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Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida
Following hot on the heels of their enormously successful collaboration for The Lion King, Elton John and Tim Rice have once again culled their talents to create another Disney contemporary musical, based this time on Verdi's opera Aida. The album, recorded by some of the biggest talents of pop, country, and R&B, features songs from the stage show, which recounts the well-known tale of a love triangle further complicated by slavery, royalty, and the armed forces. John duets to great effect with country crooner LeAnn Rimes, the enchanting Janet Jackson, and the lovely Lulu of To Sir with Love fame. Lush and lively, the soundtrack hits a hoot of a (decidedly not highbrow) high point with the infectious pop of the Spice Girls warbling the merits of undergarments on "My Strongest Suit" ("Always wear underwear/Anytime, anywhere". Lenny Kravitz funks things up with "Like Father Like Son." Shania Twain's husky emoting makes a fine pop ballad of the brief "Amneris' Letter." "Not Me" chronicles the goodness of love as Boyz II Men coo dreamily, their harmonies nestling into John's sumptuous score.