Inasmuch as this recording is meant to be an accompaniment to a motion picture, one wouldn't expect any of the compositions to stand on their own merit. However, Public Enemy, The Movie Soundtrack is more than capable of establishing itself as an entity completely separate from the film. Painstakingly labored over by Nile Rodgers through his own record label, this collection of reflective and politically stirring songs and commentary embodies the mood and sentiment of the American Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960's and meshes it with the social concerns of the latter day 1990's. More than just a random smattering of Black Panther Party diatribes, this soundtrack connects on a variety of levels. From smooth, groove-heavy rap beats, to dialogue snippets from the film, through funky guitar rhythms (that are indicative of (Nile Rodgers)' musical style), this disc realistically supports the conflicting and controversial nature of this historical period, and opens the arena for present-day discussion and evaluation. From a purely musical standpoint, Public Enemy, The Movie Soundtrack covers all the bases from rap, to reggae, to disco funk and soul. But, more than that, this recording is an examination of the American conscience.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Roxanne Blanford