Original Soundtrack

Avengers [Original Soundtrack]

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The Avengers was a quintessentially English television show, and even in its Americanized, updated feature film version, many of its sensibilities are British, not American. That's why the ska-punk of Sugar Ray and Dishwalla's post-grunge stand out on the otherwise stylish soundtrack to the Uma Thurman/Ralph Fiennes/Sean Connery wannabe blockbuster -- without flair and camp, it's hard to fit into the world of The Avengers. The Verve Pipe try to remedy that situation by collaborating with XTC's Andy Partridge, a quintessentially English pop songwriter who just happens to lack style; consequently, "Blow You Away" -- a tune that sports a modern, techno-conscious production previously unheard of in a Verve Pipe song -- is a catchy, well-constructed track that nevertheless sounds out of place on an album that's slanted toward modern British dance and pop. Most of the music on The Avengers is John Berry filtered through big beat and trip-hop. It's not necessarily cutting-edge -- Stereo MC's and Utah Saints are simply playing catch-up, while Grace Jones has never sounded more awkward. Much of the rest, however, is quite fun. Roni Size's "Visiting Angel" proves his mastery of elegant jungle; Suggs' ridiculous "I Am" has some charm; Babybird's "Bad Twin" is appropriately ironic in its melodic gloom; and Marius de Vries explodes the theme, re-creating it as a thundering club cut. These moments may not be enough to make The Avengers consistently entertaining, but it's enough to make it an enjoyable listen.

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