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Welcome to soundtracks! Our look at the latest offerings in the soundtrack world.

xXx Soundtrack 
Label: Universal
Rating: 
Review By: antiGUY
 
Tracks:
Rock CD Disc 1
  • Feuer Frei - Rammstein 
  • Bodies - Drowning Pool (Vrenna XXX mix) 
  • I Will Be Heard - Hatebreed 
  • Millionaire - Queens Of The Stone Age 
  • Before I Die - Mushroomhead 
  • Get Up Again - Flaw 
  • Landing - Moby 
  • Adrenaline - Gavin Rossdale 
  • 004 - Fermin IV 
  • Technologicque Park – Orbital
Hip-Hop CD Disc 2
  • Stick Out Ya Wrist - Nelly/Toya 
  • Look At Me - Lil' Wayne 
  • Truth Or Dare - N.E.R.D./Kelis/Pusha T 
  • Are We Cuttin - Pastor Troy/Ms. Jade 
  • Still Fly - Big Tymers 
  • Connected For Life - Mack 10/Ice Cube/W.C./Butch Cassidy 
  • Lights, Camera, Action! - Mr Cheeks/Missy Elliott/P. Diddy (remix) 
  • It's Okay - Postaboy/Rashad 
  • Yo, Yo, Yo - Dani Stevenson

Since we are rock site, this review will focus on the rock disc and it’s strengths and weaknesses. I won't pretend to know what constitutes a good hip-hop song since that isn't a genre I listen to. So you will be on your own there but here is my take on the rock portion of the disc - aG

Universal didn’t mess around when they put together the soundtrack to the action thriller “xXx”. When you think action and movies, you think rock and rap. Ok punk would fit too, but Universal decided to keep their focus on these two genres which are the keystones of popular music along with pop, which wouldn’t fit here at all! 

They didn’t have to look far to find rock artists to feature here, they picked among their own roster for some their strongest bands in the heavy music arena including Flaw, Rammstein, Queens of the Stone Age, Hatebreed and Mushroomhead. The QOTSA track along almost makes the disc worth the purchase price! 

Rammstein kick things off at a furious pace with “Feuer Frei”. Sure if you can’t speak German, you won’t be able to make heads or tails of the lyrics, but with Rammstein it doesn’t really matter because they can kick ass in any language! Next up in a remix of last summer nu-metal megahit “Bodies” by Drowning Pool. It’s an interesting twist on the song with some techno like treatment. Like with any remix, some people are gonna love it and some will hate it. It’s up to the listener to decide where they stand. I enjoyed the different perspective this remix gave the song. 

Hatebreed's contribution is pure brutal rock and keeps the disc moving at a headbanging pace. “I Will Be Heard” may not be the best track from Hatebreed’s “Perseverance” album but it fits nicely here. Like I said before, Queens Of The Stone Age’s “Millionaire” alone should justify buying this disc. It’s a killer sneak preview of their forthcoming “Songs For The Deaf” album and if this track is any indication, they are going to top themselves with this latest effort. Considering the title of Mushroomhead’s Universal debut was titled “xx” it was a no brainer to include the leadoff track to that album on this soundtrack. It gives you a good feel for what Mushroomhead is all about and again fit’s snuggly in with the other tracks here to keep the soundtrack consistently pumping at a feverous pace. Next comes Flaw, a band that I personally consider one of the best of the nu-metal breed. “Get Up Again” is one of the strongest tracks on their Universal debut, an album that contains a lot of strong tracks. I’m really surprised that this band hasn’t taken off into the stratosphere, maybe their inclusion here will help introduce them to more people, but this is one band you can’t write off easily. They deliver the rock. 

At this point the CD hits a speed bump.  A couple of entries on the “rock” disc seem a little out of place since they don’t really fall into the “rock” category. Although they are strong efforts, Moby’s “Landing” and Fermin IV’ “004” kind of stick out like sore thumbs and the disc might have been better served by featuring two alternate songs from nu-metal artists. Universal has plenty of artists to select from and adding tracks by Nonpoint (MCA/ Universal), Lifer (Republic/Universal) or Rob Zombie would have made this disc that much stronger.  Maybe if Moby’s contribution had been tracked different at the end of the disc, it might have worked better but as it is on tracklisting order it’s really screws up the momentum of the CD. 

Gavin Rossdale comes next with “Adrenaline” a heavy modern rocker that unlike Moby’s songs still fits and also helps broaden the parameters of the album away from the strict nu-metal flow. Gavin doesn’t venture too far from the work he has done with Bush but the track is different enough to know it’s a solo effort, not a group effort. 

Like I said the Fermin track sticks out like a sore thumb. Did someone screw up and accidentally place this track on the “rock” CD by mistake? It would fit nicely on the hip-hop disc but on this one it stands out like a gay-pride activist at a KKK rally. 

Finally, Orbital’s techno style is a natural for the soundtrack to an action film but may not appeal to the core rock and nu-metal audience this disc was aiming for. 

So the final analysis of 7 out of 10 isn’t bad at all, especially for a soundtrack album, where most soundtracks usually come out at 50/50 proposition at best. 

Disc 2, I am far from a hip-hop expert so I can’t really give any intelligent insight into this disc. It seems to contain a couple of the biggest names in hip-hop like Nelly, Ice Cube and p.diddy and that should be enough for fans of commercial hip-hop to compel them to buy this CD. 

Verdict? – the xXx soundtrack is a really good snapshot of where heavy rock and hip-hop are at in the year 2002. This disc should appeal to fans of mainstream hip-hop and nu-metal and also help provide a lot of action on the screen when used in the film. This is a good effort from Universal and should do well with fans. 


Wanna Hear it?

Check out the Listening Party's for the soundtrack - Click Here for the Rock Listening Party - Click Here for the Hip Hop Listening Party

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More on the Soundtrack

For more on the soundtrack click here to visit the official site!

Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online


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