ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(Morgan Creek 2959-20004)
Considering how much money a successful soundtrack album can bring in, motion picture scores these days are cast almost as carefully as the films themselves. Take the soundtrack to "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Being a historical drama, most of its score is in the traditional movie-music mode, offering more mood than melody with its sweeping strings, woodwind doodles and explosions of brass. But because traditional movie music doesn't sell, there's also a designated single -- "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," a bland, predictable love ballad by the bland, predictable Bryan Adams. So if you want the single, you're stuck with the symphony, and vice versa. Ain't marketing wonderful?
Massive Attack (Virgin 91685)
Most dance music is totally devoted to the groove -- so much so, in fact, that little consideration is given to anything else. That's why Massive Attack's "Blue Lines" seems such an arresting debut. Like Soul II Soul, this production team-cum-pop group takes an engagingly eclectic approach to its music, drawing from jazz, R&B and reggae as well as rap and house. But because Massive Attack's music pays as much attention to mood as groove, these songs are as listenable as they are danceable, from the airy, hypnotic pulse of "Safe From Harm" to the semi-symphonic grandeur of "Unfinished Sympathy."