Original Soundtrack

Hamlet [2000]

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The soundtrack to the Michael Almereyda-directed update of Hamlet is unnervingly musically jumpy even by various artist soundtrack standards. The dominant mood is in-your-face post-modern: post-punk, techno, and rap by Primal Scream, the Supreme Beings of Leisure, the Birthday Party (whose "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)" goes on for two or three minutes after everyone has gotten the point), and others. Yet there's also goofball folk by Michael Hurley, sincere contemporary singer/songwriter stuff by Josh Rouse, and a grand classical 13-minute finale, the Niels Wilhelm Gade composition "Echoes From Ossian, Op. 1 in A Minor." Divorced from the context of the movie, it's difficult to envision who might want to play the disc without using the remote search and skip buttons. One good thing to come out of this, though: Primal Scream's cover of the 13th Floor Elevators' "Slip Inside This House" will generate some much-needed royalties for the song's composers, Roky Erickson and Tommy Hall.

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