Some film soundtracks are all over the place musically; they might give you anything from country to alternative metal to gangsta rap (depending on what different scenes in the movie called for). That is great if you have eclectic tastes; some listeners are broad-minded enough to listen to Donna Fargo one minute and Mobb Deep the next. But those who aren't so eclectic might feel intimidated. This CD isn't among 2002's ultra-diverse soundtracks -- its primary focus is urban contemporary and urban-drenched dancehall, and most of the material has some type of hip-hop influence. But while the soundtrack of Showtime (a film starring Eddie Murphy and Robert Deniro) isn't incredibly far-reaching, it is fairly focused and, for the most part, decent. Most of the tunes are respectable, and that is true of urban offerings like Marsha Morrison's "Lie Till I Die" as well as crossover dancehall items such as Shaggy's "My Lover" and Kardinall Offishall's "Money Jane." These Shaggy and Kardinall Offishall tracks are not hardcore dancehall but rather, dancehall with strong R&B/hip-hop leanings -- in other words, dancehall that doesn't cater to purists any more than Garth Brooks caters to country purists or the late Grover Washington, Jr. catered to jazz purists. In fact, Shaggy's playful title song (which features Babyface) is really more R&B than dancehall; the tune recalls late-'70s favorites Rose Royce. Another memorable track is Rude's "Why," which successfully combines urban contemporary with '60s girl group elements and could be described as Martha & the Vandellas by way of Destiny's Child, Brownstone, or TLC. This CD isn't perfect; a few of the tunes are routine and pedestrian. But more often than not, Showtime's soundtrack hits its mark.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson