Review Summary: Branching out from their past, the latest Underworld soundtrack provides many fun moments and an eclectic mix of artists.
The Underworld soundtracks have been a strangely pleasant bastion of solid tracks and the occasional downright godly remix since the first OST was released back in 2003. While the films themselves might be a debatable topic due to the quasi-recent vampire fad the appeal of seeing a leather clad Kate Beckinsale do her thing never left me; luckily Awakening
's soundtrack was up to par, if in a slightly different way.
While the tracklisting of most of the soundtracks have never been ones to inspire confidence the fact of the matter is that no matter how much you might really hate William Control, Evanescence, or Lacuna Coil's later work none of that is really important; in this setting the artists can sometime shine, with past wrongs being forgotten in the album's flow. The obvious example of this is the Renholder remix of Evanescence's “Made Of Stone.” Starting with a lower tempo club beat, the remix is far heavier due to a delightful sounding synth line and some more emphatic drum samples. Not only does this recall the bands darker heyday but it also allows Amy Lee's voice to shine, making one wish for the Renholder treatment to come to the band's entire 2011 release.
Robert Smith returns with “Apart” and is on excellent form, providing an almost A Perfect Circle/Maynard-esque vocal performance. When the vocals stop you can hear a synth line that sounds as if it was taken right out of Smith's quirky yet loveable “Lullaby,” and as the nostalgia of the old song washes over you Smith's vocals come weave back in, accompanied by light female high cleans and an almost tribal beat. Moments like this, ones of wonder and even beauty, are found throughout the albums hefty 17 tracks, bringing with it the reassurance that this is an album fit for being played on repeat.
There is one main issue that diminishes the album's otherwise shining light, and it's one many a lengthy release faces. By the time Ministry's “Watch Yourself” hits to the end of William Control's “The Posthumous Letter” the tracklisting takes its first stumble; this section of the album really drags. Wedged in between three relatively average tracks sits The Naked and Famous's “Young Blood” and Black Light Burns “It Rapes All in Its Path.” The former is decidedly gorgeous when compared to the emphasis on male vocals in Lacuna Coil's offering while the latter proves to be a strangely catchy dark affair that somehow manages to weave its melody into your skull. Placing these two tracks in with the others only serves to highlight their strengths, effectively nullifying the offerings of the others and emphasizing the lack of flow.
It's difficult to describe an album filled with as many artists as have been compiled here, there's honestly a little bit for everyone. The Underworld soundtrack's as a whole have been steadily branching out both stylistically and artistically, and Awakening
continues this. From the VAST like vocals on “How'm I Supposed To Die” to the dark, upbeat, almost Angelspit nature of “Consolation Prize” Awakening
suites both as an accompaniment to the film and as a stand alone listen. Though the flow of the album suffers in the middle it's not enough to change the albums overall appeal or quality; this is something you should listen to.