Original Soundtrack

Batman & Robin [Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture]

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Like the movie itself, the soundtrack to Batman & Robin is more of a testament to overloaded, cross-cultural marketing than art. The movie featured too many stars -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Chris O'Donnell, Elle Macpherson -- all designed to appeal to different areas of the pop market. Similarly, the soundtrack is a sampler of nearly every style of popular music, from alternative rock and hip-hop to electronica and pop. Not surprisingly, the album simply doesn't hold together. Not only are there too many styles here -- it's highly unlikely anyone will like the Smashing Pumpkins, R. Kelly, Eric Benet, Soul Coughing, Underworld and the Goo Goo Dolls -- but most of the contributions just aren't very good. The Pumpkins' two songs are competent but unengaging examples of their hard-rocking and dream-pop sides, respectively, and the fact that they were co-produced by dance maven Nellee Hooper suggests that the group isn't going to make Billy Corgan's dreams of a rock/electronica fusion come true anytime soon. Underworld's "Moaner" is a better fusion of the two genres, but it isn't interesting enough to justify its length. And those two groups have some of the more interesting cuts on Batman & Robin, along with Moloko's "Fun for Me," which is exceptional club trip-hop, Eric Benet's polished but appealing "True to Myself," and R.E.M.'s "Revolution," a fine, churning Monster leftover. The remainder of the album is comprised of bland, generic material only included to ensure that the album will sell as many copies as possible. The result is an album that tests the patience and only sporadically delivers the goods.

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