As inevitable as tie-in toys and just as disposable, blockbuster soundtrack albums are now merely part of the Hollywood marketing grind. That view, while justified, still sells these records short. Movie soundtracks have become useful educational tools for all facets of the entertainment business — not to mention for life in general! For instance:

Soundtrack as Metaphor: As action flicks become increasingly cacophonous and out of control, it’s only appropriate that their soundtracks tag along. For his score for Con Air, former Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin ditches orchestral pomp and substitutes a hyperactive mix of swooping strings, squealing guitar arpeggios, and pounding rock drumming. If an album called The London Symphony Plays Ministry Classics were to exist, it would sound like this. The results are jarring and overpowering — just like Con Air and its cinematic brethren in arms. (P.S. Trisha Yearwood’s banal love theme ”How Do I Live” is not here; currently it’s available only as a single.) B-

Con Air
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