Hamlet [2000]

Hamlet [2000]

     
 
"Suit the action to the word, the word to the action," Hamlet instructed the actors visiting the castle Elsinore. Michael Almereyda, who also directed "Twister," suits the music to the setting for his contemporary version of Shakespeare's HAMLET. Unlike the recent update of ROMEO AND JULIET, which featured hit-worthy modern-rock love

Overview

"Suit the action to the word, the word to the action," Hamlet instructed the actors visiting the castle Elsinore. Michael Almereyda, who also directed "Twister," suits the music to the setting for his contemporary version of Shakespeare's HAMLET. Unlike the recent update of ROMEO AND JULIET, which featured hit-worthy modern-rock love songs, this 21st-century Shakespeare culls dark and moodily introspective tracks, often with a nocturnal club beat -- which nicely echoes the New York setting. Primal Scream's version of Roky Erikson's "Slip Inside This House" opens the album, and its slurring and alluring psychedelic invitation serves fair warning that something's rotten in the House of Denmark. Techno-flavored club cuts from Morcheeba (the trippy title song from their 1998 album BIG CALM) and Supreme Beings of Leisure (the Asian-tinged drum and bass of "Sublime") sit comfortably with acoustic songs from Josh Rouse (the melancholy "100M Backstroke") and former Holy Modal Rounder Michael Hurley (the lo-fi "Wildegeeses"). The downcast tone turns at the end of the album, which resurrects a young Nick Cave with the Birthday Party on 1983's postpunk rant "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)" and then chills out with an ambient track from O'Neill and some orchestral theme music. Like Hamlet himself, this soundtrack veers in several directions, but the minor key melodies maintain a coherently introspective mood. And the best part? You won't need any footnotes while you're listening.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The soundtrack to the Michael Almereyda-directed update of Hamlet is unnervingly musically jumpy even by various artist soundtrack standards. The dominant mood is in-your-face post-modern: post-punk, techno, and rap by Primal Scream, the Supreme Beings of Leisure, the Birthday Party (whose "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)" goes on for two or three minutes after everyone has gotten the point), and others. Yet there's also goofball folk by Michael Hurley, sincere contemporary singer/songwriter stuff by Josh Rouse, and a grand classical 13-minute finale, the Niels Wilhelm Gade composition "Echoes From Ossian, Op. 1 in A Minor." Divorced from the context of the movie, it's difficult to envision who might want to play the disc without using the remote search and skip buttons. One good thing to come out of this, though: Primal Scream's cover of the 13th Floor Elevators' "Slip Inside This House" will generate some much-needed royalties for the song's composers, Roky Erickson and Tommy Hall.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/16/2000
Label:
Rykodisc
UPC:
0014431049620
catalogNumber:
10496

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Birthday Party   Track Performer
Michael Hurley   Track Performer
Primal Scream   Track Performer
Morcheeba   Track Performer
Josh Rouse   Track Performer
Four Tet   Track Performer
Supreme Beings of Leisure   Track Performer
Accelera Deck   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Paul Godfrey   Composer
Ross Godfrey   Composer
Skye Edwards   Composer
Jason Furlow   Composer
Michael Almereyda   Liner Notes
Amy Hobby   Producer
George Howard   Executive Producer
Rowland S. Howard   Composer

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