Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sparrow Productions' The Perfect Picture - The soundtrack

After the Perfect Picture review, comes the blog entry about the soundtrack. if you know me well, you know I love music, especially African music. Sparrow Productions has been doing a great job concerning soundtracks, with the other movies like Life and Living it and Scorned. When the The Perfect Picture was being premiered, I knew a little about the soundtrack. After going through the movie, I'll like to talk about the songs featured, including the main soundtrack which brought to us Kwabena Kwabena's first music video, 'Do ne bi'.

I couldn't help but smile when I heard Asem's Pigaro played. That song has been a huge hit but to play it in that scene was interesting. I wanted the song to be played in some club scene so we could introduce the Pigaro dance to movie viewers. The movie began and ended with hiplife songs, way to go Sparrow. Shiee, wow! The song used here was a remix and I loved the machine gun shots. "Pigaro 1, pigaro 2, pigaro 3, pigaro 4, pigaro 5, pigaro 6! Do the pigaro, baby do it like this!" I love how they ended the song in the movie. Haha.

There were three Kwabena Kwabena songs on the soundtrack, chief amongst which is 'Obi dɔ wo, dɔ no bi (Do ne bi)'. I loved seeing Kwabena squared perform in the movie, I am a big fan of live music and Kwabena is a fine singer. That voice drives the ladies crazy. The club/bar scene was cool and quite reminiscent of scenes I've seen in Ghana. It seems that scene was shot in Boomerang Nite Club. You could see they were feeling the song. Kwabena has a lot of mellow songs and 'Do ne bi' is one of the few up-tempo jams. 'Me ne woa' was played during a Larry-Aseye scene which begged for two lovers to try and understand each other and just do a little talking, I guess that was appropriate. 'Meye', which I believe is the best Ghanaian wedding song I've heard, was played during the wedding weekend. Shirley knows what's up!

Amakye Dede's music brought people from two worlds together. This is one of the underrated things about the movie. Akese and Fela's scenes became synonymous with Amakye Dede's songs and yes, they were appropriate. Abrantie Amakye Dede sings about a whole lot of things. My favorite Amakye track is not 'Ɔdɔ da baabi' but 'Ɔdɔ ho akyere no a'. 'Mefrɛ wo', 'Kanea mayɛ kyerɛ me', 'Ɔdɔ da baabi' and 'Mma ɛndi awerehoɔ' were not out of place and added a nice local tone to the movie. Twi soundtrack with English lines, that's quite interesting. Makes me wonder though, is Amakye Dede's music for the poorer class and blue-collar workers? I mean, Taylor couldn't believe his executive lady of a girlfriend could be listening to Amakye Dede. Taylor is your busy business executive who doesn't have time for his girl, but has money for expensive gifts. Serious props to the Sparrow crew for their choice of Amakye Dede and the particular songs.

I don't know too much about the non-Ghanaian songs but I did recognise that 'My girl' song by The temptations and 'What a wonderful world' by Louis Armstrong. Those timeless classics are popular in Ghana and worked well with the movie. They also had T-Pain's Church; let me guess, they had to have some autotune in there huh? We all know T-Pain is the hit-maker of today. Shirley knows the times well. I had never heard Beyonce's 'New Shoes' song before. With new beginnings and after 'months later', people get new shoes abi? Yes, and at the mall too. The soundtrack also featured Shontelle's T-shirt. Excellent choice of Robin Beck's 'First time' as well. Doris Day's 'que sera, sera' and Fish Go Deep's 'The cure and the cause' also featured. Ghanaians are big reggae lovers and Muta Baruka is a favorite. They used 'I am black and proud'.

My brother introduced me to Souljas' Inn's music a while ago. Nabil and his crew are good but I never took them seriously till I watched the 'Perfect Picture'. 'Broken' is a great song as well as 'One day'. "One day, you'll find out I love you so; And you'll be wondering why you wanted me to go, go, go". The songs were chosen really well, I mean who did the fact-finding? Searched the whole of Ghana to find the most appropriate songs. Great work. "Look at the state of me;
Left me broken; You said you'll never leave; Look what you've done to me; Left me broken". Ghanaian music don dey catch far paa.

Is it just me or do Jane Awindor and Irene Logan sound alike? I'd have loved for them to stay together but they are both quite versatile and would both enjoy solid solo careers. MissJane had two songs on the soundtrack. 'Nothing' was played when we were introduced to happier times for Larry and Aseye. Excellent. I am really feeling that 'Nothing' song, I see Jane is using her Nigerian friends to good use, using a couple of Yoruba lines. Everyone will be talking about that last but one scene and is there a more appropriate song than Jane's 'A Moment's Notice'? Ever since I heard the song, I knew it was excellent and tailored for a scene like that. Kudos Jane, you'll go places. If Shirley had a record label too, she'd sign you.

Wutah's one of favourite groups and it warmed my heart to hear their 'Koto sa' track at the end of the movie. However, here is the scene where the culture confusion occurs. Were they really doing the 'electric slide' to a hiplife song? Are there no hiplife dances? Wutah has been on the down-low for way too long after the success of Anamontuo and songs like 'Esikyire (Change your style), Goosy gander and Big dreams. Kotosa will be a hit - "love goes where love is, I can't deny this."

I love how Shirley Frimpong-Manso has been able to bring together great and varied songs on one good soundtrack. I believe Chris Attoh had a hand in it too. I am sure they got authorization from the musicians to use their songs though getting through to Beyonce may be much of an ask. One wonders how much the musicians are paid to feature their songs, or is the reward in the airplay the song gets in the movie? It won't be too long and the movies will feature only local productions with the way Ghanaian music is growing and changing. Kudos to all who worked on the soundtrack for the movie. Now, make a CD and sell it together with the Perfect Picture DVD.
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