Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Album Review: T2 Trainspotting (Soundtrack) (2017)

I initially intended to pick up a copy of the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack via an online download, but then I realised it was far more fitting to grab a CD version of the album – something that pays homage to the era of the original (movie and OST) and the inherent sense of nostalgia that comes with a cult movie sequel of this nature.

Nothing screams “the 1990s” louder than a CD, and of course, buying the CD meant I could also satisfy my collector/OCD tendencies by stacking the latest version on a shelf alongside CD copies of the two previous Trainspotting soundtrack albums (reviews here). It’s the little things, right?

That sort of attention to detail wouldn’t be lost on the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack compilers, and there’s real synergy (ugh, sorry) between the 1996/1997 albums and this new edition, including returns for Iggy Pop, with a beefy Prodigy-mixed ‘Lust For Life’, Blondie, with ‘Dreaming’, and a couple of tracks from Underworld, with the epic ‘Born Slippy’ getting a ‘Slow Slippy’ makeover this time around.

And just like the original(s), T2 contains an absorbing blend of the “old” and the “new”: in addition to the aforementioned grizzled campaigners, The Clash (‘White Man’), Frankie (‘Relax’), Queen (‘Radio Gaga’), and Run DMC (‘It’s Like That’), all sit comfortably alongside next generation notables like Wolf Alice (‘Silk’), High Contrast (‘Shotgun Mouthwash’), and the Mercury Prize-winning Edinburgh hip hop crew, Young Fathers, who offer up three tracks including ‘Only God Knows’, which gets the benefit of some backing from the Leith Congregational Choir.

As ever, the litmus test for a successful soundtrack is not just about whether or not it accurately represents the mood and sounds of the movie, but how it pieces together or flows when removed from the context of that cinema experience. Does it stand-up as a compelling listen in its own right?

In the case of the T2 OST, despite what might normally be considered a potentially disastrous pick n’ mix magpie approach, a tracklisting that spans some five decades, I think it stacks up well.

And that’s not just because the album has, like the movie itself, a massive slab of nostalgia right at its core, it’s also because it acknowledges that life moves on, and because it celebrates the present every bit as much as it clings to the past. Which is not something we can say every day of the week up here on the distinctly retro-fitted top floor of everythingsgonegreen towers.

Highly recommended, and if you like a bit of street violence with your black comedy/drama, then the movie is not a bad watch either. As with the original movie, many of the best scenes involve a toilet of some description (ahem) ...

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