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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/fe94075c52a25fddddbed6ef60ef75a76b53c1b3.jpeg Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Various Artists

Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

RCA
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
July 31, 2012

The headline-grabbers here are two Whitney Houston songs, her last-ever recordings. They're also this soundtrack's low points. "Celebrate" is forgettable disco pop, and on the gospel standard "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," Houston sings – and croaks – in a voice octaves lower than in her prime. At times the song has a ravaged magnificence, but mostly it's painful. Otherwise, though, this is a delightful record, from Cee Lo's soul-funk "I'm a Man" to Jordin Sparks' torch-y "One Win." Sparkle revives four soul chestnuts and includes three originals written and produced by R. Kelly. It's the second-most-satisfying retro-soul album of the year – after Kelly's Write Me Back.

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