Album Review: Various Artists Spring Breakers Soundtrack (Atlantic)
Harmony Korine is one of US cinema's more polarising figures and the soundtrack for his latest movie also falls into the love-hate category.
Spring Breakers finds Californian electronica whizz Skrillex providing the bulk of the actual songs (both old and new), while the score is courtesy of Cliff Martinez, who attracted euphoric praise for his 1980s-influenced synth atmospherics on the Ryan Gosling vehicle, Drive.
The hugely popular Skrillex may be over-rated – and there's plenty of evidence of that here – but his original calling card Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites still sounds immense, while specially written Ride Home and Park Smoke are compellingly aggressive slices of dubstep that work outside the context of the film.
And that's what makes this soundtrack offering more appealing than most.
You don't need to have seen what Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens get up to appreciate this collection in its own right.
The unsettling electronic interludes from Martinez are particularly noteworthy, especially on Pretend It's a Video Game and Your Friends Ain't Gonna Leave With You.
Amid these different strands of EDM (to employ that chiefly US acronym for electronic dance music) sits hip-hop from Gucci Mane – who makes his acting debut in the film – and the movie's star, James Franco, whose attempts at rap aren't too shabby at all. Granted, the latter won't be giving Jay-Z any sleepless nights, but the former Oscars host doesn't disgrace himself either.
The soundtrack also features a forgettable contribution from Ellie Goulding, whose presence isn't so surprising when you consider her romantic connection to Skrillex.
KEY TRACKS Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites; Pretend It's a Video Game