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Miami Vice Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Released on Atlantic Records, 7/25/06

For those looking for pastels, flamingos, and busty blondes in bikinis, Michael Mannís film version of Miami Vice is bound to disappoint. However, for those interested in a gritty, straight up crime drama, the latest incarnation of Crockett and Tubbs would likely keep said viewer engaged.

With this in mind, it would only make sense that Michael Mann would produce a soundtrack that lends a similarly gritty texture. Despite the conspicuous absence of Jan Hammerís infectious Miami Vice theme song, the Miami Vice Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is not a miss by any stretch of the imagination.

Rather it is an eclectic mix of some hard rock, electronica infused dance tracks, a scant few latin beats, and some moody instrumentals to round things out. Itís a soundtrack that suits the overall mood and tone of Michael Mannís latest.

Starting things off with a bang is Nonpointís cover of Phil Collinís hit, "In The Air Tonight". Collinís original was featured in a stylized driving sequence with Crockett in the television series. Nonpoint puts their own spin on this one with some aggressive guitar riffs and anguished vocals. Itís a track thatís somewhat reminiscent of what Limp Bizkit did to the "Mission Impossible" theme song for MI:2. For the most part, Nonpointís version works just fine.

Another solid track is "One of These Mornings" by Moby with Patti LaBelle providing vocals. Itís a melancholy track with LaBelle belting out lyrics mourning the transitory nature of love, life, and everything in between. Mobyís orchestration is beautifully sad as well providing a wonderful canvas for LaBelle to work with.

On a more upbeat note is Felix Da Housecatís Heavenly House Mix of Nina Simoneís "Sinnerman". Suitable for a hot, humid Miami nightclub, the track is lyrically appropriate with Simone asking the listener, "Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?" which is a question applicable to both Crockett and Tubbsí prey as well as the two undercover agents themselves.

Adding some Cuban flavor is Manzanitaís "Arranca" flush with trumpets, drums, and an intoxicating dance beat. Add a mojito and a dance partner who knows their salsa and youíve got a great evening on your hands. Emilio Estefan lends some Latin with "Pennies In My Pocket". A similarly danceable track infused with a more modern beat, "Pennies In My Pocket" adds some life to the party as well.

A few stand out instrumentals are contributed by Scottish band, Mogwai; the most notable of which is "Auto Rock". "Auto Rock" is a somber, piano laden track that is appropriately married to one of the most dramatic moments in Miami Vice. Building gradually to an intense crescendo, itís a haunting track that reflects the unrelenting tone of seriousness that pervades the film.

The Miami Vice Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is far from a classic (Rushmore anyone?), but it does an effective job of reflecting the various tones and moods of the film itself and has enough stand out tracks to make it worth a few listens while knocking back a mojito or two. Just stay away from the pastels.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5 stars