Spike Lee's powerful rumination on the last 24 hours of freedom of a young convicted felon (Edward Norton) before he serves a seven-year prison sentence that will forever change his life is charged with melancholy regrets--and slim hopes of redemption. Longtime Lee collaborator Terence Blanchard's haunting score was deservedly nominated for a Golden Globe for the stark, sophisticated way it colors a challenging story with music that's at once haunting and achingly introspective. Blanchard's orchestral music here may at first seem like his most obvious bowing to symphonic film-scoring traditions. But as it masterfully turns on a difficult emotional axis of despair and apprehension, its sad string passages and wordless arias can evoke both the Celtic and the Middle Eastern, then melt into loping jazz signatures in a heartbeat. It's a brooding, elegantly sophisticated soundtrack that pays only occasional tribute to Blanchard's rich jazz accomplishments, but one that dramatically underscores his true range and dramatic potential as a film composer. --Jerry McCulley
Ever get the feeling that Norton has a long list of 'Directors I need to work with,' and he's working his way down that sucker? Just me, eh?
OK- Now then, if you're looking for the DJ hits from the club scene and about half the hits in here seem to be digging for them... as everyone and their grandma has mentioned, you should go buy the Cymande CD- it's only about 13 bucks or so in here. Get the full-blown 'Cymande,' Cd. The song Bra is the one from the paquin/Hoffman kissing scene in the bathroom (and It's been sampled by damn near everybody- most notably in De la Soul's 'Change in Speak,' track 3 off their first album- 3 feet High and Rising). Dove is the song you can barely hear from the scene wherein Norton and the Ukrainian mobsters talk in the basement (most notably used as an interpolation in The Fugees 'Family Business' off their seminal album The Score...) And yes, The Message is in there too and it too has been done to def by the hip-hop community.
I give Blanchard a two-thumbs up for this understated work. So many soundtracks beat you in the head with pathos- soft tinkling sad pianos and lush swelling strings- they scream- YOU MUST CRY HERE!!!! YOU WILL BE HAPPPY NOW!!!! There's no subtlety and that bothers the hell out of me- I hate to feel like I'm being molested by a composer. Blanchard never panders, he whispers and insinuates- makes for a good listen and a nice watch!
"Warm It Up Kane" -- Big Daddy Kane -- Very Best of Big Daddy Kane
"Flava in Ya Ear" -- Craig Mack -- Project: Funk Da World (also available as CD single)
"Put the Music Where Your Mouth Is" -- Olympic Runners (note: one of the songs played early on at the club)
"White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" -- Grandmaster & Melle Mel -- Message from the Beat Street: Best Of
"Cavern" -- Grand Master Flash / Liquid Liquid -- available on: Grandmaster Flash, Essential Mix: Classic Edition (note: this song, which you can hear during the club scene, is the one played on the film's trailer)
"Bra" -- Cymande -- available on: Cymande and on Grandmaster Flash's Essential Mix: Classic Edition (note: played during the bathroom kiss scene)
"Dove" -- Cymande -- Cymande
"The Message" -- Cymande -- Cymande
"The Fuse" -- Bruce Springsteen -- The Rising