Crash: Motion Picture Soundtrack Reviews
Produced by Superb Records
Reviewed by Jon Minners
Race relations are something that has intrigued me since I was a little child, as one of the only white kids in my neighborhood who loved rap. That interest has continued as I got older and ended up dating black girls and looked down upon for it by both races. Movies like American History X, Higher Learning and Hotel Rwanda have spoken volumes to me and then I went out to see Crash. The movie is special to me for two reasons; one of which being that I went to see it with the woman of my dreams, Lisa Robinson, on our first date together back in May and the other being that the movie just resonated in me – a refreshing movie with a great storyline and a deep message worth remembering.
Crash stars Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe and Larenz Tate; an all star cast playing a diverse group of characters which includes a Brentwood housewife and her DA husband, a Persian store owner, two police detectives who are also lovers, a rookie cop and his veteran partner, a black television director and his wife, a Mexican locksmith, two carjackers and a middle-aged Korean couple all living in Los Angeles. Within a 36 hour span the characters and their lives will all collide.
This is by far one of the most real, unapologetic films about race relations in a post-9/11 world. You are so going to hate Sandra Bullock’s character in this film, but watching the film, the viewer will not be able to hate her ignorance without examining their own. Each character has flaws. No character is perfect. A cop will act racist one minute toward a black woman and then end up saving her life the next day. And even the best intentioned people do things that will shock and anger viewers. We are all connected and every action has a reaction. Lives will be changed, no one will be the same and I am not just talking about the characters on the screen.
And the movie is not all that is worth checking out. The film has led to the release of not just one, but two soundtracks, Crash - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Crash - Music From and Inspired by the Film. These two CDs represent the movie perfectly with an eclectic sound that highlights the diversity, the hopelessness and the hopefulness and the truly dramatic moments that played out on the screen. While I will always choose a CD with vocals over one with mostly instrumentals, both CDs offer something different for listeners who enjoy good music.
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack contains the original score composed by Mark Isham, a Grammy, Emmy and Clio award winner for his work as a composer and recording artist. Some of his more memorable work can be heard on Miracle, A River Runs Through It, The Majestic, Blade, Men of Honor, Save the Last Dance and Moonlight Mile. Known for his innovative methods, distinctiveness, quirky sense of mood and his unforgettable melodies, Isham has composed over 65 film scores and many albums of electric jazz, classic acoustic jazz and New Age music and was a perfect choice for the Crash soundtrack.
“When I read Paul [Haggis]'s script for Crash, I was immediately inspired to write for this film,” said Isham. “The intricate plot, so masterfully woven around the wonderfully drawn characters, demanded a uniquely beautiful score. And in this case, the complete lack of financial resources, with which one could have resorted to the tried and true formulas of successful film scoring, turned out to be a huge blessing.”
This is an enjoyable CD to listen to with dramatic music that occasionally include a haunting ethnic moaning that just sets the mood and leaves the listener jarred until another track uplifts them and provides hope. Although so many negative things happen and the movie reflects a dark view of the world, there is also a sense of hope that people have learned from their ordeal and hence, the music reflects this perfectly. Isham does a good job of setting the mood leaving no character or poignant moment untouched. In the Deep by Bird York and Maybe Tomorrow by Stereophonics are two songs that round out the CD with some thought-provoking and inspiring lyrics.
Thought you had all the answers/to rest your heart upon/but something happens/don't see it coming/now you can't stop yourself/now you're out there swimming in the deep/Life keeps tumbling/your heart in circles/till you let go/till you shed your pride and you climb to heaven/and you throw yourself off/now you're out there spinning in the deep. – In the Deep
Been down and I'm wondering why/These little black clouds keep walking around with me, with me/Waste time and I'd rather be high/Think I'll walk me outside and buy a rainbow smile but be free, be all free/So maybe tomorrow I'll find my way home/So maybe tomorrow I'll find my way home. – Maybe Tomorrow.
Of course, the vocals turn out to be a prelude to the best CD of the bunch. I love the Music From and Inspired by Crash. The CD is a perfect compilation of different music that appeals to different audiences, yet finds its way together to appeal to everyone. Each track blends right into the next without any stops, so you have rap into dance and dance into folk and there is rock and country and a little of everything crashing into one another as one. What an innovative idea for an innovative film. Loved it. And I loved the songs, too. Some of the best tracks are by If I…by Kansas Cali, Hey God by Randy Coleman, Take the Pain Away by Al Berry, Problems by Move.meant, Are you Beautiful by Chris Pierce and Plastic Jesus by Billy Idol.
Hey God and Take the Pain Away are inspirational tunes that are spiritually uplifting. Plastic Jesus actually made me remember the scene in the film involving the religious figure on the dashboard of one of the character’s car. Problems was a great Hip Hop track that invoked feelings of the old days when rap looked at real topics and not the bling bling. About time. I have never heard of Move.meant before, but this soundtrack made me want to learn more and I promise to have more about them in these pages one day. Finally, Are you Beautiful perfectly reflects the mood of the film. This is the definitive message of Crash. Are you beautiful on the inside? Isn’t that all that matters?
See the movie when it comes out on DVD on September 6. Listen to the soundtracks now. Look, listen; most importantly, think.