Original score composed by Craig Armstrong, Marius De Vries and Nellee Hooper. Recording information: AIR; Angel; Mayfair; Olympic; Westpoint. Picking up where Volume I left off, this album includes the original score to Baz Luhrmann's film, composed … see full wiki
The Bottom Line: Good music to play while kickin' back
So I wanted to review something. Sure, its 1am and I went to bed at 5am last night and woke up 4 hours later. But thats my problem, not yours. Anyway, I was literally turning pages in my CD case, looking at all my soundtracks and realizing Id reviewed all of them already. Yeah, all of them, over 16 soundtracks. Except this one! *cue maniacal laughter* So I figured that I might as well go ahead and review it. Then Ill be soundtrack-less and have to go find something else to work on. Curses
Well, Im going to keep each mention relatively short because there are 24 tracks on this CD. Its not just music though its more like the entire movie on disc. Thats right, speaking parts and all. Some tracks are almost entirely that, dialogue. If thats the case, Ill just make a mention of it so you know and move on. No need to make this horrifically long when it doesnt have to be. Since the track lengths range from mere seconds to over ten minutes, Ill list them as well.
1.) Prologue 0:43 Dialogue intro to the movie.
2.) O Verona 1:28 Oh I DO so love a choir going all out. Make sure your sound is down after track 1 because this will make you jump. We have more of Shakespeares opening (Civil blood makes civil hands unclean) and then some more choir.
3.) The Montague Boys 1:02 Haha, I love John Leguizamo. The previous track rolls, and I say rolls, right into this one, rockin out slightly jazzy, slightly hip-hop. Something just different entirely.
4.) Gas Station Scene 1:52 Exactly what the track states. But of course, as the movie goes, its got that bizarre spaghetti western music in the background, which makes it somewhat amusing and very fun to listen to.
5.) O Verona (Reprise) 1:34 Again, #4 leads right into our choir again. Crazy Capulets and Montagues
6.) Intro To Romeo 2:07 Oh Romeo, thou moping loser. Sorry, thats just what he sounds like right now. Chilled tunes only to support his little soliloquy.
7.) Queen Mab Interlude 0:22 Dialogue.
8.) Young Hearts Run Free (Ballroom Version) 3:26 Welcome all lusty gentlemen! Listen to the work of Kym Mazelle, Harold Perrineau, and Paul Sorvino, and dance at your disco ballroom leisure. Or maybe like crazy cabana music. Wait, what? Yes, thats exactly what it sounds like. Might have to use your imagination here. Just think upbeat, with saxophones, trumpets, and a bongo or two, as well as some Spanish singing.
9.) Kissing You (Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet) Instrumental 3:33 Good, were out of our drug induced stupor and can get to some relaxing piano music, joined by swaying strings a little later on, with, of course, some Shakespearian dialogue via the actors.
10.) Balcony Scene 5:22 So quiet, turn your speakers up kiddies, because the orchestra is tiptoeing around in the garden with Romeo, carrying on from the track before. It has a nice little flourish but parting is such sweet sorrow.
11.) When Dove's Cry - Quindon Tarver 4:06 Do you remember the old song? Well, this is it, with a modern twist. I honestly dont remember where this goes in the movie, but its upbeat and unique, so theres no problems there.
12.) A Challenge 1:23 Drums, and a lone vibrating guitar strolls with the boys as they seek out trouble in a rather chilled manner.
13.) Tybalt Arrives (featuring Butthole Surfers and The Dust Brothers) 1:48 Looks like troubles arrived. The music takes a twisted turn, more tense, more focused, and then the strings pick up
14.) Fight Scene 3:09 Tybalt doesnt like Romeo. But Romeos too lovestruck to get violent back. However, that doesnt mean things are going to get better the unpleasant strings say it all. So does the rest of the song as trumpets sound and a fight breaks out into
15.) Mercutio's Death 3:38 this. Your typical winding strings as someone slowly dies, saying their last words. The climax is at Mercutios curse, where the chorus sings him to his end.
16.) Drive Of Death 1:25 Picking up with Romeos scream, the title of this track perfectly describes how it sounds, fast paced, a thumping mix of chorus singers, breaking glass, and Romeos super p*ssed off exchange with Tybalt, ending in gunshots and a splash.
17.) Slow Movement 12:44I am Fortunes Fool! Despair follows death, as do low horns and sad strings. Who to feel sorry for? The killer, or the killed who was a killer? Again, the title describes the song, and there are only slight, but poignant variations throughout the song. However, theyre enough to keep it from getting boring or repetitive, and gets more and more strained near the end, hinting at something foreboding.
18.) Morning Breaks 2:36 Fingers on a piano take their time, the entire time. But whos that speaking at the end ?
19.) Juliet's Requiem 1:57 Hmm sounds like someone needs a drink and the holy man has just what Juliet wants. Thus, a chorus sadly laments as she is taken to her grave.
20.) Mantua 1:16 Welcome to Mantua, land of the exiled. A bland place without even much orchestra to keep Romeo company even after he is told the horrible news.
21.) Escape From Mantua (featuring Mundy) 3:56 This is one of my favorite tracks, but I just wish it were longer. Pounding drums work their way up into a ricochet of something reminiscent of #16, only without the killer intent madness. I will admit though, the pauses in the music do sort of annoy me But again, gotta love the chorus.
22.) Death Scene 4:13 Theres near silence for the longest time until those despairing strings take up the reins. I will warn you though, most of this track is really, really quiet, and has really soft dialogue, but there is one loud gunshot not long after the 4-minute mark. So beware if youve got it turned up because Ive had it scare the hoo-hah out of me before.
23.) Liebestod 1:27 A lonely singer takes us through the end of their story in a sound that is almost pleasant, like an operatic wrap-up. Somewhat odd.
24.) Epilogue 0:30 The ending dialogue concerning these two star-crossed lovers
You kinda have to be in a weird mood to get into this I think. Mostly because the music is so bizarre, even though it does go right along with the movie. Even if you havent seen the movie, but youve read the play and remember some of the lines or are just good at interpreting, you can figure out whats going on.
I enjoy it. I like things that are different, as I often mention, and this ranks up there as one of those very different things. So why the 4 stars? Well, for me this is another 4.5 star CD because its not super magical to me. Its good, dont get me wrong, but its not something Im going to listen to over and over due to its bizarreness. That and the sound really does grate on my nerves a little. The dialogue can be really quiet, and so can some of the music, but then you have to watch your butt because it will crank right back up again without any warning. The first time I listened to track #22, I literally jumped because of the sudden gunshot. There I was, straining to hear what Romeo was saying (though technically I pretty much knew already) when all of a sudden BANG! The volume difference is just too much.
But I still think you should give it a test drive, just for kicks.
And suddenly Ive found something else I can review *grinz*