The Sky is the limit for Crowe's soundtrack

Review by Jack Foley

CAMERON Crowe puts his background as a former Rolling Stone journalist to good effect once again, producing the type of soundtrack which not only serves as an excellent companion to the film, but also as a stand alone collection of, mostly, terrific songs.

If Vanilla Sky, the movie, changes direction repeatedly, then so does the soundrack, taking in a diverse cross-section of new and old rock and big beat anthems, some of which are well known, others which are waiting to be discovered, most of which hit the spot.

REM kickstart proceedings with the upbeat All The Right Friends, while Radiohead's Everything In Its Right Place lends an insight into the sombre mood of what is to follow. For like the film, there are moments which are deeply thoughtful, particularly during the latter tracks such as Nancy Wilson's hypnotic Elevator Beat or REM's second offering, Sweetness Follows, expertly used in the film and just a brilliant record.

Elsewhere, Paul McCartney's new recording of Vanilla Sky makes for a pleasant listen, while The Monkees somewhat psychadelic Porpoise Song is a welcome and somewhat obscure trip down memory lane, as is Peter Gabriel's often-used Solsbury Hill. There is even a track by Julianna Gianni, called I Fall Apart, which the more eagle-eyed viewers will be quick to spot has been recorded by Cameron Diaz.

Of the newer, more upbeat, and dance-orientated material, Looper's Mondo '77 is a very chirpy, organ-fuelled dancefloor filler. Leftfield's Afrika Shox is, as you probably know, one of the better dance anthems of recent years, while The Chemical Brothers weigh in with a blistering track to round off the soundtrack - Where Do I Begin, featuring the vocal talents of Beth Orton - which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face when the beat kicks in.

For those who like their music to be a little diverse and a little challenging, this is damn near unmissable. It has to rate as one of the soundtracks of the moment and even for those not intending to see the movie, may well be worth a listen.

1. REM/All The Right Friends
2. Radiohead/Everything In Its Right Place
3. Paul McCartney/Vanilla Sky
4. Peter Gabriel/Solsbury Hill
5. Julianna Gianni/I Fall Apart
6. The Monkees/Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)
7. Looper (Featuring Francis Macdonald) Mondo '77
8. Red House Painters/Have You Forgotten
9. Josh Rouse/Directions
10. Leftfield/Afrika Bambaataa/Afrika Shox
11. Sigur Ros/Svefn-g-englar
12. Jeff Buckley/Last Goodbye
13. Todd Rundgren/Can We Still Be Friends
14. Bob Dylan/Fourth Time Around
15. Nancy Wilson/Elevator Beat
16. REM/Sweetness Follows
17. The Chemical Brothers/Where Do I Begin