CD Review of Music From and Inspired by Spider-Man 3 by Soundtrack

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Music From and Inspired by Spider-Man 3
starstarno starno starno star Label: Record Collection
Released: 2007
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The Spider-Man 3 soundtrack offers a varied collection of modern rock tracks from mostly well-known bands. One’s affinity for the tunes will probably vary widely based on one’s affinity for the bands in question. The disc starts off fairly strong, but starts to wane about halfway through.

Snow Patrol’s “Signal Fire” is the lead single from the album and offers an earnest take on the emotional complexities of the webcrawler’s life. “Move Away” by the Killers rocks with an infectious energy and features some sharp production value. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs offer up “Sealings,” which features Karen Orzolek offering a dynamic vocal over a bluesy riff and some harder-edged guitar then the band is generally known for. The song definitely rocks and makes a good segue into Wolfmother’s “Pleased to Meet You,” a tune that features the band’s standard formula of power trio riffage, wailing bluesy vocals and a high-energy jam.

The disc shifts into a more contemplative mode with Black Mountain’s “Stay Free,” a dreamy, acoustic tune. The Flaming Lips follow with “The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How to Be in Love.” This is a great title, but while the track features the Lips’ trademark atmospheric psychedelia, it doesn’t make for a very memorable song. (Lips fans may wish to go straight to iTunes, where the digital version of the soundtrack includes an extra track of the Lips performing the old Spider-Man cartoon theme song.)

Simon Dawes contributes “Scared of Myself,” a moody dirge which features a strong bluesy guitar solo, while Rogue Wave’s “Sightlines” is another moody ballad that may conjure an appropriate mood for a certain moment in the film, but comes off rather blandly on its own. Likewise for Coconut Records’ “Summer Day.”

One would figure that the disc would get back to rocking with Jet’s “Falling Star,” yet the track is another bland, mid-tempo number that features some creative studio atmospherics but would probably have the band’s fans headed for the beer stands if they played it live. “Portrait of a Summer Thief” by Sounds Under Radio is a more energetic track with a big sound and a vocal that actually grabs the listener in a Radiohead/Coldplay sort of way.

Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” is here as well, from the cheesy scene in the film where Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborne dance around the kitchen while cooking. Here the song feels out of place amongst the emo/modern rock context of the soundtrack.

Ultimately, the disc epitomizes a major problem in “modern rock.” All the tunes are sharply produced, but many sound like they were written with the same cookie cutter. Only a handful of the songs have the dynamic melodies that make a song memorable. Spidey deserves better…

~Greg M. Schwartz