It is difficult to capture the laid-back atmosphere that one enters when walking into a barbershop , but this soundtrack will make you feel like you are sitting in the barber’s chair getting a fade. The Barbershop 2 Soundtrack has an old-school flavor that makes it a refreshing change from the monotonous gangster lyrics that plague the airwaves today. Soundtracks, for the most part, feel forced together with songs that have little or no relevance to the actual movie. The Barbershop 2 Soundtrack, with the exception of songs by The Clipse and Mobb Deep, accurately represents the mood of the movie, laid back and genuine.
Eve, one of the main characters in Barbershop 2, lends her talents to two songs on the soundtrack. She joins Mary J. Blige in a combination of hip hop heavy hitters for the first single of the soundtrack, “Not Today.” This song deals with the unfaithful men that Eve’s character, Terri Jones, continues to deal with. Eve’s lyrics stay faithful to the sassiness that emanates from Terri on screen. Eve also appears on the song “Never” with Keyshia Cole for a remake of the Luther Vandross (big Luther, not little Luther), song “Never Too Much.” “Never” portrays Terri’s unlikely love for fellow barber Ricky.
Sleepy Brown’s and Outkast’s appearances on the soundtrack are only appropriate, given the old school feel of the album. Outkast continues their prolific streak of making hit songs with “I Can’t Wait,” a song that they say is “dedicated to the lovers.” Sleepy Brown uses the same smooth voice that made “I Like the Way You Move” cooler than cool. You could say it is “ice cold.”
In perhaps the biggest surprise appearance on the album, D-12 raps on the song “Barbershop.” In a much restrained role, D-12 turns this account of everyday occurrences at the barbershop into a track with so much funk that James Brown would envy it. Not only is it surprising that D-12 has a song on this album, it is surprising that the song is good because normally they, for lack of a better word, SUCK. The members of D-12 assume the role of barbers and joke about the events that surround their lives.
On the final song on the soundtrack, R&B singer Avant teams up with Keke Wyatt to end the album on an appropriate feel good note. This song, “Your Precious Love,” is a remake of the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell duet with the same name. The song epitomizes the mood of the movie, a new twist on an old thing.
For all the praise, two songs on the album need to be addressed. The song by The Clipse, called “Pussy,” and the song by Mobb Deep called “One of Ours,” do not belong on the CD. Apparently these two rap groups feel that they have to be gangster on the Barbershop 2 Soundtrack. Clipse, in the words of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, is about as gangster as an “Easter bonnet hat.” Why Clipse feels that they need to rap about drugs, a topic they are apparently familiar with due to the fact that all of their songs are about them, is beyond me. If the Neptunes had never produced them, we still wouldn’t know their names. Mobb Deep’s song, aside from not belonging on the soundtrack, is terrible. Their song “One of Ours” includes every rap cliche. Someone should tell this group to walk away, really, just walk away.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can make broader generalizations about the album. It is a good soundtrack because it adheres to the mood of the movie, something that soundtracks usually do not do. It is an enjoyable album that for the most part can be listened to straight through. It is by no means one of the albums of the year, but it is worth getting, as it is different from the norm.
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