April 15, 2004

Test Spin: Kill Bill, Vol. 2

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Without sounding too much like a Tarantino fan-girl, I’ll put it this way: if you found it hard to get Nancy Sinatra out of your head after seeing Kill Bill, Volume 1, just wait until you hear what Hollywood’s most infamous 41-year-old film-geek has compiled for you this time around.

As if we could forget a single dismembered limb, mutilated henchman, or blood-spattered sword, the Kill Bill, Volume 2 soundtrack begins with a brazen slice of monologue from the Bride, who reminds us of the “roaring rampage” of revenge she embarked on just five months ago. The second half of the Bride’s journey is rumored to have a decidedly spaghetti-western feel to it, and what follows this brash introduction is a nearly-flawless mix of rockabilly, blues, and flamenco. Highlights of this eclectic mix include the flashy “Malaguena Salerosa,” performed by Desperado director Robert Rodriguez, and Johnny Cash’s rare, gritty “A Satisfied Mind.”

If putting an unreleased track from the Man in Black on his soundtrack isn’t ballsy enough, however, Tarantino tips his hat to fellow film-buffs by borrowing the trademark songs of some of his favorite spaghetti-westerns and mob flicks. Indeed, Ennio Morricone’s “Il Tramonto” (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) and Luis Bacalov’s “Summertime Killer” (Riccatto alla mala) manage to round Volume 2’s soundtrack off with the dramatic flavor that served their previous masters well. Clearly, whether such adoption is tribute or theft is not important; Tarantino mixes these classics into an effective, stylish soundtrack that will be stuck in your head for months to come.

Archived article by Laura Mergenthal
Red Letter Daze Staff Writer