The probably not quite so eagerly awaited Volume 2 of the Kill Bill revenge-fest is about to hit the UK’s cinema screens, and sure enough the soundtrack is hitting the record shops.
The album commences with an Uma Thurman monologue explaining that after having been put in a coma on her wedding day and waking up years later she is to set off on a revenge fuelled rampage. From the tracks which follow, however, it seems more like she is doing a tour of Mexican fiestas and one-hoss towns in the Wild West. Also thrown in to pot are a few instrumentals, and a couple spots of dialogue between our Uma (“The Bride”) and David Carradine (“Bill”).
Having movie dialogue on a soundtrack seems a strange concept and, especially before seeing the film, adds nothing. However, I do now know that Bill fires a shot at The Bride which she wasn’t expecting. The presence of the dialogue more than anything else seems to be a reflection of Tarantino’s notorious film geek-ness and indicates that the soundtrack is meant for more lovers of the film than lovers of music.
The instrumentals are mainly by Ennio Morricone, a composer with many a film credit to his name. The short orchestral interlude Il Tramonte seems just a bridge, but A Silhouette Of Doom with its arrhythmic, abrupt discordant piano, brass and orchestra brings an effective atmosphere of menace. Summertime Killer, by Luis Bacalov, is a very cool instrumental of drums, guitar and bass and is one of the best tracks on the album.
World Music is brought to the fore by Tu Mira (Lole Y Manuel) and Malaguena Salerosa (Chingon). In both cases the music is lively and the singers sing their hearts out – including a note in the latter that is long enough to rival Bill Withers‘ in Lovely Day.
Johnny Cash makes an appearance with his distinctive gravelly vocals, and with the simplicity of voice and guitar. Malcolm McLaren is also credited, with About Her, sung by a woman who warbles like Edith Piaf in the verses then sings normally in the choruses. The chorus is taken straight from The Zombies‘ She’s Not There, and “no-one told me about her / how many people died” seems an apt lyric for the Kill Bill soundtrack.
Finally, after track 15, there is a hidden track by the Wu Tang Clan. This is not the Clan at their creative best, and almost leads to the conclusion that the track could best stay “hidden”.
From a director renowned for creative use of music in his films, this album is a very disappointing hotch potch which is only likely to be enjoyed by die-hard members of the Kill Bill fan club.