1 Giant Leap
Great music is a necessity for thematic movies. Take, for example, Singles, or Hi Fidelity, two comedic flicks so entwined with era sounds they had no choice but to be dope - if you understood that period of life, that is. Then, of course, there are failures. No one need mention Beaches or Car Wash for us to get it.
On occasion there occurs the rare exception: the great soundtrack to a horrid movie or vice-versa. 1 Giant Leap falls into the former, an unbelievably fluid, conceptually progressive score to an utter flop. What was to be Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto's opus magnum turned into their plain ol' Opie, a whimsical fairy tale byline trying to identify world unity through images a la Baraka, with nowhere near the levity nor grace of that classic.
Fortunately they did assemble some incredible musicians to produce the soundtrack of the year. Opening with Baaba Maal's shrilled echoes in "Dunya Salam" and coursing through an organic-electro fusion of chanting, drum machines, and hallucinogenic soundstreams, appearances by Arrested Development founder Speech and Buffalo Stancing Neneh Cherry, the Mahotella Queens, Grant Lee Phillips, and Eddi Reader make this a memorable album.
Robbie Williams and Maxi Jazz contribute from their UK homeland with Brit-inspired rhythm and hip-hop storytelling in "My Culture," Michael Franti leaves behind the marijuana grooved Spearhead to recite "Passion," and Whiri Mako Black brings New Zealand abroad with his haunting "Ta Moko." But no pairing is as exquisite as Michael Stipe and Queen of Bollywood Asha Bhosle finding their religion in the epic "The Way You Dream." Take the ten bucks you were going to spend on the movie, head to Sounds in the village (where no CD is over $9.99), and pick up the soundtrack. Judging from the music alone, you'd think the producing team actually made the leap and created something of epic proportion.