The Prince Of Egypt: Soundtrack, Nashville and Inspirational - Various (Dreamworks) Hollywood has never been a slacker when it comes to self-promotion, but three tie-in CDs for one movie is indulgent. It is also a rip-off. The unprecedented triple-whammy - no other film has been accompanied by so much vinyl - was deemed appropriate for the latest animated blockbuster from DreamWorks, the Steven Spielberg/Jeffrey Katzenberg/David Geffen studio taking on the mighty Disney on its own turf. But The Prince Of Egypt, the tale of Moses leading the Exodus, is afflicted by a tendency to star-spot when heard (and presumably seen). Big names might sell movies and CDs, but it is impossible to put yourself in the Middle East of the Bible for long when the voice of Moses springs forth - and you recognise it as Val Kilmer's. So with the first of the discs, the official soundtrack, forgetting you are listening to Michelle Pfeiffer is a non-starter, particularly when any vocal performance of hers immediately recalls her fabulous showing in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Similarly, images of Ralph Fiennes and Steve Martin are not easily banished. That is before we get to the soundtrack's content, which remains doggedly bland in large slabs. Hans Zimmer's score is best when it is a dead-ringer for parts of Les Miserables; a hint of Middle Eastern influence creeps in with the use of ethnic instruments, but the heavy imprint of studio technology is trodden indelibly on the recording's forehead. That radiates through a turgid 'a cappella' closing song by Boyz II Men, presumably the soundtrack's concession to chart trendiness. This is performed partly to a backing of instruments - figure that one out - and is the sort of thing done better 20 years ago by Stevie Wonder. A special mention goes to opening track The Prince Of Egypt (When You Believe), a duet by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. This is a feel-good track from a feel-good movie, but one wonders if the sticky schmaltz, and any element of competition, could have been left at the studio door. Just to ensure we know whose track it really is, it is also featured on each of their new albums. The two 'inspired-by' albums which complete the set are cheeky extensions of the opportunity to sell more movie merchandise: reflections on the Moses story by Christian artists on one CD and country singers on the other. Exactly what American Country and Western has to do with the Bible is a mystery, but The Prince Of Egypt: Nashville will not be inspiring too many legends of its own. Randy Travis and Linda Davis team up to wail on about how they will 'make it through' if they keep their faith 'in you', meaning each other, but you get the point - it is pretty sickly stuff. Wynonna precedes it with Freedom. Through the sheen of Moses-mania the suspicion forms that any such tub-thumping-type tune is really just another tribute to the glorious old USA. Otherwise Nashville can be moribund, as country often is, or melodic, catchy and twee . . . and nothing to do with Moses. The Prince Of Egypt: Inspirational marks the end of a long aural slog not to be tackled at one sitting. The topics of slavery, faith and deliverance scream for a touch of Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat humour, but in most places the worthiness is trowelled on. There are exceptions, and some imagination does come with all this inspiration: there is a little holy hip-hop from Kirk Franklin, and from Trin-I-Tee 5:7, and Jars of Clay prove Christian pop does not have to be meek and mild. Perseverance delivers its reward with the final track, Shirley Caesar's billowing gospel number Moses The Deliverer. Barring a lapse into preaching at the end, it is an uplifting song which leaves much of the music across these three discs looking limp. Blessed are the music-makers? Probably not in this case. Stand by the 'skip' button on your CD player.