Friday, December 22, 2017


Various Artists-How Stella Got Her Groove Back: Soundtrack From The Motion Picture (1998)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 22, 2017

I enjoy listening to movie soundtracks.....even if I've only seen bits and pieces of the actual movie from which the soundtrack was made. Such is the case with the 1998 blockbuster film starring Angela Bassett and my beloved Whoopi Goldberg. "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" is yet another one on my I'm-gonna-make-some-time-to-finally-sit-down-and-watch-this-all-the-way-through-from-the-beginning-to-the-end list of movies—a list that spans at least three decades, with probably a good couple of hundred on that list, if not more! In the meantime, I at least have this fourteen-track collection of solid r&b, hip-hop and reggae-themed songs to groove to—a collection which itself features its own star-studded cast of performers! Two of my childhood favorite artists make guest appearances here: Motown soul legend Stevie Wonder on his collaboration with rapper Wyclef Jean on this 90's remake of "Mastablasta" (I like the part where Wyclef raps about Sade being in his bedroom singing "The Sweetest Taboo") and pop diva Janet Jackson on her collaboration with Shaggy on 'Luv Me, Luv Me" (it's almost funny when Shaggy's voice rises on some parts in his delivery of 'sex machine'). Besides that pair, other familiar voices from my yesterdays of music-listening making remarkable contributions here include 90's r&b sensation Mary J. Blige, whose "Beautiful" is definitely one of the most beautiful r&b love tributes you'll hear; BOYZ II MEN with Chanté Moore on the even-more-beautiful duet, "Your Home Is In My Heart" (they make an astounding pair!); and SOUL II SOUL on the liberating concept song, "Free Again". Not as familiar with Maxi Priest and Meshell Ndegeocello (I haven't taken the time to hear much of their music over the years), but their offerings of "The Art Of Seduction" and "Let Me Have You", respectively, are good listens as well, as is Diana King's "Make My Body Hot" (hearing her distinctively-Jamaican vocals is a pleasure, particularly in the way she enticingly sings 'temptation' and 'I like the way your body moves') and the slow jam "Never Say Never Again", where the brother r&b duo of K-Ci & JoJo show off some amazingly soulful vocals! There's a couple that I can really get into the groove with: the Rufus Blaq & Kevin Ford jam, "Dance For Me", and the sunny island breeze of a feel-gooder that is "Escape To Jamaica". Actually, make that three, counting the full-length version of Jazzie B's ear-pleasing instrumental that teases you as the soundtrack's opening intro:

1. Jazzie B. - Jazzie B. Intro
2. Stevie Wonder & Wyclef Jean - Mastablasta '98
3. Shaggy & Janet Jackson - Luv Me, Luv Me
4. Mary J. Blige - Beautiful
5. K-Ci & JoJo - Never Say Never Again
6. Big Pun & Beenie Man - Makes Me Sweat
7. Boyz II Men & Chanté Moore - Your Home Is In My Heart (Stella's Love Theme)
8. Soul II Soul Feat. Jazzie B & Caron Wheeler - Free Again
9. Diana King - Make My Body Hot
10. Maxi Priest - The Art Of Seduction
11. Meshell Ndegeocello - Let Me Have You
12. Rufus Blaq & Kevin Ford - Dance For Me
13. Lady Saw & Nadine Sutherland - Escape To Jamaica
14. Jazzie B. - Jazzie's Groove

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