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Number please . . .
by Michael Collins

Dramatic and beautiful – like a dirty French novel. Like a passionate tango between lovers. Tension, barely concealed feelings, repressed secret longings. We have the opening music to 2046.

Drawing out lingering feelings. These are feelings that are beneath the service - but only just beneath. Simmering below are secret urges that are far too dangerous to simply reveal. The opening music for 2046 is extraordinarily beautiful. It’s a hell of a start for soundtrack.

Yet this is the sixties. We need reminding of the times. So rather inexplicably all the drama and beauty from the opening titles is replaced by 60s kitsch. What happened?

Well firstly there's Xavier Cugat with an instrumental version of Siboney. Then to consolidate the shift we have Dean Martin crooning Sway.

Instead of the simmering passion of the title theme I instead get the idea of inviting some friends around for one of those lounge parties. Get out the berets, turtle necks and cigarette holders and let's talk, beat.

Shigeru Umebayshi's version of The Christmas Song, is breezy and swinging. It's rather cool actually. I guess if you are doing the music for a Wong Kar Wai film then things are expected to be cool. And beautiful – don't forget achingly beautiful.

While I guess this is a various artists style soundtrack - technically speaking – it still has a very coherent and strong theme in its sound. There is a range of moods on the CD, but the themes keep coming back and there is a consistency about the music.

For example there's the opening theme – a traditional strings piece - which is reprimed as a rumba version that fits in with the 60s contributions from Dean Martin and Connie Francis.

Being a Hong Kong film, it should be expected to be an Asian influence in the sound. And that duly comes in the form of Umebayashi's contributions to the CD – Especially the lone violin interludes on the album. There are delightful moments all through the CD, but most of them are contributed by Umebayashi.

Then surprisingly, yet not at all surprisingly, there's a piece from the opera, “Norma,” which then perfectly segues into a version of Perfida that has violins over a rumba beat.

Everything fits in so well together that it is as if all these different styles of music were born to be together.

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=1537
originally posted: 06/29/05 20:39:10
last updated: 09/23/05 01:21:11
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