Friday Music

Here you go, people — another weekly mixtape.

The forthcoming release of Casino Royale has had me thinking Bondian thoughts, which of course makes me think of music. I’m pleased as hell that David Arnold is doing the score to this film, since I’ve loved all of his work….and I’m especially chuffed that he co-wrote the theme. It always makes much more sense when the phrases of the theme music can be worked throughout the score. Here’s an example of something that pissed me off on that front — David Arnold did the score for Tomorrow Never Dies — and he worked the score through with phrases from the theme he wrote. Of course, the suits at the studio decided that his choice for the vocalist wasn’t commercial enough, so they gave the theme duties to Sheryl Crow, who wrote her own theme, which had nothing to do with the score. The song was pathetic. David’s composition, sung by kd lang, was squeezed in as an end-credits song. I mean, fer chrissakes…..listen to this! It’s like she’s channeling Shirley Bassey, circa 1965. kd lang – “Surrender.”

Sometimes, having a theme separate from the score is a good thing, though….as evidenced by the absolutely AWFUL score for Goldeneye by Eric Serra. So bad that that the studio added music after the fact (including the traditional Bond theme, which Serra bizarrely didn’t use at all), and this brilliant theme song by Tina Turner, written by Bono and The Edge from U2: Tina Turner – “Goldeneye.” Needless to say, Serra wasn’t hired to do another Bond film.

On a slightly related theme (by band and song name only), here’s some nifty cool spybreak electronica from Thunderball – “Domino.”

Enough Bondage for now.

Industrial electronica veterans Front Line Assembly have a new album out, Artificial Solder, which I’ve been listening to quite a bit recently. Great stuff. Check out this track: Front Line Assembly – “Low Life.”

It’s very cool to see alternative hip hop move further and further away from the heavy bling and fuzztronica sound of the commercial stuff, and more towards jazz. This is a new track from Gumbo, the latest album by New Orleans-based Voice, who lays her vocals over a live band that is damn near riffing straight bebop jazz. This track is funky as hell, and I really like it: Voice – “Know Rhythm”

Here’s some more international hip hop for , from Mexico’s Control Machete (of “Si Senor” fame): Control Machete – “Andamos Armados”

Here’s some 70s glam for fans of the genre — my favorite track from the 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise. This is the “frankenstein creation” stage show sequence introducing the new rock star, Beef. The Undead – “Somebody Super Like You.”

Lastly, here’s a new artist I discovered this week — a Swedish woman who goes by the name Robyn. The song is a nice breakup ballad, elevated by some really nice synth and strings work. Robyn – “With Every Heartbeat.”

Hope you liked ’em.

11 Replies to “Friday Music”

  1. I’m actually a pretty big fan of Eric Serra’s work, including the work on Goldeneye.

    As for a new FLA, I keep meaning to pick that up.

  2. I’m a fan of Serra’s as well (Fifth Element, for example, roxxorz my boxxorz), but I’m also somewhat traditionalist when it comes to Bond. (My son is named after Ian Fleming, ferchrissakes)

    I felt that he missed the point entirely on Goldeneye — one or two good tracks (I especially like the opening sequence piece — “The Goldeneye Overture” — nice touch with the sleigh bells in the background)….but stuff like the bizarre glitchtronic-jazz “Ladies First”, which played under the car chase with Onatopp? If ever a scene called for John Barry-esque orchestral swells and plucky guitar, that was it.

  3. re: Tomorrow Never Dies

    kd lang got off light compared to Pulp.
    IIRC, they contributed a cover of “All Time High” to the Shaken and Stirred album in exchange for getting one of their songs featured on the soundtrack.
    Long story short, that song ended up getting released as a b-side called “Tomorrow Always Lies”…

  4. Likely it’s my indifference to Bond that makes me able to enjoy the work.

    And yeah, Fifth Element is awesome. I’m just frustrated that the CD neglects to include the music from the taxi chase scene.

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