Boston's Alternative Source!

[Off The Record]
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Various Artists

Hard to knock a CD whose opening cut has lyrics by Salman Rushdie. The highlights of this soundtrack to Wim Wenders’s latest film are the Bono/U2 tracks, not only because " The Ground Beneath Her Feet, " " Never Let Me Go, " " Stateless, " and " Falling at Your Feet " would have improved All That You Can’t Leave Behind but because they pick up Wenders’s themes of angels falling into life, humans falling out of life, humans falling into love — indeed they enrich the film and are enriched by it. Even " The First Time, " from Zooropa, takes on added meaning in the movie’s opening sequence as Tom Tom paces the roof of the hotel. The rest, mostly from Daniel Lanois and the MDH Band, provides a yearning LA noir atmosphere — breathy sax (sounding almost like a wood flute), churchy keyboards, the sound of the universe oscillating — but doesn’t contribute much on its own. Bono’s mannered-blues " Dancin’ Shoes " and Milla Jovovich’s spoke-sung " Satellite of Love " work better as background in the film (where Bono does " Satellite " ); I could also have done without the " beaver " tale of " Tom Tom’s Room " and the seemingly endless (listed at 7:13; actually 9:18) sax sighings of " Amsterdam Blue (Cortège). " But the keyword on those U2 tracks is " ground, " the band weighing in against the unbearable lightness of being.

(See page 5 for Jeffrey’s review of Wim Wenders’s The Million Dollar Hotel.)


Issue Date: May 24 - 30, 2001