Like its parent film, T2 Trainspotting’s soundtrack eschews cosy Cool Britannia nostalgia for something weirder and better. The original soundtrack was a sharp mix of cult classics and of-the-moment artists. Rather than get Blur and co back, Danny Boyle has called on a more leftfield lineup of young guns, the likes of Mercury-winning Edinburgh alt hip-hop trio Young Fathers, Brixton scuzz rockers Fat White Family and deliciously demented Irish rappers Rubberbandits. The classic side of things is held up by Queen, Run DMC, Blondie and more, with the whole bookended by Trainspotting’s biggest tracks reborn: a mad-dog Prodigy remix of Iggy’s Lust for Life and Underworld’s Slow Slippy. In our retromaniac world, it might not attain the original’s classic status, but it’s all the better for its bravery. (The Guardian)
Recorded to benefit the Special Olympics, this has some of the biggest names in contemporary music, most covering seasonal favorites with mixed success. Outstanding tracks include The Pretenders "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," with Chrissie Hynde giving a touching performance. Run-D.M.C.'s topical "Christmas in Hollis" relies heavily on sampling "Back Door Santa," and may head you toward the dance floor. Alison Moyet's stately version of "The Coventry Carol" is beautifully haunting. Only the Material Girl, Madonna, embarrasses herself with an overly campy "Santa Baby".