Natalie Cole
16. Blow, Gabriel, Blow - Jonathan Pryce, Kevin Kline, Cast and Chorus
17. In the Still Of The Night - Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd
18. You're The Top - Cole Porter

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