First off, its one thing to have a soundtrack, its another to have songs that didn't make the grade. Having songs on a soundtrack that were never in the movie always strikes me as dishonest. Don't blame the bands, they most likely go to the movie and sit through the whole thing before they say "Hey! Where was our song?"
The disc starts off with a bang as MYSTIKAL leads the charge with "The Edge Of The Blade". This song is totally and completely BLADE and would make no sense without it. Great Rap! MYSTIKAL is one of the best!
GANG STARR Featuring M.O.P. matches the intensity of the movie and carries the sword with "1/2 & 1/2". In a world of copycat "Gangsta" Rappers with nothing new to say, GANG STARR remains a powerful voice.
KRS-ONE Featuring CHANNEL LIVE does a tense and dangerous Rap with their song, "Blade". Calling attention to the aforementioned trend followers in Gangsta rap, they also cut a swath through this album with lightening fast (yet clear) throw down lyrics.
DOWN 2 EARTH featuring ROME takes a different tack with a soulful slow Rap on "Fightin' A War". This is a strange song in that it is both nihilistic and hopeful at the same time. Nearly a story within itself, this is one of those songs that you gotta play again before you let the album continue.
P.A. tells the same old story I've heard a million times in a million other Raps. What keeps this one from sinking is both the lyrics "Will the angels fly tonight?" as well as the music itself. Music usually takes a backseat to the words in most Raps, but this piece is both moody and skin crawling creepy. The lyrics, while telling the old story, don't glorify it. "When judgement is passed all thoughts will prevail / to probate you to heaven or damn you to hell".
WOLFPAK hits hard with Bounce. It has the kind of lyrics that you expect from the kind of insane childish talk that you hear on the street just before the caps fly. Having been there and done that, this song really gets inside me and brings up memories less than joyful. Damn good one.
KASINO just does the same old story and doesn't have a new or original way of doing it. The "I'm so great and better than you, all the ladies love me, I'm so tough, etc., yawn, yawn." Dull, dull, dull.
BOUNTY KILLER Featuring MOBB DEEP & RAPPIN' NOYD do "Deadly Zone" and they do it all the right way. They tell the same story that KASINO was trying to tell but they crack it all apart and open the corpse wide. Like a live and cocked gun right beneath your chin. This song is the voice of the eight year olds grabbing their big brother's gun and killing wild in the childish belief that murder makes them men. Then they grow up and sound like dangerous cocky idiots, unsavable. This song tells the tale and does the deed.
MAJESTY Featuring BIZZY BONE does "Blade 4 Glory". This is dance pure and simple with no message to lay down, other than the movie itself. It's fun but not outstanding like the first six songs on this soundtrack.
MANTRONIK VS. EPMD gets into real hardcore dance with "Strictly Business", slamming the beats and riding the Rap in a typhoon stream. Curtis MANTRONIK remains at the top of his form and is unstoppable.
ROGER S. Featuring SOULSON's song "Wrek Tha Discotek" is purely techno and a radical change from the rest of this soundtrack. This is a song about being a complete asshole and screwing up everyone else's good time by shooting up a discotek. Yeah, we don't have enough of those moron's screwing up our lives. This is a goodbeat tune.
NEW ORDER does Confusion. Now we are getting away from the rap and into totally techno territory. What do you expect from TVT, the (former) home of KMFDM, KLF, and the THRILL KILL KULT? Except that those bands are all creative genius types and NEW ORDER basically turns on their rythym loops and then walks across the street to get some lunch. NEW ORDER doesn't have the talent to ever hold a candle to MANTRONIK. Another dull attempt.
EXPANSION UNION takes their turn with "Playing with Lightening". Showing a bit more attention to the beat than NEW ORDER wanted to be bothered with, this song raises the soundtrack back up to the top again.
If you've been sitting down listening to this album, then DJ KRUSH is going to tip your couch over with "Dig This Vibe". A spooky jazz tune like the last song of a drowning man. This song is all mood and it is GREAT mood. This takes the soundtrack into a whole new territory that nobody else dares to enter.
JUNKIE XL does Dealing With The Roster. Taking the techno into Acid territory with a sound that drills a fun hole right through your skull.
This soundtrack has all the makings of a great album if it had only ten songs instead of 15. I'll just consider the 5 throwaway bonus cuts. With 10 out of 15 I'll definitely give the BLADE Soundtrack 4 Perplex Skulls.
This review copyright 1998 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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