Various Artists

Keeping the Dream Alive: Race to Erase M.S.

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This is a charity album to benefit the Nancy Davis Foundation for Multiple Sclerosis' Center Without Walls, released in conjunction with the VH1 broadcast of the concert Rock 'n Soul to Race to Erase MS, though the record is not a soundtrack of the concert. Rather, it is a various-artists album of material drawn mainly from performers signed to Sony. Highlights of the disc, which has a distinct urban/hip-hop slant, include remixes of the hits "Jumpin' Jumpin" by Destiny's Child and "I Try" by Macy Gray. There are also several lesser hits from 1998-2000: R. Kelly's "Home Alone"; Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat"; Amel Larrieux's "Sweet Misery"; Brian McKnight's "The Only One for Me"; and a remix of Mandy Moore's "Candy." There are also previously released album tracks by M2M, Des'ree, and Gloria Estefan, the last a remixed version of "No Me Dejes De Querer" from her Spanish-language album Alma Caribeña. Among the few tracks unique to this collection, the most notable are rapper Tarsha Vega's collaboration with Carole King, "Rooftops" from the forthcoming album Diamonds and Monsters, in which hip-hop meets the Brill Building, and Donna Summer's performance of the Gershwins' "Someone to Watch Over Me," recorded at the VH1 concert that resulted in her Live & More Encore album and was featured on the video. The intended standout track clearly is a version of Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" arranged by David Foster and featuring an unlikely group of vocalists including everyone from Donny Osmond to Wyclef Jean; unfortunately, it stands out only in its ineptness.

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