The Crow: City of AngelsOriginal Motion Picture Soundtrack...

CD REVIEWS

August 15, 1996|By J.D. Considine

The Crow: City of Angels

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Hollywood 20472)

Given the kind of response the Brandon Lee film "The Crow" generated, a sequel seemed inevitable -- if only to provide the excuse for another soundtrack album. But unlike its predecessor, which expanded the death-obsessed aura of goth culture to the full spectrum of alternarock, the soundtrack album for "The Crow: City of Angels" is much more hodgepodge in its approach. That's not to say it's any less listenable -- frankly, the first few tracks have more hooks than the whole of the first "Crow" soundtrack -- but it is markedly less consistent. As much fun as it is to wallow in the campy excess of White Zombie's remake of the K.C. And the Sunshine Band oldie "I'm Your Boogieman" (Rob Zombie, natch, sings as if the title were "I'm Your Bogeyman"), the vampy come-ons of Hole's "Gold Dust Woman" or the creepy unease of PJ Harvey's "Naked Cousin," the album is ultimately unable to live up to its early promise. Although "Tonite Is a Special Nite" by Tricky vs. The Gravediggaz manages a moody brilliance, most of the other tracks are as subtle as a flying mallet, from the rock diva overkill of "Knock Me Out," former 4 Non Blondes frontwoman Linda Perry's duet with Grace Slick, to Iggy Pop's gotta-learn-some-new-tricks remake of "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

Tin Cup

Music From the Motion Picture (Epic Soundtrax 67609)

What kind of music do you think of when you think of golf? If you answered "country and blues," you're precisely the sort of listener the producers of "Tin Cup" had in mind. Granted, few of these songs have any real link to the links; in fact, Keb' Mo's down-and-out blues "Crapped Out" seems to be about another game entirely. But this soundtrack seems to have less interest in the specifics of gold as a sport than with the overall mood evoked by the romance that fleshes out the onscreen story. Maybe that's why golf-specific songs like Bruce Hornsby's "Big Stick" or Mickey Jones' "Double Bogey Blues" are far outnumbered by such love-gone-wrong epics as Patty Loveless' "Where Are You Boy" or Chris Isaak's "I Wonder." But to tell the truth, the only time this album rises above par is when the music leaves the drama behind and works by its own rules, as with Mary Chapin Carpenter's Stax-styled "Let Me Into Your Heart" and Shawn Colvin's erudite and evocative "Back to Salome."

Basquiat

Original Soundtrack (Island 314 524 260)

Ideally, history tells it like it was, but more often than not the movie version of history tells it like it ought to have been. So is it any wonder that the soundtrack to the artist bio-pic "Basquiat" sounds less like a musical time capsule than a revisionist look back at pop culture in the '80s? True, there are a few legitimate blasts from the past collected here, including such topically appropriate tunes as "White Lines" by Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel and "Public Image" by Public Image Ltd. But there are also plenty of substandard remakes, the Toadies' spasmodic take on Talking Heads' "I'm Not In Love" and Tripping Daisy's flat remake of PIL's "Rise" among them. And though some of the remade oldies take on new resonance -- PJ Harvey's "Is That All There Is?" is so utterly jaded it makes Peggy Lee's original seem like an outtake from "Lady and the Tramp" -- most just seem like cheap imitations. And while that may be in keeping with Basquiat's own aesthetic, it doesn't exactly make the album essential listening.

Supercop

Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture (Interscope 90088)

Like movies themselves, soundtracks sometimes look better on paper than they sound in practice. Take, for example, the music from and inspired by the Jackie Chan feature "Supercop." Opening the album with a Tom Jones remake of "Kung Fu Fighting" seems a stroke of genius; following that up with such similarly unlikely remakes as a techno update of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" by Siobhan Lynch and a Devo version of the Nine Inch Nails oldie "Head Like a Hole" ought to make the music every bit as marvelous as the movie. But Jones' "Kung Fu Fighting" falls flat, and the others don't do much better. In fact, the album's best version is probably Warren G's gangsta rethink of "What's Love Got To Do With It," a performance that convincingly cuts to the coldness at the heart of the song. Beyond that, though, the soundtrack vacillates between pro forma alternarock blather and predictable gangsta rap braggadocio, making "Supercop" a superdrag to hear.

Pub Date: 8/15/96

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