A Handful of Pop Music Jewels Make This Soundtrack Worth The
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 04/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 1992 THE CRYING GAME was and is an extraordinary film, and it used music in a particularly interesting way. Popular songs tended to make an ironic comment about the characters and their situations; instrumentals composed specifically for the film tended to misdirect expectations. But it is a rare film soundtrack that can stand entirely alone from the film for which it was created, and in this the soundtrack for THE CRYING GAME is actually somewhat typical of the genre. You can certainly enjoy the popular songs on their own, but the instrumentals have little relevence beyond the film itself.
Originally named THE SOLDIER'S WIFE, the film ultimately drew its title from the 1964 hit by Dave Berry, a song that reoccurred throughout the film. The soundtrack opens with a lush, exotic arrangement of "The Crying Game" recorded by Boy George specifically for the soundtrack; it is an elegant piece of work, with George's vocal skills remarkably well suited to the plantive lyrics and the James-Bond-like guitar that weaves through it. It is then followed by a number of vocals, a few of which were recorded independently by other artists but several of which were made specifically for the film.
Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman" is a great R&B classic; Lyle Lovett's recording of "Stand By Your Man" is surprise, for one doesn't really expect a man to record the song--but he not only does justice to it, he gives the piece an unexpected illumination in the process. And then, of course, there is the original Dave Berry song, which is indeed an increasingly hard-to-find item and is indeed a classic of its kind. All of these songs are certainly worth having.
As for the rest of the soundtrack--not really. The versions of "Live For Today," "Let The Music Play," and the WWII classic "White Clifts of Dover" are credible (although one really misses Vera Lynn on the latter!), but I would not describe any of them as essential. And the instrumental selections composed specifically for the film, and which serve it so well, really do not stand alone very well; I cannot imagine many people who would enjoy repeatedly listening to the oddly paranoid mixture of military drums that overlay the wistful instrumentals on these selections.
If you are a hardcore fan of the film you'll certainly want the soundtrack, for it summons images from the film that are not easily described without reference to the film itself. On the other hand, if you are less interested in the film than in an artful soundtrack, you might find the whole thing more trouble than it is worth, particularly since the handful of pop jewels are available elsewhere. But I will say that I found the two versions of "The Crying Game" offered here worth the cost of the CD. Recommended with stated reservations.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer"
As enigmatic as the movie that spawned it!
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 04/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
""The Crying Game" has to be one of the oddest soundtrack albums of all times, probably befitting the film from which it came. It features old school R & B, dance/disco, pop, and orchestral/incidental music. The first half of vocal selections paired with the second's Anne Dudley score makes for a quite erratic listening experience. The album is like an "appetizer platter" where there's something for everyone but not enough to satisfy the "hunger"."