Various Artists: Lawless Original Soundtrack

Written by August 29th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Various Artists
Lawless Original Soundtrack
(Sony)
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Any soundtrack that features the unique talents of Nick Cave working with longtime associate/fellow Grinderman band member Warren Ellis, musical director Hal Willner and guest vocals from Mark Lanegan, Emmylou Harris and Ralph Stanley is going be far edgier and darker than your standard mishmash of pop fluff that comprises most commercially motivated movie tie-in initiatives. The flick is set in rural Virginia, circa 1931 and the eerie high lonesome music such as Cave and Ellis’ Fire in the Blood sung a cappela by Stanley combined as a medley with Harris’ newly recorded version of Townes Van Zant’s “Snake Song” captures the locale’s ominous vibe. And where else can you hear Stanley singing Lou Reed and Captain Beefheart covers? Four tunes are duplicated with different singers and backing tracks, but this never feels repetitious, especially when both Lanegan and Stanley tackle Link Wray’s nightmarish “Fire and Brimstone.” It’s one of the few soundtracks that stands on its own musical merits when removed from the visuals it was recorded to enhance.

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