Warner Brothers – 2001 – 52 minutes
David Holmes can't seem to get away from George Clooney flicks. His debut soundtrack foray was 'Out of Sight', an earlier Stephen Soderbergh production and a far inferior film to this smooth remake of the rat-pack classic. Combining his own compositions and a healthy helping of classic tunes, Holmes has created a backdrop as slickly sharp as the film itself.
Everything about this collection is deliciously varied from the pace and chronology to the style and selection. Beginning with Percy Faith's romantic classic, 'Theme for Young Lovers', Holmes interweaves past and present gems with musical aplomb. The edgy funk of 'Boobytrapping' precedes hip-hop innovators Handsome Boy Modelling School. There are too many great tracks to namecheck but stand-out inclusions are Perry Como's infectious 'Papa Loves Mambo', little-known 'A Little Less Conversation' by Elvis and Quincy Jones' smoky, seductive 'Blues in the Night'. Debussy's 'Clair de Lune' is as near to perfection as classical music gets, which often results in its frequent (and predictable) inclusion in too many films.
Holmes makes use of an oft-avoided soundtrack device – film dialogue (the 20 Questions/Evil Knieval spiel and Rusty's con-job nicknames are priceless). He cheekily sneaks in a slightly souped-up version of his breakthrough single 'Gritty Shaker'- forgivable only because the Googie-Rene combo suits the soundtrack so perfectly. His own work both contrasts and compliments the additional songs. The languid orchestral rhythm of 'Tess' is mottled with beats and loops while '$160 Million Chinese Man' combines vintage synths, jangly guitars and funky saxophones. While Holmes departs from his usual dark, atmospheric electronica on many tracks, it surfaces on 'The Plans' and 'Pickpockets', disguising itself as bluesy funk.
After the disappointment of 'Bow Down To The Exit Sign', Holmes has regained the form that showed such promise on 'Let's Get Killed'. Ok, he didn't write all of the songs here but the musical fluency he displays by crisscrossing new and old patterns is without question. Bet Lalo Schifrin would like this.
Tracklisting: Theme for Young Lovers (Percy Faith & his Orchestra) – Boobytrapping (Holmes) – The Projects (Handsome Boy Modelling School featuring Del tha Funkee Homosapien & Trugoy from De La Soul) – The Plans (Holmes) – Papa Loves Mambo (Perry Como) – Ruben's In (Holmes) – Lyman Zerga – Caravan (Arthur Lyman) – Gritty Shaker (Holmes) – Planting the Seed (Holmes) –Pickpockets (Holmes) – A Little Less Conversation (Elvis Presley) – Dream Dream Dream (Percy Faith & his Orchestra) – Stealing the Pinch (Holmes) – Blues in the Night (Quincy Jones) – Tess (Holmes) – Hookers (Holmes) - $160 Million Chinese Man (Holmes) – 69 Police (Holmes) – Clair de Lune from 'Suite Bergamasque' conducted by The Philadelphia Orchestra (Debussy) – Theme for Young Lovers (Percy Faith & his Orchestra)