Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Top 10 Soundtracks

10. Scream (1996)
Scream featured a few oldies, a few covers, and a few modern contributions to round out the mid-nineties horror flick that reshaped the genre. The soundtrack features "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, as well as "School's Out" by Alice Cooper. The unknown band Birdbrain tossed out a hard rock helping of "Youth of America," and Republica contributed radio hit "Drop Dead Gorgeous." On the covers side, Gus Black gave a quiet, subtle remake of "Don't Fear the Reaper," and electronica band Soho added a cover of 80s hit "Whisper To a Scream," originally performed by The Icicle Works.

9. Charlie Countryman (2013)
Charlie Countryman is a little known gem streaming on Netflix starring Shia LaBeouf. It's main contributor to the soundtrack is certainly Moby with a slew of original tracks and remixes. Other contributors are The Xx and M83, whose perfectly-placed tracks make this a movie one to not miss.

8. Romeo & Juliet (1996)
This is a case in which the soundtrack was better than the movie, and the movie wasn't bad at all. Garbage headed an all-star cast with their original haunter "#1 Crush," which conjures up images of a dangerous obsession. Radiohead also throws out a solid song in "Talk Show Host," one that's simple enough but builds on itself for a more epic ending. "Little Star" by Stina Nordestam is a sweet little track, "Whatever (I Had a Dream) by the Butthole Surfers is haunting and gritty, and "To You I Bestow" by the unknown Mundy was a surprisingly well done track as well.

7. Juice (1991)
Certainly the best tracks with Juice come from Eric B. & Rakim, Naughty by Nature, EPMD, and Cypress Hill. All the above tracks are stellar, rounded out by dated hits from Big Daddy Kane, Salt-n-Peppa, and The Brand New Heavies. The Juice soundtrack is a glance back at yesteryear in the way of hip hop and R&B, and the movie is pretty darn good as well. Even though Tupac is a lead actor in it, none of his songs grace the soundtrack for some reason.

6. Mad Love (1995)
Mad Love was a movie that seemed to come out of nowhere, its soundtrack the same. It introduced us to bands like Magnapop, Madder Rose, 7 Year Bitch, and a stellar track in Grant Lee Buffalo's "Mockingbirds." The movie even gives us a glimpse of 7 Year Bitch performing live on the stage in all their pent up, Babes in Toyland meets Hole fury.

5. The Invisible (2007)
The Invisible boast unofficially a who's who of contributing artists in Sparta, TV On the Radio, Snow Patrol, Broken Social Scene, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Death Cab for Cutie, and the unknown gem "Music For a Nurse" by Oceansize. There a lot of great indie rock hits on this soundtrack, but Oceansize's Sigur Ros-like grand scaler sticks out over the rest to paint a landscape of vastness and hope.

4. Psychopaths (2017)
Psychopaths in an indie horror movie most people would hate, including horror enthusiasts. It's gritty and raw, exploiting the serial killer life of the '60s in vivid detail. The senseless slaughter is carried out to the tune, or the tunes rather, of a handful of acts from the '60s, as well as a few contemporary artists slinging songs that sound like they came from the days of yesteryear. The sore thumb is "Handsome Killer" by Kindest Cuts, which sounds like it belongs on the Drive soundtrack. Some of the better tunes come from Jay Jayle, and the one to the left by Shayfer James, who also loaned this gem to the soundtrack for The Ranger.

3. Wicker Park (2004)
Wicker Park is a great movie with an equally great soundtrack. It features the likes of The Postal Service, Broken Social Scene, Mazzy Star, and Icelandic band Mum, whose hollow, twinkling tune "We Have a Map of the Piano" fits perfectly with the icy Chicago landscape of the film. While Coldplay's "The Scientist" features at the end of the movie, we're given a cover on the soundtrack by Johnette Napolitano. It's a decent effort, but I'd have preferred the real deal.

2. The Crow (1994)
This is one pushes for number one. The Crow is one of the best soundtracks ever compiled, featuring rock tunes from The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Helmet, Rage Against the Machine, My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult, and the track to the left by Medicine. My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult and Medicine actually play live in the movie, much like Deftones did in sequel, The Crow: City of Angels. This is one of the those soundtracks you can just let play, as every track reflects the movie and the scenes that bring it to life.

1. Drive (2011)
With Drive, I discovered a new form of music in indie electronica. The bands on the soundtrack offer electronic dips into a digital, ethereal world painted with dashboard lights and neon. There's a certain '80s flare to tracks like "Under Your Spell" by Desire and "Real Hero" by College, as well as "Nightcall" by Kavinsky. Chromatics also contribute the humming, hypnotic "Tick of the Clock," which serves as a great getaway track for the antihero Driver to manipulate the streets of downtown LA to.

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