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Blow Review

by Heather Phares

Though it didn't quite deliver the goods, Blow, Ted Demme's loosely adapted biopic of drug dealer George Jung, had all the signifiers of a sweeping epic about the underside of the American dream like Boogie Nights or Casino, including a killer soundtrack. Indeed, Blow, the album of the film's music, is more effective than the film itself at depicting the highs, lows, and excesses of America's budding cocaine culture in the '70s, getting most of its best songs from that era. Kicking off with the Stones' urgent yet weary "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," the collection deftly mixes guitar-heavy classic rock like Lynyrd Skynyrd's "That Smell" and Ram Jam's frenetic "Black Betty" with gentler, reflective songs like the Faces' "Glad and Sorry" and the Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See." Glossy disco such as KC & the Sunshine Band's "Keep It Comin' Love" and the salsa of Willie Rosario's "Let's Boogaloo" keep the soundtrack eclectic and reflect the film's party-hard sequences. Nikka Costa's "Push and Pull" feels somewhat out of place, but otherwise Blow is an impeccably assembled collection; that it manages to make a radio staple like Manfred Mann's "Blinded By the Light" sound fresh and exciting again is a testament to the film's musical directors.

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