Chock Full of Messages
The song was probably written specifically for the movie and may even play a part in a pivotal scene. However, considering B's long-time relationship with Jay-Z and recent rumors about them possibly getting married, it makes you wonder.
Another very interesting song is "Family First," which features the re-emerging Whitney Houston along with her mother Cissy Houston and Cissy's sister, Dionne Warwick, as well as assorted female family members singing background. Again, the song was likely written specifically for the movie, but considering the fact that the first voice heard on the song is Whitney's and that Whitney recently filed for divorce from her allegedly adulterous husband Bobby Brown, it makes you wonder. Especially with lyrics like:
"I can see you crying - someone broke your heart, Instead of being with those who love you, you spend time apart, It's because you think they won't understand the pain you're going through, So you don't reach out your hand for them, 'til they'll pull and reach for you."
Inspirational, Meaningful Songs
The best male performance on the album is turned in by the great - and yet still underrated - Soul singer Anthony Hamilton. He appears alongside Jaheim and Musiq Soulchild on "Struggle No More." (Hamilton also appears by himself on a different mix of the song.) The song's vocals - about the pressing ahead through life despite all the obstacles in the path are poignant, but Hamilton's golden Soul voice makes them even more meaningful.
If there's a drawback to the album, it's that there's just 11 songs - and one of those songs is a remix of another song. The album has such a grand collection of talent - I haven't even mentioned Brian McKnight or R. Kelly's contributions yet - that it leaves you wanting more. There are a couple of weaker songs but lesser-known artists, but their mediocrity is more than balanced out by the more-talented artists.
Overall, this soundtrack is good in all areas - vocally, lyrically and originality. If you're a fan of Soul and Gospel, it doesn't get much better than this.