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Original Soundtracks 1 – Passengers (U2 and Brian Eno)

Original Soundtracks 1

(1995), 4/10
Original Soundtracks 1 is a bargain bin perennial, and I finally gave in when I found a $3 copy. A collaboration between Eno and U2, as well as cameos from Holi, Howie B and Luciano Pavarotti, it’s contrived as a collection of songs from soundtracks of hypothetical art-house movies. While this project received plenty of attention due to U2’s involvement, it’s not particularly interesting in general. Thanks to Eno’s reliable touch, the production sounds terrific, but despite a few great moments there’s little to get excited about. Chief among the great moments is ‘Miss Sarajevo’, hypothetically the central song for a documentary featuring a beauty pageant in the war torn former Yugoslavia. A reflective ballad, it’s easily the best song here even before Pavarotti’s show-stopping entrance. The Edge plays some nice organ on ‘Your Blue Room’, and Holi’s vocal spotlight on ‘Ito Okashi’ is interesting, but by and large the invented film synopsises are more remarkable than the songs themselves. The music’s too esoteric to appeal to most U2 fans, while it’s nowhere as engaging as Eno’s best work. ‘Miss Sarajevo’ is well worth hearing, but the rest of this album is largely negligible.

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