The Bottom Line: Boy am I late coming in with this review. Either way, an old soundtrack does not mean it's dead, boring, or out of style.
My older sister bought this CD first and somehow I never got around to buying it or burning it myself so its been quite some time since Id listened to this CD. I realized recently that *gasp!* Id reviewed the last two CDs, but not this one. Hmm.
With a Matrix screensaver telling me to follow the white rabbit, I figured now would be a good time to get myself the music again, especially since I knew there was some good stuff on it. This particular soundtrack contains none of the music from the movie in terms of orchestrated music, but instead a lot of songs inspired by the movie or what have you. In short, this isnt the score and Don Davis isnt involved.
As some songs are awesome and others are in the vein of Oh dear God, let it be over, this review will fall into the Yay!/Nay format
1.) Marilyn Manson Rock is Dead Yay! While Ive never been a major fan of Marilyn Manson, Ive enjoyed the songs hes done for The Matrix. While he may claim in the song that rock is dead, it certainly isnt in the song. This is one youll turn up and headbang toer, if youre into that sort of thing. *guilty*
2.) Propellerheads Spybreak! (Short One) Yay! Virtually no lyrics here and mostly fast beats with a hint of sneakage. The song title goes well with this one and it works well with the movie style. If you remember the scene of Neo and Trinity having a massive shootout with the SWAT guys in the lobby, heres your song.
3.) Ministry Bad Blood Nay. I skip this one so often I have to sit here and listen to it in order to remember why. In the same tradition of many Mortal Kombat songs, its just too hard for me. The guitar literally screeches most of the time, the guy screams lyrics instead of actually singing them, and theres little actually going on as the same melody is played over and over. Not impressive.
4.) Rob D Clubbed To Death (Kurayamino Mix) YAY! This was my first introduction to Rob D and I have to tell you, I listened to this song to death. I was clubbed to death Rob D style. Instrumental and a mix of unique electric sounds like dance music and actual orchestra music, its a darker sort of song. Even though some might think it gets repetitive, I think even though it does use the same elements over and over, it manages to move along nicely and changes enough to keep things interesting, even adding in some piano during breakdowns. Its over 7 minutes long and I love every second of it.
5.) Meat Beat Manifesto Prime Audio Soup Yay. A tentative yay though. I realize I skip this one a lot but again, Id forgotten why. This one I actually remember from the movie (only a snippet). I skip it because it gets kind of repetitive and ultimately doesnt do much for me. I want a song to get under my skin (in a good way) and get me moving in my chair. This one does its own thing, with weird electric bits, disembodied voices, and zipping style. Interesting, but you can skip it if you get bored and not miss it too much, especially since it runs a little over 6 minutes.
6.) Lunatic Calm Leave You Far Behind Yay! I wanna take you on a roller coaster I know the words to this one, and thats good because most of the time I dont pay enough attention to the words and focus more on the overall kick-buttness of the song. More of that Matrixy, electric feel, but our guy actually does sing here. I tap my feet to this and love the downhill sense around the 2:00 mark. Good stuff.
7.) The Prodigy Mindfields Yay. Another tentative yay though. I think this was Prodigys breakthrough song that got them notice from everyone. Once The Matrix came out, all sorts of heavy, semi-gothic bands came out of the woodwork. I like the specific sounds it opens with (makes me think of an Asian type of instrument) and the style of the song (similar to previous songs) as well as the Whoosh-a! moment the lead singer has, but this is another song that, at over 5:00, you might start checking your watch and hitting the next button.
8.) Rob Zombie Dragula [Hot Rod Herman Remix] Yay! I already owned a Rob Zombie CD (and at 14 I have no idea how that came about), so Id heard both the original and this version. Either way, its good stuff. Its a rollin, rockin song thats fast and dangerous, the kind I crank up in my headphones and listen to over and over.
9.) Deftones My Own Summer (Shove It) Nay. Definite nay. Like track 3, it doesnt take these guys long to use their dark grinding guitar and screaming lyrics to deter me. While the lead does have moments where he sort of whisper-sings which arent bad, I cant do the screaming, some of which Im not even sure what theyre saying. A shame too, because otherwise its really not too bad of a song.
10.) Hive Ultrasonic Sound Yay. Tentative yet again. Ill listen to it, its no lyrics (save some random quotes), winding, grinding guitar, clanging noises, and synthetic bits sewn in. Another interesting, yet potentially skipable song which doesnt quite make it to the 5 minute mark. Its slightly repetitive and for me can fade into the background of what Im doing.
11.) Monster Magnet Look to Your Orb for the Warning Yay. Simple and slow rocking, one I cant really bring myself to skip over even if its not one I specifically skip to listen to. Quite straightforward in a CD full of some seriously weird sh*t.
12.) Rammstein Du Hast Yay. Like Prodigy, this song put Rammstein on the map (the US map anywaynot sure how big they were in Germany). With a killer music video and a really gritty and dark feel, as well as being totally German, this song, while I dont know how it got onto this soundtrack, is definitely different and hard to tear yourself away from (if youre trying). Hard beats and hard guitar with a refrain that sung in a rather creepy manner. Makes you think of leather and piercings, no doubt.
13.) Rage Against the Machine Wake Up Yay. For the most part anyway. Youll recognize this song from the end of the movie when we see Neo do his Superman thing for the first time. While I enjoy the opening section of itand it always makes me think of that part in the movie and I grin and chuckle because it was awesomeI can only go so far in this song before I have to turn it off or switch to something else. For the most part its a good song, but once they start screaming Wake up! over and over, I run out of patience. I can only do so much screaming. Youll have to decide for yourself.
Thats the case with most of these songs. If youre into really hard rock, metal, crazy electronic stuff, and just weird junk that seems to match up with the whole Matrix atmosphere. I listen to just about anything, from Enya to, well, this, so I like to think that Im open minded. Overall, its got some good stuff on it, some songs that are in the movie, others that have gotten sucked in somehow, and a CD that will either rock your socks or kill your eardrums. Perhaps both.
THE MATRIX was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack Album. "Bad Blood" was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. The futuristic sci-fi/action flick THE MATRIX features Keanu Reeves as the potential savior of the human race. Whatever one's feelings about this questionable casting decision, the film's soundtrack is an arresting collection that combines industrial with electronica-derived styles and a touch of good old hard rock. Ministry and Marilyn Manson represent the industrial end of the spectrum, while Propellerheads, Prodigy and Rammstein contribute electronic-based, beat-driven tunes that accentuate the film's future shock aspect. Rage Against the Machine closes things out with a characteristically driving rocker, "Wake Up," providing a cataclysmic ending to a soundtrack full of end-of-the-century weltschmerz. Song List: Disc 1 1. Rock Is Dead 2. Spybreak! (short one) 3. Bad Blood 4. Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino mix) 5. Prime Audio Soup 6. Leave You Far Behind 7. Mindfields 8. Dragula (Hot Rod Herman remix) 9. My Own Summer (Shove It) 10. Ultrasonic Sound 11. Look to Your Orb For the Warning 12. Du Hast 13. Wake Up