The collection of music from the film “Ocean’s Twelve” is perfect for listening to while robbing banks or museums and the like. Outside of that context, it pretty much sounds just like a diet ripoff of film score master Quincy Jones (post sell-out, the man was responsible for Thriller). With all the music either chosen or written by David Holmes, the soundtrack does at least have some consistency, but the only reliably good tracks are the French rock and Italian pop songs not composed by Holmes.
A highlight of the first half of the album is Roland Vincent’s “LSD Partie,” French psych-rock at its finest, with wailing wah-wah guitar and a cool Hammond solo. The instrumental track is enough to draw back any listeners who may have drifted off during the previous snoozer, Holmes’ “$165 Million + Interest (Into) The Round Up.” Unfortunately “LSD Partie” is followed by another Holmes composition, “Lifting The Building.” The pictures of Brad Pitt in the liner notes are a lot more fascinating than this one-dimensional tune.
After Piero Umiliani’s trance-inducing atmospheric guitar piece “Crepuscolo Sul Mare (Twilight On The Sea),” another Holmes composition brilliantly titled “What R We Stealing” kicks off the second half of the album with a lame guitar riff that wouldn’t be quite so awful if it didn’t get repeated for the entire length of the song. Not only that, but the next track, Dynastie Crisis’s “Faust 72” uses the same style and puts Holmes to shame. Similar to Roland Vincent’s brand of rock, “Faust 72,” is even better. The song features a driving Hammond organ and more memorable riffs than anything Holmes wrote for this album. The vocals — rare on a soundtrack of mostly instrumentals — really stand out. Any momentum gained from that excellent track is lost with Holmes’s next two songs “Stealing The Stock (into)” and “7/29/04 The Day Of,” two more Bond-esque duds. Yellowhammer starts off “Lazy” promisingly with a gorgeous tenor sax but quickly fades into a synth-centric bore.
The album ends with more of the same, with other tracks upstaging Holmes’s compositions. Music From The Motion Picture Ocean’s Twelve isn’t a complete failure: Holmes does a great job of picking outside tracks. Unfortunately his compositions pale in comparison, rather than complement his selections. Holmes may have been aiming for the excellent “Kill Bill” soundtracks, but his effort ends up wasted.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars