When your soundtrack can command original songs from Janet Jackson and the Rolling Stones, you know your project has juice. And neither Jackson’s slinky “70’s Love Groove” nor the Stones’ swampy “Jump on Top of Me” is a throwaway. Moreover, this compilation has already placed one song atop the charts: Ini Kamoze’s dance-hall import from the Land of a Thousand Dances, “Here Comes the Hotstepper.”
Even if you disregard those salient selling points, this collection is deep, delicious and diverse. There are some choice pop covers (Supercat’s revamp of Fats Domino’s “My Girl Josephine” and Sam Phillips’s loaded remake of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ “), bouncy rap (Salt-N-Pepa’s “Here We Come”), ambient New Age (Deep Forest’s “Martha”), hip alternative diffidence (a remix of the Cranberries’ “Pretty”) and go-go funk (New Power Generation’s “Get Wild”). But the album’s capper is U2’s “Lemon,” a remix that instantly commandeers the limbic system. Bono pitches his voice into a keening falsetto, a mix between Jimmy Somerville and David Bowie, for this transporting techno-twirl.
The remarkable thing about Ready to Wear is that for all its styles and all its sizes (from superstar to obscure), the music fits right off the rack. (Columbia)