The X-Files had already produced one of the more interesting pop soundtracks of the '90s before the cult TV series made the jump to the big screen in 1998. Like its film counterpart, the soundtrack to The X-Files movie is similar to its small-screen incarnation -- only bigger, glossier and better-produced. That may result in an excellent movie, but it means that the soundtrack simply isn't as quirky as Songs in the Key of X. There are still a few odd selections that preserve the off-kilter feeling of the series, but on the whole the collection is loaded with big names and alternative almost-stars. For the most part, everyone involved lands upon the right dark vibe but a few -- such as Tonic, Better Than Ezra's "One More Murder" and Filter's "Hey Man, Nice Shot"-revamp of Three Dog Night's "One" -- don't quite deliver. Others, like X's cover of the Doors' "Crystal Ship" and Sting and Aswad's reworking of "Invisible Sun," are well-intentioned but unsuccessful. Nevertheless, there are some terrific moments here. Björk's "The Hunter" "(also on Homogenic -- the only track here that is non-exclusive) is a chilling masterpiece, William Orbit remixes Sarah McLachlan's "Black" into haunting trip-hop, the Cure's "More Than This" is an unexpected gem, the Cardigans reveal their dark side, Noel Gallagher's fine "Teotihuacan" is a Primal Scream track by any other name, and Ween's "Beacon Light" -- by far the catchiest thing here -- brilliantly sends up Mulder's search for the truth and the entire X-File fan base. Those cuts make the mediocre, the dull and the bad tolerable and they're enough to make The X-Files the best alt-rock soundtrack of the summer of 1998. Granted, that's not much of a victory, but it's a victory nevertheless.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
|5||Aswad / Sting||04:08||Amazon|
|7||Better Than Ezra||04:38||Amazon|
|11||The Doors / X||02:19||Amazon|
|14||The Dust Brothers||14:13||Amazon|