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  Uptown Girls (Soundtrack--2003)
Artists: composer Joel McNeely and various artists including Leigh Nash, Chantal Kreviazuk, Erin McKeown, Martina Sorbara, The Weekend, Sense Field, Cooler Kids, Jesse Spencer, Toby Lightman, and Keram Malicki-Sanchez
Label: Netwerk 06700-30342-27
Times: 45 minutes

The film Uptown Girls was originally titled Molly Gunn_ The story is about Molly (Brittany Murphy), the daughter of two deceased rock musicians, who finds herself at age 22 without funds. Her financial advisor swindled her, so Molly finds work as a governess to eight-year-old Ray (Dakota Fanning). This pairing is quite a mismatch with Molly being a walking hazard and Ray being Little Miss Perfect. Also in the mix is Ray's mom (Heather Locklear), who has eyes for Molly's musician boyfriend Neal (Jesse Spencer). One can imagine how this plot goes.

In the story, Molly has to reach Ray and bring the girl out of this encapsulated little person. It is a daunting task made easier by the activities of a large city and the friendliness of Molly's pet pig. Joel McNeely's soundtrack and choice of musicians display a kind of adult teenybopper beat that is easy on the ears. It is highly listenable for all ages.

The music is geared to what is happening in the film at that time. "A Charmed Life" (Leigh Nash) is about how great life is up until that point. "Time" (Chantal Kreviazuk) tells us that we mustn't waste a moment because "we should have known better, threw those mornings away." "Slung-Lo" (Erin McKeown) is the opposite--the girl "was so down, look at her now, she's dancing until she drops." This selection is a standout with McKeown and the accompaniment working hand in hand. "On Your Own" (Sense Field) shows what happens when you are on your own for the first time: "all these things you learn on your own somehow." "E Is For Everybody" (Cooler Kids) is a different version of an alphabet song with clever themes from the movie. "Sheets of Egyptian Cotton" (Jesse Spencer) is actually from a video that is being made in the movie. Imagine, these sheets actually cost $1400!

"Frightened" (Toby Lightman) offers the feelings of someone who is both afraid of receiving love and of giving love. "I'm frightened by the love in me, but that's alright." "The Truth Be Told" (Keram Malicki-Sanchez) is the longest song on the soundtrack with a wonderful phrase: "dancing through the rain and never feeling old." The final selection is the piano theme by Joel McNeely, and I can tell you now, it is way too short. Hey, why shortchange the listener? This theme is a wistful waltz, and before you can get into it--poof!--end of CD. No fair. This reviewer wanted more.

Copyright 2003 Marie Asner
Submitted 8/15/03

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