New Music

Various Artists

Blade II Soundtrack

Immortal Records

Spiderman has a big unitard to fill. Soundtracks for movies featuring Marvel characters have been clever, innovative and satisfying to date. Blade II succeeds in continuing the tradition of matching mutant-related subject matter with a recombinant-genre soundtrack. The album delivers an impressive list of strange bedfellows: Hip-hop heavyweights including Eve, Cypress Hill and the Roots overlay samples from Fatboy Slim, Moby, Groove Armada and others. The result is bound to entice and entertain both curious and skeptical listeners.


Although most songs on the soundtrack, by virtue of the talent of the contributors alone, conform to a base level of excellence, some tracks still manage to stand out. Redman and Gorrilaz put forth “Gorillaz On My Mind,” a playful track melding ape noises, Damon Albarn’s self-mocking “La-la-la-la”s off Blur’s “Charmless Man” and Redman’s charming lyrics like “Full of whiskey/ Looking for Lewinsky/ So I can get head.” Ever-captivating spastic Busta Rhymes joins Silkk the Shocker and a catchy bass riff courtesy of the Dub Pistols on “The One.” Groove Aramada delivers a silent nod to the Beastie Boys’ “Flute Loop” with their woodwind sample on “Gangsta Queens,” skilfully overlaid by Versace-lauding girl-rappers Trina and Rah-Diggah.

Blade II is not without its shortcomings—some tracks, such as the Eve and Fatboy Slim collaborative, “Cowboy,” and Cypress Hill and Roni Size’s “Child of the Wild West” suffer from painfully annoying choruses that are repeated far too many times. Mos Def’s angry nasal rantings run incongruous to the downbeat trip-hop of Massive Attack on “I Against I,” and Danny Saber and Marco Beltrami’s “Theme From Blade” sounds suspiciously like the Mission: Impossible theme song.

Still, the overall product is satisfying, and the album’s success as a genre-bending collaborative effort is bound to spawn similar cooperative compilations in the future. Look out, Spidey.

—Thalia S. Field

Ed Harcourt

Here Be Monsters

Capitol Records