Various : Carmen Original Soundtrack

Beyonce, Wyclef and Da Brat feature...

Hiphop and R&B collide into the world of opera through the MTV version of Carmen to be screened (no doubt countless times) over the summer months. Taking lead role in the production is Destiny’s Child‘s prize asset Beyonce Knowles (or ‘buoyancy’ judging by recent sightings). Joining in with the hip-opera are distinguished members of the black music community including Mos Def, Wyclef Jean and Da Brat, who unsurprisingly, along with Ms Knowles, feature rather heavily on the obligatory soundtrack.

The recent Destiny’s Child smash ‘Survivor’ makes an appearance in remix form which only differs from the original by virtue of a Da Brat rap. And frankly if you can live without a rhyme that features the line [I]”I’m stomping like a solider in my big black boots”[/I] then save cash and stick with your DC album.

Next up is recent hiphop underground favourite ‘Boom’ by Royce Da 5′ 9″ which hits the spot but from then on in things fizzle out, which is nothing short of scandalous considering the calibre of artists involved in the project. Even Beyonce’s appearance on four more joints can’t save things with the exception of the dramatic ‘Cards Never Lie’ which sees her link up with Wyclef and the ever-consistent Rah Digga.

Fundamentally this album has absolutely nothing to do with opera, maybe it’s not trying to infiltrate that secretive world too much, but by drowning tracks with as many orchestral references three minutes will allow and relying on named artists to pull it off, in the end just comes across as being a bit naff. And as for the film version, both Royal Opera House audiences and hiphop heads alike will possibly be rolling

in the aisles.

Sam Faulkner