Quantam of Solace

CD Quantum of Solace

Quantam of Solace

Quantam of Solace

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Quantum of Solace

The soundtrack for the latest James Bond film offers up some dark,
horn-punctuated instrumentals courtesy of composer David Arnold. Like most
soundtrack records, the worth of this one depends largely upon your interest
in instrumentals. There is certainly some fine work to be had here, though
the musical counterpoint to an espionage film is probably not the sort of
thing that makes for nice, relaxing background music—although it might
be just right for a spy-themed Halloween party, so if that’s your plan
than this album is for you. Otherwise the sounds here tend to imitate the
typical trajectory of a Bond film, offering some contemplative downs broken
up by many sudden emotional rises. (There’s also some enjoyment to be
had in taking the names of each track—titles such as “Night at
the Opera,” “Bolivian Taxi Ride” and “The Dead
Don’t Care About Vengeance”—and constructing your own Bond
plot to go along with the music.)

Of course, the big draw of many Bond soundtracks is the title song, and this
time out the track, “Another Way to Die,” has been composed by
Jack White as a duet for himself and Alicia Keys. Right off the bat,
there’s a simplicity about the tune that is right in line with
White’s past work, from the White Stripes to the Raconteurs to Loretta
Lynn’s Van Lear Rose—dusted heavily with Bond-esque horns, of
course. The guitar work is typical of White, being loud and barely in
control, descending, distorted lines threatening to break into a storm of
feedback at any moment, but the horns and Keys’ voice give the tune
more of a soul sound than White usually works with. In fact, Keys is a
perfect partner for White, her smooth, powerful voice interacting nicely with
White’s thinner rasp, the two of them intertwining and layering their
vocals so as to create one voice well-suited to the song. “Another Way
to Die” is nothing revolutionary, but it holds its head high amongst
literally decades of Bond themes. V

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