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Romeo + Juliet, Vol. 2

1 rating: 3.0
An album by Original Score/Original Soundtrack

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

1 review about Romeo + Juliet, Vol. 2

There never was a story of more woe

  • Oct 19, 2005
Pros: Tracks rocked out

Cons: Some tracks were way too quiet

The Bottom Line: Good music to play while kickin' back

So I wanted to review something. Sure, it’s 1am and I went to bed at 5am last night and woke up 4 hours later. But that’s my problem, not yours. Anyway, I was literally turning pages in my CD case, looking at all my soundtracks and realizing I’d 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 I’ll be soundtrack-less and have to go find something else to work on. Curses…

Well, I’m going to keep each mention relatively short because there are 24 tracks on this CD. It’s not just music though – it’s more like the entire movie on disc. That’s right, speaking parts and all. Some tracks are almost entirely that, dialogue. If that’s the case, I’ll just make a mention of it so you know and move on. No need to make this horrifically long when it doesn’t have to be. Since the track lengths range from mere seconds to over ten minutes, I’ll 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 Shakespeare’s 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, it’s 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, that’s 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, that’s 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, we’re 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 don’t remember where this goes in the movie, but it’s upbeat and unique, so there’s 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 trouble’s arrived. The music takes a twisted turn, more tense, more focused, and then the strings pick up…

14.) Fight Scene – 3:09 …Tybalt doesn’t like Romeo. But Romeo’s too lovestruck to get violent back. However, that doesn’t 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 Mercutio’s curse, where the chorus sings him to his end.

16.) Drive Of Death – 1:25 Picking up with Romeo’s scream, the title of this track perfectly describes how it sounds, fast paced, a thumping mix of chorus singers, breaking glass, and Romeo’s super p*ssed off exchange with Tybalt, ending in gunshots…and a splash.

17.) Slow Movement – 12:44 “I am Fortune’s 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, they’re 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 who’s 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 There’s 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 you’ve got it turned up because I’ve 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 haven’t seen the movie, but you’ve read the play and remember some of the lines or are just good at interpreting, you can figure out what’s 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 it’s not super magical to me. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not something I’m 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 I’ve found something else I can review… *grinz*



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Romeo + Juliet, Vol. 2
Label: Capitol/EMI Records
Release Date: April 08, 1997

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