March 17, 2023

Various Artists - Great Expectations: The Album (1997)

Country: U.S.A. 
Genre: Alternative Rock, Industrial, Pop Rock
Label Number: 83058-2

© 1997 Atlantic Records
Like William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet before it, Alfonso Cuaron's contemporary update of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations was designed to win a new, younger audience, which means that the soundtrack is filled with alternative and post-alternative groups, since they would theoretically appeal to that audience. Great Expectations doesn't hold together as well as Romeo + Juliet, since the selection of artists isn't as strong. Artists like the Verve Pipe, Reef, Poe, Mono, and Fisher provide adequate but unremarkable alt-rock that doesn't necessarily sit well with the softer adult alternative of Duncan Sheik and Lauren Christy, and a pair of oldies from Iggy Pop ("Success") and the Grateful Dead ("Uncle John's Band") sound nearly as out of place as Césaria Évora's "Besame Mucho." That leaves the four songs that make the record interesting: new cuts from Tori Amos, Chris Cornell, Pulp, and Scott Weiland. Amos and Pulp both collaborated with the film's composer, Patrick Doyle, and while Amos' "Siren" sounds like a little like traditional film music, Pulp's "Like a Friend" is a terrific, theatrical tour de force with a typically nuanced, vicious Jarvis Cocker performance. "Sunshower" is Cornell's first effort since Soundgarden's breakup, and its layered guitars and subtle melody find him at his best. "Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down" is Weiland's first release since the Stone Temple Pilots imploded, and its carnivalesque, ersatz Tom Waits feel may take some fans by surprise, but it indicates that his forthcoming solo album could be full of delightful, left-of-center pop like this. And those four songs make it worthwhile for dedicated fans, but they should also be aware that only Amos' and Cornell's tracks are exclusive: "Like a Friend" appears on Pulp's This Is Hardcore and "Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down" is on Weiland's solo debut, 12 Bar Blues.

 tags: various artists, great expectations the album, ost, soundtrack, 1997, flac,


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