The problem with soundtracks is that so often the bands on the album sound nothing alike and have no business being on the same disc. The songs aren’t linear and end up being all over the place in mood, tempo, and style. Recent cases in point: I Know What You Did Last Summer and Batman and Robin. Who wants to buy a mishmash of Top 40 and alt.rock for two decent songs?
There have been some notable exceptions that have tried to combat this throw-this-mess-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks mentality. Look at Tarantino’s soundtracks, The Full Monty, and even Grosse Point Blank.
Anyway, it’s a pretty good guess that a 4AD soundtrack will: a) sound good, and b) have compatible styles throughout. Guess what? That’s right on in the case of Joyride. Kicking off with a nice instrumental version of Lush’s “Light from a Dead Star,” it progresses on to wonderful tracks from Spirea X, Tarnation, This Mortal Coil, His Name Is Alive and Pale Saints. Vocals are nearly an aside throughout the album, as most of the songs focus more on the music.
There’s even a couple of non-4AD bands, Baked Beans and Oliver Lieb, which add some rich, heavy-on-the-atmospheric type tracks. All told, this is an excellent – and surprisingly versatile – soundtrack to a film the press release calls a “Gen X film noir” about two guys, a girl, a killer and her car. Make your own judgment there.