HE DIED WITH A FELAFEL IN HIS HAND: SOUNDTRACK
And I thought the Moulin Rouge soundtrack was eclectic. Here
we have a dizzying array of styles that could never have expected
to share the same disc, but have been brought together by a story
about people who share houses.
One such housemate is the titular corpse. Surprisingly, no one
from the Big Brother household was cast in this role, although I’d
have thought a number of them had just the right charisma.
Never mind. If, like me, you’re bored stiff-as-a-dead-felafel-eater
by the inanity of prime time television, switch off the tube and
give this tasty soundtrack a whirl.
The Anglo-Saxon hues of Golden Brown kick it off to a wistful
start. I always find these folksy ternary-accented tunes have me
dreaming of Nottingham Forests, although John and Paul apparently
dreamt of Norwegian Woods. Anyway this delightfully zesty tune
was a huge hit for The Stranglers about a decade ago, despite
belonging to that rare species of pop song that bounces along
without a heavy snare back-beat. Only Enya comes to mind as
producing such chart-topping, toe-tapping hits on the back of
Golden Brown's intro pattern;—repeated
in the bridge—does spring a trap for unwary waltzers,
however. Watch for that extra beat as it cycles around...
perfect for those with two left feet.
No one will lose stride to the jaunty waltz of Negresses Verde’s
La Valse, or the exquisite walking bass lines of a grab from
Rota’s La Dolce Vita score. Yes, that’s
right, Nina Rota. La Dolce Vita. This excerpt lasts a total of
three and a half minutes, and of course it alone is worth the
price of the CD.
At the other end of the musical spectrum, some less virtuosic
offerings from Rowland S. Howard and Nick Cave & The Bad
Seeds are sparse with quality musicianship but pretty rich with
character. I’ve been known to give Nick and his Seeds a
royal roasting in the past but I have to admit that Into My Arms
and more particularly a live recording of The Mercy Seat showcase
the depths of charisma that sometimes spark interest over the
simplicity of the music. He’s still wonky on a few notes,
but even I have to admit that Nick’s is a Cavernous voice.
Another stylistic leap and we have three tracks featuring the
pure voices of The Melbourne University Choral Society. These run
the gamut from the Latin intonations of Solstice Chants to the
closing Celtic lilt of Auld Lang Syne.
Just when we seem to be running out of musical dimensions along
comes Pound System with the
fabulous theme from that
eponymous pronoun with the fourth-dimension-defying police
box. Unfortunately they spend too little time putting
some pound into the timeless theme and too much time exploring
every techno cliché in the galaxy.
Incredibly, the variety doesn’t end there. Some hip-hop
meets gospel from Moby, the old U2/Pavarotti collaboration Miss
Sarajevo and an old classic from The Mamas & The Papas bob up
between excerpts of short but hilarious film dialogue.
The eclecticism isn’t as seamless as Luhrmann’s
cleverly woven project, but overall the music is just about as
Published August 30, 2001
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Interviews with NOAH TAYLOR and RICHARD LOWENSTEIN
Track 1 - Golden Brown
Track 11 - La Dolce Vita
Track 8 - Dr Who Theme 2000 Remix
TITLE: He Died With A Felafel In His Hand
ARTISTS: The Stranglers, Spiderbait, Moby, Foran Bregovic
& Kolic Zlato, Rick Charles, Pound System, Negresses Verde,
Nina Rota, The Melbourne University Choral Society, Rowland S
Howard, U2 & Luciano Pavarotti, Nick Cave, Deborah Conway
& Wicked Beat System, Paradise Motel, Snog, The Mamas &
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