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Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews - 9 Songs & A Dirty Shame

Is that a monkey on your back or are you glad to see me?
by Michael Collins

Reviewing only the songs from 9 Songs is a bit like only reading the articles in Playboy, but that's the challenge Sonic Death Monkey sets itself this week. If that's not offensive enough for you then Jon Waters' A Dirty Shame will do its best to make up for it.

Does it strike you that the list of artists in 9 Songs are a little too cool? Robert Altman's Nashville was renowned for it's musical acts, but it wasn't a whole bunch of cool, on the edge performers now was it? It was full of a whole bunch of weird shit.

Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs on the other hand has all these bands that are just far too cool for school or anything else. Couldn't they have had just one embarrassing choice? Everybody has at least one favourite that they hide in the iPod or the back of the CD collection, only to be taken off the shelf when noone's around.

Not so for Michael Winterbottom. It's all Cool School graduates for him. Even the non-rock choice of Michael Nyman. Best known for his work on the film, Piano, he still scores high on the Coolness game. He performs a beautiful piano piece. Quite at odds really to the raw and exposed nature of the film.

Primal Scream gives a rousing performance of Movin' On Up. I'm not a big fan of Primal Scream, but sometimes they do hit their mark and hit it well.

The Dandy Warhols leisurely and sexily present us The Last High. A track from their last album which I wasn't completely happy with. The raw ingredients are there, but something in the final wash out is not quite right.

A bit like the whole project surrounding the 9 Songs project. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Goldfrapp Franz Ferdinand and others contribute to not a completely satisfying CD when by rights it should have been the coolest thing on the planet.

Jon Waters heading back to the 50s for his latest and grossest film means win after win for us the listener. One of Waters' previous films, Crybaby, was lots of fun and sported some great 50s music. So it's great to see him back to that time zone.

You can't help conjuring up each and every little puerile, juvenile and sterile inappropriate thought when listening to this CD. For A Dirty Shame, the song titles are practically begging for it.

In The Pussy Cat song, things are described as, ahem, “sore, wet and hot.” Come on, you tell me. What are you thinking of right now?

A star of the Cry-Baby soundtrack was James Intveld and so it's good to see him return for A Dirty Shame. This time he's in a more down and dirty blues kind of a mood. Just as bluesy is Black Tarantula performed by Jody Reynolds – as is I Need Your Lovin' by Don Gardner and Dee Ford.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins contributes the track, Moanin'. He suitably screams and moans his way through that track.

Baby Scratch My Back will be a guilty pleasure for most including your correspondent. Political correctness wasn't on the mind of Jon Waters – it never is – and it certainly wasn't when this song was made.

When I hear those sentimental, slow and sad romantic songs from the 1950s I can't help thinking of David Lynch films. A good example is the track Sylvia. It's all very sweet and nice, but in my eyes I see some crazy guy in a cowboy hat stepping out from a red curtain and actually being two people at once while the audience look on wondering what the hell is going on.

Itchy Twitchy Spot sounds a little too much like Achy Breaky Heart. Well Waters tries to be offensive and even the vaguest reference with the man with the mullet Billy Ray Cyrus can hurt. Oh man, it even hurts to type out his name.

With a song like Tony's Got Hot Nuts do you think the original writers knew what they were doing with a title like that? How can they not know?

It's all fun with John Waters and the soundtrack is a joyful listen.

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=1392
originally posted: 03/03/05 03:37:21
last updated: 03/17/05 05:59:23
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