Step Up 4: Miami Heat – OST Review
Review by Jack Foley
AS EXPECTED, the soundtrack for Step Up 4: Miami Heat is high on energy and designed to reflect the Miami dance scene in which it’s set.
And the soundtrack has assembled a heavyweight cast of names to add extra heat to the song selection, regardless of whether you intend to see the movie or not.
Hence, Justin Bieber crops up on Far East Movement’s Live My Life, Timbaland weighs in with some typically heavy dance beats, M.I.A lends the Miami club scene an eastern flavour and J-Lo gets over all heavy R’n’B and hip-hop influenced with the help of Flo Rida and Lil John.
Perhaps the only real surprise in this collection comes from The Cinematic Orchestra, whose beautifully beguiling To Build A Home rounds things off on a quiet, sombre note that probably reflects one of the film’s moments of calm.
It’s a classy track and usefully added to potentially broaden the listening palette of the dance enthusiasts who are otherwise sure to flock to the album’s biggest tracks, by virtue of their mainstream appeal and star names. So, if nothing else, this soundtrack has the potential to bring the Cinematic Orchestra some long overdue new fans, as well as the Ninja Tune label to which they belong.
Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the Step Up franchise… big beats, aggressive beats married to the type of sound that’s also synonymous with rival movie franchises such as Fast & Furious.
On this occasion, the beats are insanely pumped up, while a lot of the synth arrangements are warped to the point of becoming irritating, even from some of the artists who should be offering something more interesting. If anything, the album pretty much sums up all that’s soulless and ordinary about this form of modern dance music.
Of bearable quality are the likes of Far East Movement’s Live My Life (featuring the Bieber), which has a semi-decent chorus, albeit with the synth sound still built in that’s just plain ugly and annoying.
Timbaland’s Hands In The Air drops some typically incendiary beats, which marry R’n’B with hip hop, while Skylar Grey mixes in some interesting rhythms on Dance Without You. But quality tracks are in short supply unless you have one eye on the big club sounds of Miami and Ibiza, in which case this works whether you’ve seen the film or not.
Download picks: To Build A Home, Hands In The Air, Dance Without You