Original Soundtrack

More Music from the Motion Picture Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me was the surprise blockbuster of the summer 1999 movie season -- well, at least until The Sixth Sense came out of nowhere in August and enraptured audiences with its spooky mysteries. Prior to that, The Spy Who Shagged Me pretty much ruled June, stealing thunder from the Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace, and spawning a litany of catch phrases. There was also a soundtrack, highlighted by Lenny Kravitz's plodding cover of the Guess Who's "American Woman" and by Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger," a psychedelicized dance number that was her best single in years. "Beautiful Stranger" helped make the record a hit, which increased the demand for a second Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack -- which appeared a couple of weeks before the video release of the film in November 1999. Curious thing -- The Spy Who Shagged Me already felt like a pop culture artifact by the time this second soundtrack and the video were released. That didn't detract from the quality of the soundtrack, but it did make it seem a little unnecessary. However, They Might Be Giants' brilliant "Goldfinger" parody, "Dr. Evil," is as good as anything on the first record, as is the Bangles' unexpected reunion track "Get the Girl," a fine piece of retro-psychedelia that sounds like it hails from the band's prime. These two tracks certainly deserved to be on the first record, as did Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and Fantastic Plastic Machine's "Bachelor Pad." But at least they served as an excuse for this second soundtrack, which improbably turns out to be more entertaining than the first. That's largely due to the fact that it has the original versions of "American Woman" and "Time of the Season" (which were covered very poorly on the first disc), along with a few oldies ("I'm a Believer," "Magic Carpet Ride") that add some swinging-'60s context. There is some filler here -- most notably, a superfluous remix of "Beautiful Stranger" and Lords of Acid's "Am I Sexy?" -- but the record is actually more consistent than its predecessor, and just as entertaining -- even if it isn't exactly necessary and sort of feels like an afterthought.

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