February 02, 2011

Music Is... Dreamgirls Soundtrack

In speaking about this soundtrack its inevitable that I'll venture into describing the film itself, I can't help it. It's just who I is. Anytime a musical comes along I can't help but in the back of my mind compare it to the Roger and Hammerstein classic: The Sound Of Music. I compare them in terms of quality, production, sound and other elements as well. Though I've never seen the original stage-play, I have to say that if this is any indication of what was, it must have been excellent. 

The movie centers around an up and coming female group based in Detroit during the 1960's. When car salesman Curtis Jr. breaks into the music business, he gets them the job of backing singer James Early. Soon after, he has Deena Jones replace Effie as lead singer and renames the group from the Dreamettes to the Dreams. He then fires Effie, forcing her into hardship, taking the Dreams higher. Curtis soon gets whats coming to him in the end however. I know that by now I've seen this movie at least 5 times, and each time it grows on me more and more. I'll admit that when I initially heard about it, I wasn't too interested. I got wind of some of the cast members (Jamie Foxx, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose) which I thought was a good group, it's just that the plot didn't grab me. It turned out to be contrary to what I thought yet what I expected at the same time. What I'm saying is, I expect there to singing throughout most of the dialog, but I thought it would sound kind of cheesy ya know. Nothing like that. In my opinion the singing weaved its way in at the right times. One particular song that I like is 'When I First Saw You' performed by Jamie Foxx. This track is derived from the scene where he takes Deena aside and tells her that she was his "dream" so to speak. One aspect I feel kept the movie in line was that the singing didn't detract anything. Every song was parallel to the plot and allowed each charter to display their emotions instead of just speaking to one another. Another thing I have to mention is Ms. Hudson. That woman can blow. If you didn't know it way back on American Idol, you surely had to know then. She pummeled every track she sang. Seriously. She didn't sound as though she was screaming either, I'm talking real singing. My favorite piece is probably her version of 'One Night Only'. It's a slower track but very sultry.

Their appeared to be no animosity on the set. The cast seemed to have a genuine respect for one another and I didn't see any harsh competition going on. The entire soundtrack to the film is definantly worth it from start to finish. Go on, give it a 'Listen'. 


Jamie Foxx - Curtis Taylor, Jr.
Beyonce Knowles - Deena Jones
Eddie Murphy - James "Thunder" Early (Jimmy)
Jennifer Hudson - Effie White
Anika Noni Rose - Lorrell Robinson
Danny Glover - Marty Madison
Kieth Robinson - C.C. White
Sharon Leal - Michelle Morris
Hinton Battle - Wayne

Mariah I. Wilson - Magic (Effie's daughter)
Yvette Cason - May Jones (Deena's mother)
Ken Page - Max Washington
Alexander Folk - Ronald White

John Lithgow, John Krasinski - film producer and writer/director
Jaleel White - talent booker at Detroit Theater
Dawn Lewis - Melba Early (Jimmy's wife)
Loretta Devine - Jazz singer
Laura Bell Bundy - sweetheart in Cadillac Car reprise

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