Taken Soundtrack

By Peter Hemminger

Alice in Wonderland taught me that meaning what you say is different from saying what you mean. Similarly, the soundtrack to Steven Spielberg’s “critically acclaimed epic event” (apparently “miniseries” isn’t grandiose enough) taught me that a collection of good songs is different from a good collection of songs. Justifiable as it may be, Taken feels more like a souvenir than a real stab at creating a solid collection.

Some soundtracks, like High Fidelity’s or The Royal Tenenbaums’, manage to incorporate a wide range of artists and styles, but it’s done through careful song selection and a well-planned running order. Taken’s diversity is all well and good, but those of us who didn’t bother to watch the “epic television event’ may wonder what The Stooges’ proto-punk classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is doing just one track removed from Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely.” Or why forgotten Los Angeles rockers Love’s art-pop freak-out “Seven and Seven Is” comes just before the Grateful Dead and Jackson Browne.

With so little flow between tracks, it comes off like an over-enthusiastic mix tape, or a well-chosen CD collection played in shuffle mode. Without whatever internal consistency the mini-series provided, Taken feels aimless. Yes, there is a fair amount of good music contained on this disc, but a collection of good songs… well, I already went over that, didn’t I?

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