Original Soundtrack

The Million Dollar Hotel

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The main charm and flaw of the soundtrack to Wim Wenders' The Million Dollar Hotelis exactly the same thing: a sultry, omnipresent moodiness, as seductive as it is lulling. At first, it draws the listener in; U2's "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" and "Never Let Me Go" (performed by Bono and the MDH Band, a superstar collective featuring Brian Eno and Bill Frissell, among others) unspool at a leisurely, graceful pace. It's easy to get lost in the slow, dark crawl of the music. The second new U2 song, "Stateless," maintains the intriguing atmosphere -- halfway between The Joshua Tree and Zooropa -- and then, things begin to unravel. Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" makes its first of three appearances on the soundtrack. Sonically, it's really no different than the three preceding tracks. After all, it's performed by the MDH band -- but it's sung by Milla Jovovich, the star of the film. Now, Jovovich is a recording artist in her own right, and she's actually one of some merit, yet this recording falls flat, collapsing in vocal histrionics at the end. Once the soundtrack loses momentum, it never regains its forward motion. There are some very good moments scattered throughout the record, from Bono and Daniel Lanois' "Falling at Your Feet" to various assorted instrumentals, but much of it winds up sounding a bit too samey and a little too draggy, with the variations on the basic, elegantly ominous sound wind up not being varied enough. Even though it meanders too much, The Million Dollar Hotel is always on the verge of being compelling, which may be enough for fans of atmospheric film soundtracks, who are accustomed to the music drifting a little bit when it's separated from the visuals.

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