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Heroes – Original Soundtrack

Review by Gary Hill

Soundtrack albums like this are always a mixed bag. Surely this one must be a hit considering the following the show has. It’s got plenty of great music. I’d say that there’s only really a couple points where it lags.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Heroes Theme - Wendy & Lisa
This burst of sound is all of twelve seconds in length.     

Fire and Regeneration - Wendy & Lisa Featuring Shankar
The sounds that start this off feel almost like whale song. Percussive elements join in after a time, but this remains rather like some sort of new-age music.

He's Frank - Brighton Port Authority Featuring Iggy Pop
There’s a weird little effect on the intro to this, but as it kicks in it’s a pretty tasty retro tinged rocker. It’s the first piece with vocals and Iggy Pop delivers them in his own inimitable style. We get some cool retro keys later in this piece. There’s also a little “rap.”

All For Swinging You Around - The New Pornographers
Here’s a powerhouse rocker. It’s got a retro bubble gum texture to it but a lot of edge, too. This is fun and the most rocking thing so far. At times this even feels a little proggy.

Glad It's Over – Wilco
Here’s a major change of pace. This starts with piano and voice and resolves out into a killer jam that’s got a great retro jazz rock feeling to it. I really could imagine this being all over the radio in the mid 1970’s. It’s bouncy, catchy and one of the highlights of the set.  There’s a bit of Beatlesish bent to the later portions of the piece.

Nine In the Afternoon - Panic At The Disco
More guitar based, this feels rather like Jellyfish at times to me. There’s also a definite Beatles vibe at times – especially during the symphonic reprise. This is a fun song that’s another highlight.

Weightless - Nada Surf
While this is really an alternative pop rock piece that’s quite cool, there is also a lot of progressive rock in the mix, particularly in regards to the symphonic overtones.

Natural Selection - Wendy & Lisa
This is just a short little atmospheric piece.

AboneCroneDrone 3 (Excerpt) - Sheila Chandra
This feels a lot like a cross between Enigma and Enya. It’s a cool piece that’s got a bit of a dark texture to it. It’s dramatic and mysterious.

Chills (Master Mix) - My Morning Jacket
Here I can’t help but think of Roy Orbisson. This is modern rock but with some definite retro rock elements.

Jealousy Rides With Me - Death Cab For Cutie
This has a definite Radiohead vibe to it.

Not Now, But Soon - Imogen Heap
Very electronic in nature this has a Tony Levin kind of texture at times. Other parts remind me quite a bit of Laurie Anderson.

Homecoming - Wendy & Lisa
 Another brief interlude, this is far more “pop oriented.”

All Things Must Pass - The Jesus And Mary Chain
Some serious rock and roll is in the house here. It’s a great retro tinged jam that almost calls to mind Tommy James and The Shondells quite a bit. There’s also a riff in here that reminds me of The Lords of the New Church.

Man In The Long Black Coat - Bob Dylan
Mr. Robert Zimmerman gives us a great bluesy jam here.

Maya's Theme - Cucu Diamantes & Yerba Buena
Starting with a bouncy little jam this grows like that for a time before shifting out to a faster paced and more energized movement. This is very tribal in nature. It shifts again and becomes even more world music oriented. Then a scorching guitar solo brings some rock back to the scene. There’s also a killer horn solo segment later.

         

Keeping My Composure - The Chemical Brothers Featuring Spank Rock
Mixing techno with hip hop, this is OK, but really doesn’t hold up as well as a lot of the other material in my opinion. The faster paced segment later is pretty cool, though.

Heroes - David Bowie
A David Bowie classic ends this. It’s a good rocker that really feels like it belongs with the rest of the music here.

 
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