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Gangs of New York

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Bono
Bono: Garrett Brennan/Camera Press/Retna

Sprawling, schizophrenic, and intermittently brilliant, the Gangs of New York soundtrack aims to be, quite literally, the sound of the American immigrant experience. So you get, among other things, funk-Irish fusion, field recordings of early black musicians, fife and drums bands, Chinese opera — plus Tuvan throat singing and U2, whose ”The Hands That Built America” fits marginally better here than in the film. For all the ambition, the straight-up Irish reels and snippets of Howard Shore’s orchestral score work best.