Music From Baz Luhrmann's Film
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
of the Movie Musical
ove him or hate him, there is no denying Baz Luhrmann has an uncanny
ability to make the extravagant... intriguing. His modern
imagining of Romeo and Juliet changed the classic tale's
status from "old" to "hip," and Moulin
Rouge just may bring about the rebirth of the movie musical
- a genre sorely missed in the past few decades.
released weeks before the film's opening, showcases a variety
of genres and talent, hoping to build anticipation for the film.
And it attempts to accomplish this by appealing to the eclectic
edge of pop culture. And, for the most part, it succeeds.
biggest single, a remake of LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade"
by pop superstars Christina Aguilera, Li'l Kim, Mya, and Pink,
has taken care of the MTV crowd. And to be fair, it is a strong
remake - any other collection of femme fatales would have been
an insult to the song, and Missy Misdemeanor Elliot's production
expertise is put to amazing work. Say what you will about the
track - it couldn't have been redone better.
The rest of
the album basically consists of other remade, reworked, and reborn
songs. David Bowie lends his vocals on fitting closing and opening
versions of Eden Ahbez's "Nature Boy" - the latter of
which a trip-hopped take with Massive Attack. Yet, Valeria's version
of "Rhythm of the Night" not only feels uninspired,
but begs the question of "why?"
protagonists Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor lend vocals on about
half of the album, mostly consisting of remakes and montages of
songs from pop culture of past (yet future, as Moulin Rouge is
set in 1890s Paris). Both are amazingly strong in their vocal
abilities, most notably McGregor's version of Elton John's "Your
Song" (think "Robbie Williams ballad") and Kidman's
"Sparkling Diamonds" - a brilliant intertwining of Marilyn
Monroe's "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" and Madonna's
album seems to lack a cohesive feel, due mostly to sub-par tracks
stuck between the soundtrack's gems. Fatboy Slim's "Because
We Can" might work in the film, but on disc it gets old and
repetitive much before the song's end, and Beck's "Diamond
Dogs" is just as easily forgettable.
still remains, however - the question as to whether these songs
will work in the film. I'm putting my bet on the "they will"
camp. The songs all seem perfectly fit for a film - not only the
gems, but even possibly the throwaways. And, while the album won't
be on any of the "Best Albums of 2001" lists, it still
outdoes what most soundtracks attempt to accomplish - it accompanies
liked Moulin Rouge...
2. Lady Marmalade
3. Because We Can
4. Sparkling Diamonds
5. Rhythm of the Night
6. Your Song
7. Children of the Revolution
8. One Day I'll Fly Away
9. Diamond Dogs
10. Elephant Love Medley
11. Come What May
12. El Tango De Roxanne
13. Complainte De La Butte
14. Hindi Sad Diamonds
15. Nature Boy