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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday August 22, 2019 

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NEXT BEST THING, THE: SOUNDTRACK

I can categorically state that Madonna should never, ever again – no matter how sincerely she sings Time Stood Still – be appointed executive producer of a soundtrack.

Now I’m no Madonna knocker. Who’d want to be? – you might end up being stuffed in a cone bra. Sure she’s no virtuoso. But she sings with character, dances with flare, acts with attitude and continually reinvents her image with the instincts of a chameleon.

However, one listen to this blancmange of boring beats and its perfectly obvious that her choice of songs, artists and production has missed the mark with unwavering inaccuracy. From Christina Aguilera’s more kitsch than cute Don’t Make Me Love You, to the shocking affront to the sense of hearing that is Olive’s "performance" of I’m Not in Love, this is the Next Most Uninspiring Thing since Milli Vanilli sans backing tape.

Maddona’s two personal contributions are actually the best of the songs, although the William Orbit arrangement of American Pie overlooks the fact that all the little guitar and piano fills of Don Maclean's original were half its charm.

The CD concludes with a wonderful excerpt from the Gabriel Yared score, but it’s too little, too late, and too out place with the other tracks, to redeem this contemptible compilation.

I have no doubt this soundtrack will sell like hotcakes – and be just as enduring. Such a shame it will almost certainly leave a soundtrack like the locally produced Sample People – also built around spacey techno reworkings of classic rock – in its chart-dominating wake. The Sample People soundtrack is feisty if flawed, and infinitely superior to this sonic sudser. If you do feel an urgent urge for a mix of new and retro-based trippy techno be one of the more discerning minority who buy that instead.
Brad Green

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TITLE: The Next Best Thing

ID: 9362475952
Maverick/Warner

FEATURED ARTISTS: Metisse, Manu Chad, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Mandalay, Groove Armada, Moby, Olive, Beth Orton

SCORE: Gabriel Yared

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Madonna

TRACKS: 12

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