The soundtrack to Coach Carter, a drama starring Samuel L. Jackson as the hard-line coach of a high-school basketball team, is much like that of many other soundtracks for major movies released since the early '90s. The track list reads like a mix of up-and-coming artists, big names dusting off B-quality material, and a handful of tracks that no one recalls hearing in the movie. (In fact, just over a third of the songs on this disc have nothing to do with the movie at all, apart from stylistic kinship with what does appear.) Many of the selections for artists included are very timely, since the likes of Ciara, Kanye West, Fabolous, Twista, and Chingy were all incredibly popular at the time of the movie's early-2005 release. By no means is the disc a throwaway -- Red Café's "All Night Long," the Game's "Southside," Ciara's "Roll Wit U" (if nowhere near as brilliant as "Goodies" or "1, 2 Step"), and West's over-a-year-old "Wouldn't You Like to Ride" (originally heard on a 2003 release from collaborator Malik Yusef) are significant standouts -- but a number of other tracks will resonate only with those who can place them in the context of the movie. Strange: Ashanti, who plays pregnant girlfriend number one in the movie and released a new album in late 2004, does not kick in with a contribution.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman