Original Soundtrack

Batman Forever [Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture]

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Batman Forever [Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture] Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

On its surface, Batman Forever is the traditional studio-assembled soundtrack, bringing together heavy hitters (U2, the Offspring, Brandy, Method Man) with cult favorites (PJ Harvey, Massive Attack, Nick Cave) that have little connection. However, the record turns the formula on its ear, creating a dark, hypnotic mood that doesn't let up until the end of the album. It's the first half of the soundtrack that is the most impressive. Beginning with the club-ready T. Rex riffs of U2's Nellee Hooper-produced "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kill Me, Kiss Me" and segueing immediately into the loose, dirty blues stomp of PJ Harvey's "One Time Too Many" and the seductive pulse of Brandy, the album draws connections between artists that don't seem to have anything to do with each other. What ties nearly everything together is the underlying dark rhythmic pulse -- each song has a vague menace that is also sexual. With the notable exceptions of the Offspring, Michael Hutchence, and the Flaming Lips -- whose songs are used to deflate the mood -- Batman Forever is a surprisingly effective, atmospheric record; although only three of the songs are featured prominently in the film, it's even better than the movie.

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