Solid music is secret weapon of Ninja Turtle soundtrack


March 22, 1991|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic


Original Soundtrack (SBK 96204)

Vanilla Ice may have an on-screen role in the movie itself, but when it comes to the soundtrack for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze," he's strictly a bit player. Not that his "Ninja Rap" is an especially shoddy piece of work; it's actually pretty catchy, even if its "Go ninja, go ninja, go!" chorus sounds awfully similar to an M. C. Hammer routine. But the truth is, Ice is frozen out by the album's other contributors, particularly Cathy Dennis and David Morales' searing "Find the Key to Your Life," Spunkadelic's feisty "Creatures of Habit" and Dan Hartman's soulful "(That's Your) Consciousness."


Original Soundtrack (Elektra 61047)

When director Oliver Stone was shooting concert sequences for his Doors movie, he tried to pull extra realism from those scenes by substituting actor Val Kilmer's voice for that of lead singer Jim Morrison. Don't worry, though -- the soundtrack album to "The Doors" is pure Morrison. In fact, it may be a little too pure, since it augments familiar favorites like "Light My Fire" and "Riders on the Storm" with Morrison's self-indulgent poetry readings. Still, it's worth noting that the most visceral performance on the album comes not from Morrison and the Doors but the Velvet Underground, whose dark, hypnotic "Heroin" outclasses everything else on the album.


Various Artists (Luka Bop/Warner Bros. 26323)

Compared to the sophisticated songs collected on "Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical," the music David Byrne rounded up for his latest Brazilian sampler, "Brazil Classics 3: Forro, Etc," seems almost bumpkinish. But that's kind of the point. Forro is the raw, rural sound of northeastern Brazil, a music made with wheezing accordions and primitive percussion. Byrne likens it to American zydeco, and it does have a similar unbridled energy. But what seems most striking about forro is its resilience -- it can absorb anything from Indian melodies (Gonzaguinha's "Asa Branca") to reggae rhythms (Dominguinhos' "Querubim") to big band instrumentation (Gal Costa's "Festa do Interior") and still maintain its distinctive musical character.


Various Artists (Luke 91598)

Although "Bass Waves Volume Three" claims to be offering "Rap's Biggest Hits of the 1990s," this singles anthology's real value lies with the lesser-known numbers. After all, most rap fans have already heard enough of Digital Underground's "Doowutchyalike," De La Soul's "Me, Myself and I" or 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny." That can't be said of the Get Fresh Girls' gossipy "I Seen Your Boyfriend," however, or of D.J. Cool's insistent "What the Hell You Come In Here For," and discoveries like that are what make this collection worth owning.

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