The often anonymous composers of television ads and movie trailers (read: electronica artists) may have found their futures in the soundtrack business. Always a viable promotional vehicle for launching or rekindling a career, soundtracks have become electronic music’s “Now That’s What I Call Music” series, a virtual portal into the collective minds of mainstream society. Like Sliver and Trainspotting before it, the soundtrack to this summer’s Tomb Raider is the latest excuse to throw together a bunch of really wicked tracks by today’s hottest artists.
The soundtrack’s first single is a remix of U2’s “Elevation,” one of the better track’s from last year’s middling All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Though not as exhilarating as the original, the track should help continue to reposition the band among modern rock’s elite. Adding to Lara Croft’s global escapades is a remix of Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On,” originally from Elliott’s stellar Miss E…So Addictive. Recently-crowned pop starlet Nelly Furtado ad-libs her way through the track along with Elliott, further proving her edge-walking versatility. Delerium has always seemed like an updated version of Enigma and “Terra Firma (Lara’s Mix)” pretty much seals the deal with Gregorian chants and otherworldly female vocals courtesy of French singer Aude.
Perhaps plucked from Moby’s extensive collection of unreleased tracks, “Ain’t Never Learned” sounds more like early-‘90s Moby than the newly crossed-over über-star we all know and love. The track fits snugly in between BT’s “The Revolution” and OutKast’s previously released “Speedballin’.” Elsewhere, trance gurus Leftfield offer up their 1995 gem “Song of Life,” and last year’s electronic It act, Groove Armada, contribute the moody downtempo track “Edge Hill.” Overall, a satisfying romp through the latest in electronica.