|by Natasha Theobald
This soundtrack may stand on a wee pedestal for others as an example of how to do what soundtracks are meant to do well. The music included is both classic and new and speaks to the heart of the film, whether thematically or in terms of the frenetic, almost giddy energy of the last few minutes, which tender the leaving film-goer onto the world with an ecstatic high. Better still, bits of dialogue from the movie are found throughout, reminding us of big laughs and story points, taking us back to the good time we had at the cinema. Then, the cherry at the absolute top, the best treat of all, track nine combines both elements, dialogue and music, in such a way that a silly smile should break out on the face of any fan. That cherry confirms this soundtrack a must buy, a treasure to be held dear until the DVD release date.
The listener is eased into Hot Fuzz delirium with a couple of upfront tracks which, while great for the movie, may not necessarily be your favorite from the album. I am including in this Adam Ant’s “Goody Two Shoes,” XTC with “Sgt. Rock (is Going to Help Me),” and The Kinks singing a little ditty called “The Village Green Preservation Society.” I don’t mind XTC and I quite like The Kinks sometimes, but the Adam Ant song is feeling its age. Before you determine to go single shopping for later tracks, however, it is important to note that these songs fit the movie and are, in some cases, introduced or followed by dialogue essential to this soundtrack experience. I, for one, can stand to hear songs I love less if just to hear the movie bits which inhabit them, especially if I know what’s coming.
Boom! Track four hits with a great song, the first on the CD from the Fratellis, those crazy cats from Glasgow. “Baby Fratelli,” from their ’07 release Costello Music, is instantly lovable and entirely infectious. Cozy Powell is up next, doing what he did best, with a percussion-centric (I want to say) fugue (probably not true in the strictest definition), which beats and chants its way into your consciousness. Stavely Makepeace sustains a similar energy with a little something 70s until The Troggs come on board with “I Can’t Control Myself.” It is a musical ode to lust and that object of desire, in this case female and, while it has some years on it, still feels fresh. It is followed by “Fire” from Crazy World of Arthur Brown, which sounds more ‘of its time.’
Here we reach the glorious pinnacle, half way through the best of it – two minutes of pure Fuzz joy, the best reason of all for fans to run right out and buy this ‘bad boy.’ Credited to John Eric Alexander, it is the Osymyso Remix of “Lethal Fuzz.” It contains not snippets but full chunks of dialogue, true back and forth moments between Angel (Simon Pegg) and Butterman (Nick Frost). In fact, there are moments to love, not just for fans of this movie, but for movie fans in general. It is simply brilliant Fuzz fun, well worth the price of admission (aka the cost of the soundtrack).
The post-pinnacle segment keeps things strong with more Fratellis, a great Eels song, “Souljacker, Pt. 1,” and Supergrass “Caught by the Fuzz” circa the mid-90s. Since the boom of track four, the energy has been sustained remarkably, with effortlessly appropriate picks. No less spirited, the second to the last track, “Here Come the Fuzz” turns a bit of a corner, giving us something slightly different, a pleasant mishmash of sounds and ideas directed to the film story. It has a club feel, so feel free to move around.
The David Arnold score is saved for the end and presented as “The Hot Fuzz Suite,” a twenty-three minute representation of the film music of Fuzz. It drops the listener rather suddenly off a cliff to something entirely different from the rest of the collection, but, once adjusted, there are some great things here. It is by turns quiet and quite loud. It is at times moody and atmospheric, at others more directed and specific. Parts of it are dark, with startling and scary outbursts, meaning this is nothing by which to nap or meditate, especially when the freaky chorus gets going. There also are moments where the sounds are almost angelic, haunting, but in a lifting rather than foreboding way. It ends on a high note, so to speak, with blissful sounds of resolution. Keep listening, too, for the last delicious nugget of spoken word.
I don’t know about you, but I, for one, prefer the Fuzz hot. It doesn’t get much hotter than this, my friend. Buy it now, and thank me later.
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originally posted: 05/16/07 23:10:56
last updated: 05/16/07 23:20:58