If The Departed found Martin Scorsese relying on some of his old tricks so his new tricks packed a bigger punch, so it is with the movie's soundtrack: he hauls out many of his old favorites -- the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, the Band; classic R&B in the form of LaVern Baker -- which only has the effect of giving the surprise left turns more impact. Chief among those surprises is the Dropkick Murphys' throttling "I'm Shipping Up to Boston," a bracing bit of Celtic punk that plays a crucial part in the film and also dominates here, but there are quieter surprises, too, such as the cool waves of the Beach Boys' "Sail on, Sailor," some blues-rock from Roy Buchanan and the Allman Brothers, or even the fact that the Van Morrison number is a cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." Another surprise is that the Stones' "Gimme Shelter," which plays a prominent role in the film, is nowhere to be found here, but that's a mild surprise since the Stones are indeed present with "Let It Loose." That track embodies a soundtrack that works familiar territory but makes it seem fresh and fun, just like the movie itself.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine