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Various Artists

We Were Soldiers – 2002 (Sony)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Various Artists

The best track on the soundtrack to "We Were Soldiers" is the seemingly unlikely pairing of Johnny Cash and Dave Matthews on "For You." In his low-key, laid back way, Cash evokes a great amount of emotion when singing or his spoken parts. And Matthews contributes worthy backing vocals in sharp, but effective contrast.

Carolyn Dawn Johnson turns in an effectively gentle tear jerker "Some Mother's Son," which is more folk than country with her singing making the song. On the more brassy, uptempo side, Tammy Cochran's vocals power "I Believe." Montgomery Gentry capably displays their Southern country rock roots on "Didn't I." Train's piano-based "Fall Out" isn't exactly country - for the most part, it falls more into the singer/songwriter category, with bagpipes at one point - but sounds good anyway. Ditto for Jars of Clay 's acoustic-based "The Widowing Field." A few other contributions - India.Arie, Five for Fighting and the U.S. Military Academy Cadet Glee Club - fall further outside of country.

Despite the varied mix of contributors, the disc overall holds together quite well.