Friday, May 28, 2010

Empire State of Mind-Sex and The City 2 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Review

When I think of my life in Manhattan in my 20s I usually erase all the bad stuff and only remember the good. After all, those were the days of my youth. So when I watch Sex and The City*  in any of its manifestations, I think of all the places I've been and all the characters I've been. I was first Samantha--offered drugs at Tunnel (turned it down!), then Carrie--in a relationship with a man who wouldn't commit to marriage, then Miranda--the young corporate attorney, and finally Charlotte--wife (to the right man!) and mother living in a high-rise, doorman building. When my husband got a job in California, I felt like it was the right time to leave. After all, I tried to follow all the other advice in The Sunscreen Song. So I had to leave New York, before it made me hard.

We moved to California shortly after R was born. The original Sex and The City was the first movie I watched in the theater that summer. I watched it in a suburban theater instead of at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square like I would have if we had stayed in New York. I remember crying during the opening credits when they showed the Manhattan skyline. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with how hormonal I was after having R, but it was also the cry of my heart for my youth. Even now, when I watch the shows or the movie on DVD, I wax nostalgic about the life and times I had on those hard New York streets. So when the opportunity came up to review Sex and The City 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, naturally I couldn't pass it up.

I think that the song Empire State of Mind most epitomizes New York and how people think about it. It really is the concrete jungle where dreams are made up. There is a certain personality that makes its way to New York, and when you're among eight million of that type of person, you can't help but feel that there's nothing you can't do, now that you're in New York. I loved the song when Jay-Z and Bridget Kelly performed it on SNL, and I loved it even more on this CD because it's straight Alicia Keys (love her vocals!), Broken Down version of Empire State Of Mind.

I love the second track on the album-Everything to Lose. I think Dido sings of every [New York] girl's dilemma when she is no longer single; how to come to grips with no longer being free and at the same time acquiring something you don't want to lose. When you give up your singleness to be with someone, you really give up a piece of your previous identity, but gain something even more precious. At least you have to decide ultimately it is more precious, otherwise it's not worth it to lose yourself like Samantha came to realize at the end of the first movie. But don't think that the album is filled with only heavy, thought-provoking songs. Liza Minnelli, the original New York New York girl dishes Beyonce’s Single Ladies Put A Ring On It (it was fun to compare it with the Chipettes version emblazoned in my mind from the latest Alvin movie) and the stars of the movie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon put their own spin on Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman, so there are a lot of songs that will have you smiling while you listen. Can’t Touch It by Rickee Lee will have you jumping up to dance wherever you are.

I love the songs from Broadway shows on the album: If Ever I Would Leave You, Sunrise Sunset and Till There Was You by the new group called the Sex and the City Men’s Choir; Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Shayna Steele, Jordan Ballard and Kamilah Marshall; and Everytime We Say Goodbye by Liza Minnelli with Billy Stritch. One of my dreams is to see H perform on Broadway, so Broadway tunes are a big thing in our house. A mama can dream, right? Other cuts in the soundtrack album are Rapture by Alicia Keys; Language Of Love by Cee Lo; Window Seat by Erykah Badu; Kiddo by Natacha Atlas; Euphrates Dream by Michael McGregor; Love Is Your Color by Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis; True Colors by Cyndi Lauper; and Divas And Dunes by Aaron Zigman.

I will be listening to this album over and over again. I'm already a fan on Facebook and in my heart! I'm so excited to watch Sex and the City 2 tonight so I can put the songs together with the scenes in my mind. New York--tonight I will have an Empire State of Mind!

*You'll notice I capitalize "The" throughout this post--my good friend and native New Yorker KMY told me in college that any true New Yorker knows New York is The City.

I did not receive any compensation for this post. I received a copy from the One2One Network for review purposes. Sex and the City 2: Original  Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on May  25th and the film opened in theaters May 27th.

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