This review was first
published on CLUAS in 2002
Other albums reviewed in 2002
David Holmes & Others
A review of the album 'Music From the Motion Picture Ocean's 11'
When director Stephen Soderbergh decide to remake "Ocean's 11", many would have expected him to succumb to the rejuvenated cool of the rat pack and fill up an album's worth of classics from frank, deano, sammy et al. However, in saying this, it was hardly no surprise that he gave Belfast DJ / producer David Holmes control over the soundtrack. After all, Holmer had done an impressive job on the score of Soderbergh's "Out of Sight" and his previous studio albums showed his lust for film, with dialogue adding a great deal to the content.
There are two schools of thought on the soundtrack. Firstly, there is the original score, where someone writes material especially for the movie. On the other hand, a soundtrack can serve as useful a purpose as a compilation, just gathering different artists together, and can often be an excuse to rehash old hits and sell them in a new way. On this soundtrack, Holmes manages to combine both schools of thought in a rather fine way. The fact that he matches up the orchestral stylings of Debussy ("Clair De Lune") with Quincy Jones ("Blues in the night"); a rare enough Elvis track ("A little less conversation") with some late 90's hip-hop (Handsome Boy Modeling School's "The Projects") and some of his own material is quite remarkable. In total Holmes contributes about nine of his own tracks, which display some jazz influences that haven't really informed much of his previous work. Of the new material, the infectious "Boobytrappin" & the beautiful "Tess" are definitely highlights. He also throws in two of his best ("Gritty Shaker" from his 1997 album 'Let's Killed', and '69 Police' from Bow Down...) for good measure. Sweet!
"Oceans" is not Holmes' best work, but is approaching it. He manages to combine so many different genres effortlessly, and hopefully this will alert people to his previous work. Perhaps this album could have been subtitled "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue".
Check out a CLUAS review of the film Ocean's 11.