"Truth is I was so transfixed by the visuals that the soundtrack to the movie didn't enter my consciousness. It was the superlative Vedder/Nasrat Fateh Ali Khan duets on radio that drew me to this fabulous compilation. Truth is also that while knowing of Pearl Jam, I'd never given Eddie more than glancing attention. Ali Khan I'd heard since the mid 1980s. Their singing on this CD is compelling. Then there was the challenge set for the song champs by Tim Robbins to write their impressions from a roughcut of the film. The dividends aren't quite so great. Springsteen, Michelle Shocked, Susan Vega, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and my favourite here, Lyle Lovett, all returned wonderful material. Lovett's pure diction & phrasing ensures the enunciating of failed promises,and failed words, cuts deep. Springsteen sets the mood with a fairly literal condensing of the film's narrative. I consider it stronger than anything on,'Tom Joad'. And as Springsteen's voice assembles Sean Penn's screen face for me, so does Carpenter's erect Susan Saradons'. The star cast emerge collectively with absorbing material, though none quite match Vedder(who later at Bob Dylan's CBS bash, stole the show with 'Masters of War)and Ali Khans'."
Pep rally for the defense
Dylan Garcia | Northshore New Orleans | 01/08/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I pulled this gem out of the vault this morning for the first time in a while. It lived in the CD changer for an extended period before it was temporarily retired. Listening as I write for the first time in a couple of years. No criminal defense lawyer should be without it.
Eddie Vedder is absolutely at the top of his game here. Tom Waits as well. Not a bad cut on the disc, although some are better than others. "The Boss" opens the album up with a borderline tune but does well setting the stage for what follows. Lyle Lovette struggles, but Vedder follows up with the most interesting cut in the collection thereby rescuing the mood.
Very good album, especially for a compulation (don't like them, hence 3 stars). Of couse, like all politcal music, your own stance on the issues will guide your judgement on this one."
Aco | 10/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with the soundtrack from Julian Schnabel's Basquiat, Dead Man Walking's album stands out as pivotal in my musichood, as both were from films I loved and introduced me to artists that I have since followed and admired. In that way the medium of the soundtrack is vital, as it works best when it provides a variety of voices and styles to make a pastiche that evokes and supports the story of the film. While Basquiat captures the early 80's of New York, the New Wave, Hip Hop and progressive rock of the time and it's themes, Dead Man Walking captures the Americana of the story; rural and working class culture and paralysis, the cycles of violence and cruelty of the justice system, the power of devotion and faith and the transcendance of love and forgiveness-no matter the crime. After all few can evoke the struggles and triumphs of the common man and woman better than Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle. Before I saw this film and acquired the album I didn't know who Steve Earle was, and if nothing else, this disc will always stand out for that. There is much beauty here, particularly Eddie Vedder and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's songs, and Michelle Shocked's elegant The Quality of Mercy-channeling Shakespeare himself. A great album. "
C. Scholtens | Stevensville, Montana USA | 05/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Loved the movie, love the CD. Intense songs by all artists. The Nusrat Fateh, Ali Khan songs take some getting used to, but after a few listens they start working their way into your mind, they sound just perfect. The only song I don't like is the Michelle Shocked tune, it continues to be abrasive and irritating to the ears after many listens! I love most of her songs, so don't know why this one is hits me that way. Everyone else on the CD is great."