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The Star – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album review

The soundtrack to the story of the nativity of Jesus has arrived.

Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Star - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Credit: Epic

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s not surprising that there’s a new family movie coming out to mark the occasion. The Star, released in UK cinemas on Friday, is an animated comedy that tells the story of the nativity of Jesus. Rather than focusing on the humans involved the story though, The Star focuses on the animals that witnessed it all unfold. Before the movie hits cinemas, The Star – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack has been released.

The soundtrack opens with the lead single from the movie, performed by Mariah Carey. It’s widely acknowledged that Carey is the Queen of Christmas when it comes to music so it’s fitting that she’s contributed original song The Star to the soundtrack. The classic ballad sits neatly along with Carey’s expansive body of work and it features a children’s choir to pack that extra little emotional punch. No one does a heartfelt ballad like Carey and she sounds fantastic.

From that point onwards the soundtrack offers a mixture of recording artists both classic and contemporary. Breakout Country artist Kelsea Ballerini puts her own spin on Children, Go Where I Send Thee (although in this version Thee has been replaced by You), while pop star Zara Larsson leaves the gimmicks behind for a surprisingly powerful rendition of Mary, Did You Know? Gospel singer Yolanda Adams delivers a stirring rendition of O Holy Night, that could be one of the best versions of the song that I’ve ever heard.

Elsewhere on the soundtrack A Great Big World injects a bit of fun with Life is Good and rock trio Saving Forever step more into a pop direction with a joyous version of What Christmas Means to Me. Rising Country singer Jessie James Decker showcases her magnificent voice on Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song), Jake Owen wraps his distinctive tone around What Child Is This? and Casting Crowns perform a delicate version of His Eye is on the Sparrow.

A standout on the album is Fifth Harmony’s original track Can You See. The four-piece utilise their harmonies perfectly over a gentle beat and their individual vocals sound really strong. It could easily become a festive classic long after the film has finished in cinemas.

The only moment on the soundtrack that sounds a bit clunky is Kirk Franklin’s We Three Kings. Did anyone need a hip-hop flavoured version of this Christmas classic? I don’t think so and it’s not great to be honest.

Pentatonix bring things to a close with Carol of the Bells. The A Cappella group know how to create fantastic soundscapes with their voices and this song doesn’t disappoint. It’s the perfect end to a very enjoyable album.

The Star – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is a really great listen for the whole family. Whether you’re a fan of the religious aspect of Christmas or not, there’s plenty to enjoy here. All of the artists have put their own spins on well-known tracks and the originals fit in seamlessly too. I’m looking forward to seeing how they fit into the film when it’s released in the UK this week.

 

Track list: 1. The Star – Mariah Carey 2. Children Go Where I Send You – Kelsea Ballerini 3. We Three Kings – Kirk Franklin 4. Can You See – Fifth Harmony 5. Life is Good – A Great Big World 6. Mary, Did You Know? – Zara Larsson 7. O Holy Night – Yolanda Adams 8. What Christmas Means to Me – Saving Forever 9. Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song) – Jessie James Decker 10. His Eye is on the Sparrow – Casting Crowns 11. What Child Is This? – Jake Owen Record label: Epic Records Release date: 27th October 2017

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