Until the End of the World is a definite contender for best motion picture soundtrack of the 1990s. With a lineup that includes Talking Heads, Lou Reed, R.E.M., Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode, U2, and others all providing original songs or new covers, it's an absolute joy. Interspersed with Graeme Revell's haunting ambient score, virtually every pop/rock track works perfectly as part of a cohesive whole. "Sax and Violins," recorded during the dying days of Talking Heads, might be the band's most confident moment, as a jazzy background shuffle and keyboards provide compelling momentum underneath David Byrne's sarcastic vocals. Crime & the City Solution could have made an entire career out of the emotional yet existential "The Adversary." R.E.M. and Depeche Mode both contribute touching ballads. "Fretless" is one of the most beautiful tracks to be found in R.E.M.'s discography, documenting a wounded relationship with subtle grace. "Death's Door" is one of those sad numbers Depeche Mode fans have grown to love, with Martin Gore handling the vocals. Less emotional themes are found in the contributions of Lou Reed and Can. "(I'll Love You) Till the End of the World" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is dark, hilarious, and ultimately quite touching. Jane Siberry handles the soundtrack's most pristine, moving moment with "Calling All Angels"; k.d. lang's background vocals give the song a sweet, angelic feel. In addition to the greatness of the songs, the album is perfectly sequenced. It's hard to imagine a better song progression than that of the one from Julee Cruise to Neneh Cherry here. Throw in U2's Achtung Baby-shared track "Until the End of the World" and a Kinks cover by Elvis Costello, and it's almost impossible to think of a better soundtrack from or to the 1990s.
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AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina