Original Soundtrack - Soul Men (2008)

Original Soundtrack
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The new Soul Men movie starring Samuel L. Jackson and comedian, the late Bernie Mac is funny. It's not groundbreaking or likely to be kind of film that will be remembered for years to come in the way that The Blues Brothers (another movie in the same genre) has been.  There are quite a few scenes of great hilarity - like the naughty encounters between Jackson and Mac (playing former members of a ‘60s group-turned-bitter-enemies) and a groupie mother and daughter and a mad car chase (in a car known appropriately as ‘Muthaship').  The music in the movie thus serves an important role but strangely, most of the songs on the Stax/Concord soundtrack are actually not in the movie!  

The new Soul Men movie starring Samuel L. Jackson and comedian, the late Bernie Mac is funny. It's not groundbreaking or likely to be kind of film that will be remembered for years to come in the way that The Blues Brothers (another movie in the same genre) has been.  There are quite a few scenes of great hilarity - like the naughty encounters between Jackson and Mac (playing former members of a ‘60s group-turned-bitter-enemies) and a groupie mother and daughter and a mad car chase (in a car known appropriately as ‘Muthaship').  The music in the movie thus serves an important role but strangely, most of the songs on the Stax/Concord soundtrack are actually not in the movie!  

Probably the three most memorable musical numbers in the film are fortunately on the CD: Jackson, Mac and actress-singer Sharon Leal turn in an amusing take on "Do Your Thing," the Isaac Hayes classic; Leal does a tolerable version of a 1966 Carla Thomas track, "Comfort Me" (the title of one of her Stax LPs); and Jackson and Mac are joined by John Legend for a strong reading of the James & Bobby Purify '66 hit, "I'm Your Puppet."  Legend appears in the film briefly in the role of lead singer for the original group which included Jackson and Mac; while Hayes, in his last silver screen appearance played a cameo role in the movie and is represented on the soundtrack CD with his 1971 version of The Jackson 5 hit, "Never Can Say Goodbye."

The rest of the Soul Men soundtrack consists of some decent original tunes (such as the rousing opening cut, "Soul Music" featuring Anthony Hamilton and The Bo-Keys, produced by group member Scott Bomar and recorded at Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios in Memphis) and pleasant if not great covers of Stax classics such as the Judy Clay/William Bell chestnut "Private Number" by Leela James and Chris Pierce and Rufus Thomas' "Memphis Train" given a workout by Ryan Shaw and The Bo-Keys.  As a standalone piece the Soul Men soundtrack is ok; the movie itself is a tad more entertaining.  

David Nathan
http://www.soulmusic.com/

 
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