Ground control to David Bowie: there’s something very, very wrong. Your
contribution to American Psycho was merely uninspiring, but the Tin Machine-style scrap
metal you’ve dumped on this soundtrack is simply embarrassing. A good guitar riff
(replete with blistering pinch harmonic on repeat) is not enough to make a great, or even
passable song, and this one has nothing else going for it whatsoever. If I was married to
the scrumptious chocolate delicacy known as Iman, I’d probably lose my focus too, but
staining such an illustrious career is a terrible shame.
Still, Bowie’s in good company. Massive Attack have produced some of the most
entertaining hip-hop, dance-soul crossover of the last decade. Here they merely provide a
dilemma for the tautology-wary writer; their Inertia Creeps is sluggish, static and
completely lacking in momentum.
Disappointingly, not even our own dynamic Natalie Imbruglia manages to pick up the
pace. She is the one soap-to-singer story based on genuine talent, but is hardly suited by
the dark and slithering Corgan composition Identify. Lets hope she sticks to her own
tight-rock guitar-based numbers in future; there’s no fem-rocker in the world to
touch her in that vein.
The only Redeemer on Stigmata comes from the teaming of the Sinead O’Connor’s
Hibernian lilt with the ambitiously named Afro Celt Sound System. Such amalgams of world
music rarely live up to their promise, but Release is a surprisingly successful
integration of jaunty jig and electronic dance.
As for the Corgan/Garson score, which comprises the entire second half of the CD,
sparse but pretty piano moments are lost in a labyrinth of eclectic electronica. It’s
moody and unsettling music, which is no doubt effective as incidental scoring, but
fiendishly hard to listen to in its own right.
Publication date: 31/8/00