Tomorrow Never Dies
Music From Tomorrow Never Dies - Various Artists (A&M) Although credited 'by various artists', this release is a showcase for the talents of up-and-coming multi-instrumentalist David Arnold, who was responsible for the Shaken And Stirred compilation, last year's classy reconstruction of Bond songs of yore - evidently a warm-up exercise for the real thing.
The routine orchestration for the film was handled well by Arnold, creating the tensions and modern myths that are par for the course in a 007 flick.
But just as the film introduces Michelle Yeoh in an attempt to diversify the Caucasian bias of Bond films, Arnold brought in the element of electronic rhythms to add a new dimension to the technology-loving, gadget-embracing genre Hollywood ever invented.
Roping in the Propellerheads - already a proven hit formula with their collaboration in covering Her Majesty's Secret Service - in the production of Backseat Driver adds excitement and urgency.
While technology reigns, pomposity is the co-existing royalty. Although Sheryl Crow's title track was better than her usual pop-rock fodder, the Bond song of this year should rightly be the richly ornamented Surrender, penned by Arnold and David McAlmont and crooned in alto by kd lang.
Moby's updated version of the James Bond theme finishes the album, but by then listeners are gratified.