"Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why ... I feel lethal -- on the verge of frenzy," the serial killer Patrick Bateman calmly intones above M.J. Mynarski's gentle piano on the soundtrack from the movie American Psycho. Unfortunately, besides three short monologues from Bateman (played by Christian Bale) interspersed throughout the album, that's as much as you're going to get of the beautiful compositions co-written by Mynarski and John Cale. Instead, the record leans toward the tradition of recent horror flicks like Scream 3 and I Know What You Did Last Summer, where, owing to some undisclosed agreement by the filmmakers, the deranged straight white male's mind seems best cinematically illustrated by loud, ham-fisted goth rock.
There's been some hoopla surrounding the violent nature of American Psycho, but the soundtrack is not without its own drama. Just before the disc's release, Huey Lewis demanded that his "Hip to Be Square" be pulled from the album -- he was offended by the film's subject matter. "Hip to Be Square" won't be missed, but it probably would've served as an okay filler track in this collection of cold '80s cuts and remakes, which range from a smooth touchup on David Bowie's "Something in the Air" to the funktified beats of "Pump Up the Volume" by M/A/R/R/S. The industrial metal band Dope, who did a surprisingly good job on their last album with N.W.A's "Fuck Tha Police," score even better with their sharp guitar cover of Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round." Likewise, Massive Attack's Underdog does a superb reworking of The Cure's "Watching Me Fall," and there's a very nice remix job on Eric B. & Rakim's hip-hop classic "Paid in Full." The Tom Tom Club provides the beat-savvy groove "Who Feelin' It," while New Order's "True Faith" holds up as fresh as anything out today.
What's conspicuously absent is a Whitney Houston track. In a bonus monologue at the end of the disc, the killer, Bateman, goes on at great length describing to a prostitute the importance of Houston's debut album and the significance of the lyrics to "The Greatest Love of All."