Wednesday, June 9, 1999

Review - Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: Music From the Motion Picture

Artist: Various artists

Posted on Wed, Jun 9, 1999 at 4:00 AM

A big Hollywood movie can only mean one thing: a big Hollywood movie soundtrack. "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: Music From the Motion Picture" is no exception. Packed with clever versions of classics, groovy new music and lots of fun, this is sure to be the soundtrack of the summer.

Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger," the opener and first single, is pure pop, dripping with '60s psychedelia. Next up is The Who's mega-classic "My Generation" -- few bands could capture The Who's thunder, and thankfully nobody tries to. R.E.M. takes us back with the Tommy James' hit "Draggin' the Line." The hooky chorus and breezy atmosphere are mesmerizing.

Lenny Kravitz flexes his newfound pop muscle on The Guess Who's "American Woman." Drum loops and electronic production replace loud guitars and pounding drums, but the track falls flat without necessary grit. Spice Girl Melanie G also fails to come through on Cameo's old-school favorite "Word Up." Without her Girl Power posse, Mel G's unremarkable voice can't take the song above average.

Paging Dr. Evil. And the film's dastardly doc responds with a reworking of Will Smith's pop smash "Just the Two of Us." Here, brevity keeps Myers from making a horrible mistake.

The Flaming Lips offer the spanking-new original "Buggin'." Aggressively trippy, the song carries out the album's mission: Let's have some fun, baby. Further pushing the fun envelope is Green Day's original instrumental "Espionage," an intriguing mix of Dick Dale's surf-rock and Henri Mancini's spy-chasery.

Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland was out of rehab long enough to lend his voice to Big Blue Missle's "Time of the Season." The band (and Weiland) cook up a compelling version of The Zombies' classic, with Capt. Pharmacy's vocals stealing the show for these unknowns.

Newcomers The Lucy Nation mine familiar electronic territory on moody "Alright," by far the most modern-sounding track. Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello team for the smoky duet "I'll Never Fall In Live Again."

Dimitry From Paris remixes Quincy Jones and His Orchestra's "Soul Bossa Nova" (from the debut). With Austin samples and the now-familiar horn bursts, this de facto theme song will make your mojo work overtime.



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