Next Best Thing (soundtrack)
to Be Dared
michael r. smith
been said that Madonna is the one woman that gay men would
go straight for. Not that it is her secret mission to turn
them into so-called "ex-gays", it is just that she has long
been an icon and champion for gay rights and feels even they
should not be limited by or ashamed of their sexuality. She
knows what it is like to be shunned, snubbed and just plain
shut out. But like her huge gay following, she has endured
and developed into a stronger and more well-rounded human
being. And even though it is a new decade, Madonna has not
sacrificed her tendency to be controversial.
film, The Next Best Thing which opens in March and
co-stars her best gay friend since Sandra Bernhard, Rupert
Everett, takes a stab at gay parenting. The plausibility factor
of whether a gay man can not only have a (drunken) one-night
stand with Madonna but also make a good parent looks to be
the only obstacle in making this one an even bigger hit than
her 1996 musical foray, Evita was.
her music videos, Madonna is able to test the waters of not
only what her fans will enjoy, but also the reaction she will
receive from the public at large. If nothing else comes out
of the publicity machine for this film, at least she will
have gauged just how far society has come in terms of acceptance
of not only her but of the causes she believes in fighting
has the courage and tenacity to dare to go where no other
music artist would. Moving more into film now is the least
of her worries, which certainly couldn't be said earlier on
in her career. Anything she does at this point is simply icing
on the cake because she can afford to do anything she wants.
She has now gained complete control over her own art through
the numerous companies (like Maverick) she now owns, so popularity
is one thing she can merely take or leave. Paying attention
to reviews like this certainly are not high on her list of
what it might be worth to her public, gay and straight alike,
here is the skinny on the soundtrack to The Next Best Thing:
The two Madonna songs, "American Pie" and "Time Stood Still"
are do-able. In fact, like Madonna herself, I never really
cared for Don McLean's version of "American Pie", so it is
nice to hear new life breathed into that one. The upbeat spin
and solid vocals will certainly keep the skeptics tongues
wagging for the next few months at least.
of other selections on the soundtrack, all personally chosen
by the diva herself, are also fine if not spectacular. The
songs in the middle by Groove Armada, Moby and Olive are the
third soundtrack in five years, Madonna seems to have stolen
a page from the career of Whitney Houston. Remember back in
the 90's when she had The Bodyguard, Waiting to
Exhale, and The Preacher's Wife? Usually artists
use soundtracks as low-profile teasers for their new studio
albums, but these two women have managed to make them best-selling
events unto themselves.
phrase "much-anticipated" is often likened to Madonna, no
matter what the medium or how much time goes by. Because only
the best artists are considered timeless.