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LIFE LESS ORDINARY: SOUNDTRACK

CD Soundtrack Review
By Lynden Barber

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY
Original Soundtrack (Various Artists).
A&M/ Polydor 540837-2.

What made the Trainspotting soundtrack CD a standout was not just the great taste of the selectors but the way the music told a story and illumininated a subtext of the film, tracing the history of hip British pop tastes since the mid-70s - from pre-punk (Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, et al) to rave culture (Underworld).

"Shorn of fantastical qualities"

A Life Less Ordinary, the follow up from the team of director Danny Boyle, writer John Hodge and producer Andrew MacDonald, is a contemporary fantasy, but you don't have to agree with the complete rubbishing the film has received at the hands of US critics to find its songs - by a fashionable selection of pop and rock acts including Luscious Jackson, Sneaker Pimps, the Prodigy and the Cardigans - to be shorn of fantastical qualities.

It's especially disappointing is to hear acts such as Beck and Underworld represented with work far below their best - the former's "Deadweight" is, well, lightweight, while the latter's "Oh" , though listenable enough, comes nowhere to the urban tribal fission that made their Trainspotting contribution, "Born Slippy", such a brilliant anthem. And though Bobby Darin's swing-era Beyond the Sea works well in the film, it makes little sense in the context of the album. It also raises the thought that the inclusion of a cheesy old showbiz tune or two on the soundtrack is in danger of becoming just a little obligatory - something of a postmodern moviemaking cliche (the Al Jolson at the climax of Richard Loncraine's Richard III immediately springs to mind).
For a review of the film, click HERE
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LIFE LESS ORDINARY, A
The Film

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: November 13, 1997

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: PolyGram


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