3000 MILES TO GRACELAND: SOUNDTRACK
"Three thousand miles? Three thousand light years would be
more like it. If the late professional pelvis-wiggler and
seriously magnificent crooner who conceived Gracelands becomes
aware that he has ended up on an album with some of the nu-metal
and electronica heads featured here, he’ll be forced to stop
heaving his heavenly hips and start spinning his considerable
frame in his grave. Well, he has had 23 years of slim time.
Talking of which, there is an altogether different kind of
decomposing on this soundtrack. Hardnox, Crystal Method and
Spineshank decimate the art of songwriting, then caw around the
carcass like carrion crows who have mistaken themselves for
songbirds. No regal epithets for this lot; not even Dicky III was
offering a kingdom for this kind of hoarse.
However, there are some princes among the paupers. I doubt that
Filter, (hed) planet earth and Nothingface would quite be Elvis’s
cup of tea (with hamburger and fries), but they do provide enough
glimpses of genuine creativity and tight performance, along with
their titanic aggro, to suggest that a phoenix may yet rise from
the ashes of heavy guitar rock - systematically incinerated by
the grunge, thrash and alternate-rock of the last decade.
Even better, Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s In 2 Deep manages to
rediscover the old art of sounding both powerful and pleasing.
The guitars and vocals are tough and fiery, rather than harsh and
grinding. The rhythm section rocks too, although it is a pity the
over-gated drums have all the life sucked out of them. Wouldn’t
it have been simpler just to whack a bunch of boxes?
Not exactly fitting the brutal mood, but among the soundtrack’s
best moments are a few lighter, kinder cuts. A3 provide some
pleasant, if unstartling blues and Uncle Kracker’s
repetitive hip-hop is saved by its genuinely cracking chorus - a
funky enough groove for an emperor let alone a king.
There is also a single track from George S. Clinton’s score.
It features a sinewy, psychadelic guitar line over a slick pop-rock pulse that is reminiscent of The Hooters circa the late-1980s.
And then the CD concludes with the obligatory Elvis. Such a Night
is hardly one of the jewels of the King’s career, but it is
a great example of how a majestic voice can fashion something
tasteful and impressive from the simplest song. Even the best of
the new young rockers have a few miles to go yet."
Published May 31, 2001
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Who's Your Uncle? - Uncle Kracker
Such A Night - Elvis Presley
TITLE: 3000 Miles To Graceland
ID: 16581 69702 7
ARTISTS: [hed] planet earth; Filter; Nothingface; A3; BT; Kenny
Wayne Shepherd; Uncle Kracker; Hardknox; Spineshank; Bender;
Crystal Method; Hednoize; George S. Clinton; Elvis Presley
PRODUCERS: Patricia Joseph, Robin Urdang
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