You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Music Charts
    iTunes Charts for the past week: Songs 1. “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor
  • Music Charts
    iTunesCharts for the past week:Songs1. “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor2. “Take Me to Church,” Hozier3. “Animals,” Maroon 54.
  • A more realistic artist
    '1989'Taylor Swift Taylor Swift's all-out move into pop music on her fifth album, “1989,” is the sound of a young artist who has gradually evolved from a teenager obsessed with boys and
RCA Records

All that sparkles is not gold

‘Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ Various artists

Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin’s union for the soundtrack of the 1976 musical drama “Sparkle” made for an instant soul classic, so the 2012 remake already has a lot to live up to. The burden for greatness is shared among the main cast, which includes Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter and Cee Lo Green. Sparks emerges as the leading lady of the album. She shines bright on various collaborations and her three solo tracks: It’s another winning moment for the former “American Idol” champ.

With that said, Houston has become the focus of the film and soundtrack since she died earlier this year. Her songs here should have served as a high note for the icon, but unfortunately her swan songs – “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” and “Celebrate” with Sparks – falter. Perhaps choosing a gospel tune that requires a melodious voice and a song that shares a performer who outshines her wasn’t the best way to seal her legacy.

Four Mayfield-helmed originals make the 11-track album (“Jump,” “Hooked on Your Love,” “Something He Can Feel” and “Look Into Your Heart”), while R. Kelly gets in on the action by writing and producing a few funky, but too-modern contributions (“Love Will” and “Celebrate”). Mayfield’s compositions stand the test of time as vibrant and nuanced: Kelly doesn’t deliver, and at times his contributions sound cheesy.

“Something He Can Feel,” sung on the original soundtrack by Franklin (and also covered by En Vogue in 1992), has the shoo-bee-doo potential to be something you can feel.

While the record is adequate enough in reproducing the sound and cheerful naiveté of 1960s, the period in which the film is set, it ultimately fails to linger in heart, mind or feet past its last note.