Album Reviews

Various – The Passion Of The Christ Songs

(Wind Up) UK release date: 6 September 2004

The Passion Of The Christ Songs Film soundtracks are usually a law unto themselves. With a increasing number of record issuers finding it harder by the minute to match songs on soundtrack records with those that actually appear in a given film, the result is often a collection of carefully groomed songs which promote a label’s newer artists, while guaranteeing sales with heavy weight unit shifters suspiciously interspersed. A repeated, and ever unamusing ploy, there is yet more confusion with the latest Passion album to be released.

What, at first glance is even more bewildering is that this is the second ‘Inspired By’ The Passion Of The Christ album to hit the shelves.. or is it? This album, I am informed is a fairly unique release, having been compiled of original songs, written by each artist after they had seen Mel Gibson’s controversial blockbuster earlier this year. So if anything, a CD that may appear to be nothing more than a cash-in merchandising manoeuvre can actually be accused of doing little more than it says on the tin.

What this amounts to in reality is 12 mostly brilliant songs, by a truly surprising range of artists. On the rock front, Scott Stapp joins the Tea Party (who, indecently need to change their name) for the earnest ballad Relearn love, which evolves as a very Creed like ballad, which there is very little wrong with if you like that sort of thing.

Truly Amazing is the first new release from US metal giants P.O.D., who offer much in the vein of hit single Alive, while The Empire sees punk legends MXPX teaming up with Blink 182‘s Mark Hoppus trying to convey the rebellious nature (in somewhat of a Star Wars theme) of Christ’s stance which ended up costing him his life. Big power rock ballads in the Creed camp from wind-up’s latest offering Big Dismal, prove to be not big, certainly not clever, but most certainly very, very dismal.

Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams provide the disturbing How Many Lashes, which relives the experience of entering the cinema and watching the horror and brutality of Christ’s torture. A stirring experience for anyone who saw the film.

Unfortunately the inspirational consistency fails to endure. We all know that Charlotte Church is too rich, too Welsh, but mostly too crap to ever warrant the need for her to try and go all Urban and RnB on us, but someone thought it was a good idea. Finding My Own Way is a terrible song with abysmal lyrics that leaves me with no doubt that the teenage starlet is as lost as ever.

This album will sell extremely well. After all, even a chocolate bar that was sold baring the brand of the highest grossing film in history could be sure to emulate its success. It just so happens that there is some genuinely inspired music (sandwiched between some not so) on this release, which provides an interesting insight and unique take on what was a very unique film, about a truly unique individual.

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