Collector's Editiion deluxe 2 CD set. 6 x Tony Award-Winning Broadway musical Dreamgirls, features an outstanding cast comprised of singer/songwriter/actress Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. The film captures the story of the crossover phenomenon of an African-American music trio that gets it's break in the 1960s. Beyonce brings the film full circle by composing 'Listen', an inspiring song that leaves chills, co-written by Beyonce and already creating Oscar Buzz. The upbeat dance remix of 'One Night Only' brings listeners to their feet and memories of the original dancing queen followers. With original and (four) new melodies compiling this soundtrack, it promises something for all who listen.
The big question about this soundtrack is: how's she doing? No, not Beyoncé, silly--how's Jennifer Hudson doing? And more specifically, how's she doing by "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"? To this reviewer's ears, she doesn't top the original Effie, Jennifer Holliday--or even Lillias White, from the 2001 Dreamgirls in Concert
. On the other hand, Hudson isn't afraid to pullout all the stops, whipping herself up into a total diva frenzy as the song gets caught up in an unstoppable crescendo. As for Beyoncé, she adapts superbly to the 1960s- and 1970stinged material, though "Listen"--a ballad that also appears on her own B'day
album--lacks the spirit that infuses the classic tunes on this album. For make no mistake: this is hard-hitting, high-octane music, infused with an urgency and passion that makes most contemporary R&B albums sound timid. When Hudson and Beyoncé duke it out on "It's All Over," or when the "One Night Only" ballad gets reinvented as the dance-floor burner "One Night Only (Disco)," the sheer energy flowing from the speakers is transporting.
Note that this two-CD Deluxe Edition features a larger booklet and additional tracks, including dance remixes of "One Night Only" and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," as well as composer Henry Krieger's demo of "Patience." --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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