Fans around the world have clamored for a Transformers live-action movie for a long time. Now, directed by Michael Bay (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Rock and Bad Boys) and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, the sci-fi action-adventure flick Transformers, inspired by one of the most popular toy lines in history, is set to become the box office blockbuster of the summer.
When a movie's main selling point is that it's really
big and really
loud, the soundtrack's got to keep up. But oddly, this CD falls short--tellingly, the first single is a power ballad by the Goo Goo Dolls, "Before It's Too Late," featuring the kind of emoting previously heard in Spider-Man'
s "Hero." The album's producers have mostly focused on arena guy rock circa 2007, with songs pulled from new or recent albums by the likes of Linkin Park or Taking Back Sunday. There should have been more tracks like the Smashing Pumpkins' rumbling juggernaut, "Doomsday Clock," Disturbed's compact "This Moment" or the Used's riff-a-rama "Pretty Handsome Awkward." Slightly surprising is the absence of electronics and hip-hop, the only exception (sort of) being Styles of Beyond's "Second to None," which sounds like the Beastie Boys on EPO, and Julien-K's "Technical Difficulties." While the big names are packed in the first two thirds of the CD, the last third serves as a showcase for upcoming bands (whose songs aren't in the movie) that sound exactly like their elders--glossy, huge, based on big guitar riffs. In the end, all this aggro energy feels more cosmetic and corporate than authentic. --Elisabeth Vincentelli