Most successful soundtrack albums either work because they happen to be collections of great songs, or because the original instrumental music they contain does a good job of evoking the moods and images of the film. Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey suffers a bit because the film it accompanies is such an intensely visual experience: The film follows the dancers from the celebrated touring show Stomp around the world as they collaborate with musicians and dancers from Spain, Brazil, South Africa, and many other countries and cultures (including a number of diverse North American traditions). The film must be wonderful, but the soundtrack leaves you feeling strangely blind. It's great, for example, to hear the massed feet and horns of the Jackie Robinson Steppers and the Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps, but it's hard not to wish you could see what they were doing. That feeling recurs throughout the album. Still, on tracks like "Pulse" (featuring Keith "Wildchild" Middleton) and on a flamenco showcase featuring Spanish dancer Eva Yerbabuena, the music holds its own quite well. And the remixes at the end of the program, which feature the talents of Karsh Kale, Stewart Copeland, and others, are all lots of fun. The thing to do is not choose between the movie and the soundtrack -- you should probably get both.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson