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Various Artists

Tom Sawyer soundtrack – 2000 (MCA Nashville)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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This latest take on Mark Twain's classic story is an animated made-for-video interpretation, and a few of its celebrity voices include Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams, Jr. But this soundtrack would have been a whole lot better if only these two aforementioned voices had also been included on it, because this is one soggy cereal bowl of songs.

Too many selections are nothing more than pop psychology clich+s. "Light At The End Of The Tunnel" performed by Bryan White and Rebecca Lynn Howard and "Friends For Life (Tom and Huck)" sung by Rhett Atkins and Mark Wills sound like the kind of mindless drivel Stuart Smally used to spew out on Saturday Night Live. But here it's neither good enough, nor smart enough, and doggone it, it's boring. Ray Stevens is a bright spot, as he brings out the dark side of the character "Injurin' Joe," and Lee Ann Womack's familiar quiver is always welcome - even on weak material like "Never, Ever and Forever." Charlie Daniels is also at his fighting best on "Can't Keep A Country Boy Down (Tom's Dream Sequence)."

Mark Twain's work was characterized by sharp wit and great storytelling, qualities conspicuously absent from this weak soundtrack.