Review Summary: Necessary for a soundtrack enthusiast.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
The Beach is a mysterious island paradise, known elsewhere as a myth. However if one so deeply desires to reach this place, with a little guts and a map they’ll get there. When they do, they’ll encounter enough dope to last them a lifetime, and a small but friendly village of people who depend on each other and the secrecy they strive to keep. When a young American backpacker named Richard decides to visit with two curious friends a story for the ages unfolds, beautifully and tragically. Still, the vibrant memories of The Beach live on through its exquisite soundtrack. Befitting a tropical utopia, The Beach’s soundtrack evokes such emotion one would feel swimming in turquoise waters illuminated by krill at nightfall, or gazing at the gorgeous, clear skies on a beach early in the morning. Perhaps you want to dance with your fellow villagers around a fire, or jump off the top of a waterfall into the misty waters below. Rousing romance that would incite such behavior is to be found on this film’s song compilation.
You’ll hear artists like UNKLE, Moby, New Order, Sugar Ray, and Blur, among others doing their best to find the equatorial side of their musicianship. The music is everything from chilled out electronica to guitar-driven, radiant beach anthems, completely on the same wavelength as the movie’s vibe. Many of the songs are a tad lengthy but the artist’s atmospheric mastery does not conflict with this, in fact it’s more of a benefit. You’ll notice superb use of electronic equipment in “Woozy” (by Faithless), an extremely melodious Californian sunny-day song in Sugar Ray’s “Spinning Away”, Moby at his best on “Porcelain”, likely the most relaxing track on the entire album, and England indie favorites Blur and New Order performing such uplifting tracks as “On Your Own” and “Brutal”, respectively.
People go on vacation to find content and tranquility; but this was no ordinary vacation at all. This was a search for Nirvana, a quest for an enlightening experience. Richard went in sickened from society and he was reaching for nothing but inner peace – little did he know he was standing on the tips of his toes, over seriously hot water. The downbeat music from the soundtrack exemplify Rich’s scarily possible situation quite well. Soundtrack guru Barry Adamson creates an Apocalypse Now-esque tour through an insanity stricken Richard’s mind (Richard, Its Business As Usual). Richard had been exiled from his newfound village family for bringing unwanted guests to the island, and is given the task to send them away and spoil their curiosity. Rich becomes attached to the island, growing unstable during his loneliness and has hazy hallucinations of a dead character, taking his duty to a highly unnecessary level (i.e. Colonel Walter Kurtz from Apocalypse Now). It is the only track that delves into Richard’s unhinged mind, but it does its job fantastically and is easily one of the finer moments of this soundtrack.
All in all, with the exception of Adamson’s masterpiece I’d certainly call this a beach album. The coastal serenity is marvelous, and in combination with the wonderful DiCaprio film, a sublime experience. Whenever I listen to these pulsing melodies I can’t help but wish I was in Richard’s position, if only for just a while. This is one of the most professionally crafted soundtracks I’ve had the privilege to hear.
Richard, Its Business As Usual, Woozy, 8 Ball, Porcelain, Beached
Never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite, and never outstay your welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it. - Richard