Quentin Tarantino wraps up his dizzy double-dose of martial arts film tribute cum informed paean to junk cinema with the throw-it-all-against-wall abandon that's become his cliched trademark, if not necessarily his true strength as a filmmaker. That sensibility has long informed his quirky, world-pop savvy soundtracks as well, though this chapter's collection gratifyingly sacrifices a dollop of eclecticism in favor of a little more focused nuance. Revolving loosely around a decidedly international, free-floating axis of Latin rhythm (Chingon's "Malaguena Salerosa, " the flamenco-demento of Lole Y Manuel's "Tu Mira") and Western twang, Tarantino's choices include Morricone both familiar (The Good, the Bad and Ugly
's evocative "Il Tramonto") and less so (Il mercenario
's "l'arena," "A Silhoutte of Doom"), fellow Roman film scorer Luis Bacalov's slinky, guitar-driven "The Summertime Killer" and a couple disparate slices of Americana by country legend Johnny Cash and rockabilly loose cannon Charlie Feathers. The director's pop fare covers less adventuresome territory, though Malcolm McLaren's trip-hop take on the Zombie's British Invasion chestnut "She's Not There" somehow seems all-of-a-piece with the retro groove of Shivaree's "Goodnight Moon" and melodramatic kitsch of Japanese actress Meiko Kaji's "Urami Bushi." It's all interspersed with excerpts of Tarantino-penned dialog from the film, snippets that only inspire an even greater admiration for his adventurous taste as musical compiler/supervisor. -- Jerry McCulley
The soundtrack for Kill Bill Volume 2 once again features cutting edge tracks from Johnny Cash, Malcolm McLaren, The RZA and others. This Australian version contains an enhanced component and the bonus track 'Black Mamba' by Wu Tang Clan. Warner. 2004.