The Commitments Vol. 2

There’s no doubt that at least some of the platinum success of the Commitments’ soundtrack album can be attributed to ’60s nostalgia. After all, what middle-aged soulster wouldn’t want to hear youthful, R-E-S-P-E-C-T-ful versions of such classics as ”Try a Little Tenderness” or ”Treat Her Right”? Still, no one beat a path to Val Kilmer’s, er, door, to hand him a record deal after his Jim Morrison ape job — whereas The Commitments Vol. 2 finds 18-year-old sweatmeister Andrew Strong and company performing less by rote and sounding more mature and together on their seven newly recorded cover versions here than on four left over from the film. Strong pile-drives his way through ”Grits Ain’t Groceries,” ”Saved,” and Wilson Pickett’s ”Land of 1,000 Dances,” while the Commitments’ other lead vocalist, Robert Arkins, scores with surprisingly sexy versions of Sam and Dave’s ”I Thank You” and Otis Redding’s ”Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song).” As for Angeline Ball’s sinewy read on Marvin Gaye’s ”That’s the Way Love Is,” suffice it to , say that I don’t even mind the backup singers substituting ”Sure enough” for ”Sho’nuff.” Hey, this is the ’90s. B

The Commitments Vol. 2
  • Music