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Miami Vice - OST

Miami Vice, OST

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

JAN Hammer’s original Miami Vice soundrack is apparently the highest-selling of all-time thanks to its mix of ’80s-based synthesizer’s and records of the moment such as Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight.

There’s no trace of Mr Hammer on the soundtrack for the new film, even though the artist was reportedly given the opportunity to score new material (but declined).

Indeed, the only hint of anything ’80s lies in the opening track, a pale cover version of the aforementioned Phil Collins number that represents the weakest point of the compilation.

Fortunately, like the movie, the remaining records are as stylish and memorable as Michael Mann’s powerhouse movie – indicative of the atmosphere, the sexiness and the vibrancy of life on the edge in Miami and its surrounding borders.

In movie form, Miami Vice provides a visual treat that provides a veritable tour-de-force for Michael Mann fans. And just as his choice of accompanying music helped elevate the original TV series to a higher plain, so too does his mix for the soundtrack.

You want moody, atmospheric and music to match the cinematic sweep of his camera-work, then who better than Mogwai? The Glasgow-based outfit contribute two contrasting efforts from their latest long-player Mr Beast in the form of Auto Rock and We’re No Here.

The latter provides an explosive mix of emotive guitars and crashing drums that expertly taps into the tension and heat of a Miami drugs deal, while the former is built around a melancholy central piano note that gradually becomes engulfed by a swell of fiesty guitars and pummelling drum beats. As an accompaniment to several of the movie’s emotional scenes, it’s damn-near perfect.

Elsewhere, the opening club scene provides plenty of scope for a few choice dance-floor fillers, such as Moby’s heady Anthem, Goldfrapp’s Strict Machine and Felix Da Housecat’s Heavenly House mix of Nina Simone’s seminal Sinnerman.

The Latin flavour inspired by the movie’s excursions to Cuba and Haiti is evident on Manzanita’s boisterous Arranca and Emilio Estefan’s Pennies In My Pocket.

But for the most part, the soundtrack succeeds in delivering some superb mood music that works perfectly in tandem with Mann’s breathtaking camera work – whether it’s Crockett’s love scenes with Gong Li’s Isabella, or the numerous shots of planes and/or helicopters in the sky, or speedboats bouncing across ocean waves.

Hence, for romance there’s India Aria’s supremely sultry Ready For Love that comes steeped in classic values, or John Murphy’s Mercado Nuevo and Who Are You which juxtapose the melancholy with the atmospheric to superb effect.

Klaus Badelt and Mark Batson’s closing track A-500 is another beautiful piece of music that effortlessly recaptures and replays seminal moments from the film in the soundtrack of your mind.

The only other minor criticism is that the mash-up of Jay-Z and Linkin Park’s Numb/Encore that features so prominently in all of the trailers, TV spots and during the opening moments of the film isn’t anywhere to be heard.

That said, this is still a soundtrack that’s every bit as smooth as the movie itself. If you dig the new-look Vice, then the soundtrack is an essential part of the deal (just like its ’80s counterpart).

Read our review of the film

Track listing:

  1. In The Air Tonight-Nonpoint
  2. One Of These Mornings-Moby Feat. Patti Labelle
  3. We’re No Here-Mogwai
  4. Sinnerman-Nina Simone [Felix Da Housecat’s Heavenly House Mix]
  5. Auto Rock-Mogwai
  6. Arranca-Manzanita
  7. Ready For Love-India Arie
  8. Strict Machine-Goldfrapp
  9. Pennies In My Pocket-Emilio Estefan
  10. New World In My View-King Britt
  11. Sweep-Blue Foundation
  12. Anthem-Moby
  13. Blacklight Fantasy-Freaky Chakra
  14. Mercado Nuevo-John Murphy
  15. Who Are You-John Murphy
  16. Ramblas-King Britt & Tim Motzer
  17. A-500-Klaus Badelt & Mark Batson

  1. A good part of this is great. The movie itself is a 10 or
    maybe an 11 out of 10. And the music is fine, although I would have liked an old part of the tunes in the movie. Nevertheless, it’s a great thing that movie, Miami Vice

    didier van hese    Aug 14    #