Various Artists 

Chicago: Music From the Miramax Motion Picture (Sony)

The soundtrack to the big-screen adaptation of Chicago may not sound better than the trio of cast recordings that have come before it, but it sure does sound bigger. Catherine Zeta-Jones, a hoofer from way back, can render any song a showstopper; her "All That Jazz" is all that and more, the kind of opening number that made Bob Fosse light up a smoke and ask for a new heart. She's the belter of the bunch, leaving Renée Zellweger with most of the ballads.

The real revelations: Richard Gere can sing almost as well as he can almost dance, Queen Latifah's got big lungs (and the cans to match -- uh, wow), and John C. Reilly can take a sad song and make it better.

On the plus side, the soundtrack restores the ribald "Class" cut out of the film (too many "shits" and "son of a bitches" for Oscar's delicate ears?). On the minus side, the Latifah-Lil' Kim-Macy Gray (c)rap redo of "Cell Block Tango" oughta be sentenced to life without parole, while Anastacia's tacked-on "Love Is a Crime" (inspired by the film, though apparently not this one) is, yeah yeah, a crime.


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