Maggie Cheung won the best actress award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in writer/director (and ex-husband) Olivier Assayas' Clean, and one can assume that some part of that award is owed to her singing of four songs in the film, songs that anchor this "music from the motion picture" soundtrack. Those tracks, written by Dean Wareham (who also collaborates with Britta Phillips on "Knives from Bavaria") and David Roback, are given slow, becalmed arrangements, and Cheung, who plays an aspiring singer (and, as the title suggests, recovering drug addict) in the film, dreamily croons her way through them in a manner reminiscent of Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. (You half-expect her second number, "Down in the Light," to break into the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" given the acoustic guitar chords.) Adding to the low-key feel are three ambient tracks by Brian Eno. The only number that picks things up, at least musically, is Metric's "Dead Disco," a dance-rock number that complains about the state of music and is repeated at the end in a "clean -- live film version." This is modern down-tempo music to accompany the tragic story told in the film.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann