Original Soundtrack

Romeo Must Die

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On "I Don't Wanna," Aaliyah (who's also the film's star) pillow-talks her way through the new jack ballad as if she were snuggled in the soothing splendors of a hot bubble bath. Declaring her unwillingness to live without her man, she croons the words of the song, alternating between a breathless daddy's-girl naïveté and the throaty vibrato of a grown woman's heartache. The disc has much of what you'd expect from a hip-hop-driven movie soundtrack -- fairly good production, with a beats-du-jour tunesmith like Missy Elliott's Tim "Timbaland" Mosley at the helm, and a crew of hit-hungry young rappers for him to play with, such as Mack 10, B.G. from Cash Money, Dave Hollister, Confidential, and Blade. Problem is, when paired up with Mosley's hip-hop-as-pop recipe of bouncy arrangements, halting beats, and quirky synth effects, most of these C+ rhyme-droppers come off uninspired, lacking the alpha-dog charisma of DMX, who takes control of things in his duet with Aaliyah on "Come Back in One Piece." Mosley does manage to do himself a decent turn, trading words with partner Magoo on "We at It Again." But the rest of the tracks, with the exception of Aaliyah's "Try Again" and "Are You Feelin' Me," could easily be mistaken for anything concurrently found on urban radio.

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