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Original Soundtrack

Stigmata

Format: CD   Release Date: 08/24/1999
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It's too bad that the soundtrack for the much-delayed supernatural religious horror film Stigmata opens with an industrial-metal remix of Chumbawamba's "Mary Mary," since it gives the misleading impression that the record will be a dark, gloomy noise-fest. Well, the album may be dark and gloomy, but it's not always noisy -- at it's best, it's eerily evocative. And it's at its best on the second half of the album, which is devoted to Billy Corgan and Mike Garson's rich, disquieting score. This is mood music of the highest order, seamlessly flowing between orchestral moments, electronic soundscapes, dissonance, and light. It's unfortunate that the entire album wasn't entirely instrumental, since it would have been a more satisfying listen. That's not to say that the first half of the album is terrible -- there's quite a few good songs there, actually, highlighted by Bjork's "All is Full of Love" (from Homogenic), Afro Celt Sound System Sinead O'Connor's "Release," and the Corgan-Garson written/Natalie Imbruglia sung "Identify." ("The Pretty Things are Going to Hell," a sneak preview of David Bowie's upcoming hours..., is an embarrassing excursion into post-NIN industrial-metal schlock, and the only truly weak selection on the record.) However, it doesn't fit with the second half, which feels more like the film and is a more satisfying listen on its own terms. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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