Various Artists

Bridget Jones's Diary

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Based on the comic best-seller, Bridget Jones's Diary documents a year in the life of an unmarried 30-something publisher. She searches for love, self-confidence, and a slimmer waistline in a struggle to become the "perfect modern woman." The resulting soundtrack assembles a cavalry of strong female artists. Chaka Khan's dance anthem "I'm Every Woman" feels like the centerpiece for this collection that includes new music from Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynn, and Tracy Bonham. Aside from score composer Patrick Doyle, the only boys invited to play here are British heartthrob Robbie Williams and Marvin Gaye, who shares his space with Diana Ross on their Motown classic, "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)." Williams appears twice and offers one of the many remakes on the album, a charming version of Frank Sinatra's "Have You Met Miss Jones?" Other covers include a just-as-sappy rendition of Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" and a smooth R&B take on Van Morrison's "Someone Like You." Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell contributes a catchy but slightly painful version of "It's Raining Men," while some of the album's more interesting tracks come from its lesser-known artists. Popular U.K. acts Gabrielle and Alisha's Attic deliver distinctive ballads, and promising New Yorker Rosey brands her own form of bluesy pop/rock on "Love." Despite several edgy performers, the collection has an easy listening feel. It lacks the feel-good hits common to successful soundtracks and may have been well served to trade in some of the sentiment for a little more fun. However, each selection feels right for the film. The album is nostalgic while still in vogue, full of both kitsch and ardor, just like any romantic comedy should be.

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