By Tom Sinclair
Updated February 25, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

Watchmen, Alan Moore’s stunning 1987 graphic novel, convinced many a comic-book naysayer that the superhero genre really could be high art. Sadly, Watchmen: Music From the Motion Picture probably won’t convince many of those who disdain song-driven soundtracks that the format has morphed into something new and edifying. Things kick off with the sole new recording here, My Chemical Romance’s punky romp through Bob Dylan’s ”Desolation Row,” which, while hardly monumental, at least demonstrates some audacity. Why, then, follow up so bold an opening with the original versions of boomer-era warhorses like Simon and Garfunkel’s ”The Sound of Silence,” the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ”All Along the Watchtower,” and Janis Joplin’s ”Me and Bobby McGee”? (What, no ”Stairway to Heaven”?) The cooler move would have been to turn younger artists loose on those sacred cows. Elsewhere, the churchlike Philip Glass selection and choice cuts from Leonard Cohen and Billie Holiday are welcome, but can’t eclipse the overall sense that some intriguing opportunities were missed. Even the closing track, Nina Simone’s classic recording of ”Pirate Jenny,” makes you pine for something stranger — like, say, Nickelback murdering ”Mack the Knife.” B?

Download This: Watch the video for the song ”Desolation Row” by My Chemical Romance

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