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21 OST - Review

21 OST

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

21 is a new film from Sony Pictures that was inspired by the true story of six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas cainos for millions in winnings.

The film stars Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth and Britain’s Jim Sturgess and is directed by Robert Luketic (of Legally Blonde fame). It successfully captures the razzle dazzle of Vegas and the high of winning at the casinos.

And, as such, it boasts a terrific soundtrack that totally taps into the pulse of the film and features some of the coolest acts around, both in pop terms and off-mainstream (where most of the best artists lie).

We’re talking the likes of MGMT’s euphoric Time To Pretend, a brilliant slice of space rock that combines elements of psychedelia with some lively flourishes of organ, and Peter, Bjorn and John’s Young Folks, the song with the handclap beats and whistle.

Worth checking out, too, are LCD Soundsystem’s funky slice of synth-pop Big Ideas and Amon Tobin’s Always, which begins with a fairground flourish, before dropping an ultra hip beat and some falsetto-heavy vocals. You’ll be dancing before you know it, crying out for more.

The Duke Spirit’s Leila Moss adds some ethereal, Bjork-like vocals to Dave Sardy’s prog-rock monster Giant, while The Aliens add some trippy psychedelia to the excellent I Am Unknown.

Of the more widely known songs to appear, Rihanna’s Shut Up And Drive is a no-nonsense dancefloor filler ripped right out of Destiny’s Child and the Sugababes’ copy book, while Kasabian’s seminal LSF (Lost Souls Forever) gets a supremely funky Mark Ronson reboot (yep, the horns are back!)

And even the Rolling Stones get in on the act with a Soulwax remix of their classic You Can’t Always Get What You Want, which, admittedly, takes a lot of getting used to, but is still well-served by that fantastic sing-along chorus.

There are plenty of other highlights, too, to ensure that 21 is the type of soundtrack that’s worth owning whether you intend to see the movie or not. It’s cool, hip, loaded with classics and successfully recaptures that Vegas rush. Oh, and the Soulwax remix, Big Ideas and Giant are all new tracks, recorded especially for the film.

Now check out our verdict on the movie or read our interview with Kevin Spacey or view photos of Kate Bosworth

Download picks: Time To Pretend, Giant, Always, Young Folks, I Am Unknown, LSF, Hold My Hand

Track listing:

  1. You Can’t Always Get What You Want [Soulwax mix/previously unreleased] – Rolling Stones
  2. Time To Pretend [extra clean version] – MGMT
  3. Big Ideas [previously unreleased] – LCD Soundsystem
  4. Giant [previously unreleased] – Dave Sardy & Leila
  5. Always – Amon Tobin
  6. Young Folks – Peter Bjorn & John
  7. Mad Pursuit – Junkie XL & Electrocute
  8. Sister Self Doubt – Get Shakes
  9. I Am The Unknown – Aliens
  10. Shut Up And Drive – Rihanna
  11. Alright – Knivez Out
  12. Tropical Moonlight – Domino
  13. Hold My Hand – UNKLE
  14. LSF (Lost Souls Forever) – Mark Ronson & Kasabian
  15. Tender Buttons – Broadcast