Interscope – 2001 – 57 minutes

If the film is all high-kicking frills and gloss then 'Moulin Rouge' the soundtrack is even more rouged and overly made-up.

As 'Moulin Rouge' doesn't hit Irish screens until September, the premature soundtrack release resembles a thinly veiled cash-in attempt on the success of 'Lady Marmalade'. Despite featuring some of pop and hip-hop's chief female arrivistes (Pink, Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil' Kim), Missy Elliot's production is subsumed by the quartet's constant attempts to outsing each other.

The bulk of the album is made up of cover versions - or to use the modern euphemism - 'reworkings' of old tracks. If only they'd left them alone. 'Sparkling Diamonds' is a big-band, modern vocal version of 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend' and Valeria's 'Rhythm Of The Night' is a lifeless version of DeBarge's cheesy 1980s Latino anthem.

Ewan McGregor sings his heart out on 'Your Song' and Nicole Kidman's epic pastiche of 'One Day I'll Fly Away' is self-indulgent melodrama. But it's Bono and Gavin Friday's contribution that is the biggest crime against music. They take on the T-Rex classic 'Children Of The Revolution' and without doubt, it's one of the most formulaic, afraid-to-deviate-from-the-original covers ever attempted. It's left to the ever-refreshing Beck to give 'Diamond Dogs' a quirky, electro spin.

The original songs don't merit much praise either: David Bowie wails his way through the Bond song he's never written on 'Nature Boy', while Fat Boy Slim's effort is a dated 1980s chart show nightmare. This is offensively poor stuff, filled with billowy orchestration, musical carnage of some classic tunes and a dearth of imagination. If Can-Can is high-class titillation, this is peep-show porn. (The solitary star is for Beck).

Sinéad Gleeson

Tracklisting: Nature Boy (David Bowie) – Lady Marmalade (Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink) – Because We Can (Fatboy Slim) – Sparkling Diamonds (Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Caroline O'Connor, Natalie Mendoza and Lara Mulcahy) – Rhythm Of The Night (Valeria) – Your Song (Ewan McGregor and Alessandro Safina) – Children Of The Revolution (Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer) – One Day I'll Fly Away (Nicole Kidman) – Diamond Dogs (Beck) – Elephant Love Medley (Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and Jamie Allen)) – Come What May (Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor) – El Tango De Roxanne (Ewan McGregor, Jose Feliciano and Jacek Koman) – Complainte De La Butte (Rufus Wainwright) – Hindi Sad Diamonds (Nicole Kidman, John Leguizomo and Alka Yagnik) – Nature Boy (David Bowie and Massive Attack)