The original soundtrack for Neil LaBute's Nurse Betty features innocent, classic pop songs that capture the sweetly delusional state of the film's title character. Jula De Palma and Pink Martini's versions of the lighthearted standard "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera Sera)" bookend songs like Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool," Ann-Margret's "Slowly," and Della Reese's "Don't You Know," and selections from Rolfe Kent's quirky original score complete this enjoyable companion to one of 2000's most unique films.
While the two previous Best of UB40 collections neatly divided the band's output between their more political early period and their later, covers-oriented pop success, they were also only ten tracks apiece. The Very Best of UB40 1980-2000 is the first comprehensive single-disc overview of the band's career, and it's a lot more generous at 20 tracks. It isn't arranged chronologically, which actually helps the programming by splitting up the covers over the course of the running order. There's a bit more toughness to the earlier songs, both in the lyrics and the punchier performances. Yet in the end, the sonic differences are subtle enough that casual fans should still be able to enjoy them (unless they only want to hear the band performing reggae-pop versions of oldies they already know).
Funkmaster Flex keeps his Mix Tape: 60 Minute of Funk going with Volume 4, which features mainly freestyles. Performers include some of the industries top rappers - primarily New Yorkers like DMX and Ja Rule but also a few out-of-town surprises like Eminem and Ludacris - most of whom freestyle over Flex's own productions. The plethora of exclusive productions sets Volume 4 apart from its predecessors, which were more straightforward mix albums comprised of previously released hits. As such, Volume 4 offers a lot of performances that cannot be found elsewhere, so fans of the featured rappers should take note.
The Big Town Playboys are a six-piece acoustic British rhythm and blues revival band playing American music of the 1940s and 1950s, though they were formed in the '70s. Personnel has changed over time, but the group leader is pianist/singer Mike Sanchez. The Big Town Playboys have released a series of studio albums, as well as a collaborative project with Jeff Beck (entitled Crazy Legs), re-creating the songs of Gene Vincent. Several of their songs also appeared on the soundtrack of the film, The Pope Must Die. They have performed as a backing band for Robert Plant, who contributed guest vocals on their album Roll the Dice They…