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5 stars A very good album (3rd best in my opinion)... Both Damo Suzuki and Malcom Mooney appear on this album and are both great! Songs 1 and 3 are the most droned out, desperate, acid-drenched guitar riffed songs I have ever heard. The album seems to be a little more rock/progressive inspired but heavier on Mother Sky and Jazzier on She Brings the Rain.... This is a must for any Can fan....
Report this review (#23204)
Posted Monday, December 1, 2003 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars This second album, is supposedly made up of tracks written for movies (or shall we say film footege, because I have never even found a traceof these "movies" after a search), hece the name of the album. I must say that I liked both eras of Can , with either Mooney and later Damo Suzuki.

Mother Sky is as good as Can ever gets and Soul Desert is also a gem and Alone right up there too , but the rest is rather weaker than What can got us used to . If they had made another track (Soul Mother in a Desert Sky maybe) of those mentioned about this would've been one of their best . Still an essental Can

Report this review (#23206)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Really good album (first with Damo Suzuki). There is some realy great works like - Deadlock, Tango Whiskeyman, Don't Turn The Light On... with strange melancholic voice of Suzuki, and briliant Mother Sky with amazing, crazy solo of Karoli! Songs with Malcolm Mooney are good but not so good like those from Monster Movie. But its realy good album!
Report this review (#23210)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second studio album by the classic Can between 1969/70. The tracks were originally inspired by several "independent" movies as "Deadlock", "Deepend".soundtracks marked a new step of music making for Can. Only Irmin Schmidt actually saw the movies for which the group provided the sound. The compositions presented in the album deliver a weird, emotional, satirical free form rock orientated to simple, repetitive guitar lines & chaotic percussions, rhythmically orientated. A few tracks contain acoustic arrangements (guitar, flute & percussion). "Deadlock" which opens the album is one of my all time favourite Can's compositions: an efficient, rebellious, melancholic strange ballad. "Soul desert" is also a very pleasant, confused rock tune with strange, "acid" suffering vocals and rhythmical, minimalist drum/ bass patterns. "Mother sky" is the improvised song of the album with a repetitive bass guitar exercise and destroying, ferocious guitar solos with the add of "stoned" vocals. "She brings the rain" is a nice, humorous jazzy ballad. An honest album with a few interesting ideas. A must for every fans of Can.
Report this review (#44222)
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Second studio effort by Krautrock pioneers, and surprisingly, a compilation of soundtracks, which we are not accustomed to see much from prog bands.

This one is rather "patchy", collecting music from five different movies, and features 2 different vocalists. Even the difference between the directions the band took with Mooney and Suzuki is evident from the songs here.

One connection that holds the album together is the "moody blue" atmosphere. 2 tracks are later featured in Anthology compilation, Mother Sky (in a very short edited version) and She Brings the Rain. Tango Whiskeyman is the 3rd track which was later re-emerged, albeit in a remixed for in the awful Sacrilege album. So we have at least 3 classics here.

Despite the unintegrated structure of the album, the individual tracks are perfect, so is Mother Sky, which continues the Can tradition to feature a long, improvised track in the albums. Even those who are not into Krautrock will not regret.

Report this review (#49827)
Posted Monday, October 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The second CAN album is a collection of tracks originally composed for several independent movies, but make no mistake - this is not a usual "soundtrack" album. It contains 7 quite different and distinct compositions so that one could wonder whether it is the same band all the time. Probably because this was my first encounter with CAN music, I am still very much in love with "Soundtrakcs" and can hardly find any weak moment. A true magnum opus of CAN catalogue is present here - 14 and half minutes trance of "Mother Sky". Starting with a Karoli's freak-out guitar solo out of nowhere, augmented by Czukay's bass stomping rhythm yet with melodic lines and probably the most "natural" sounding drum beats ever heard courtesy of Liebezeit (he is one of the forgotten heroes of the instrument; you can literally hear his palm skin touching and beating the drum skin as in a jungle-tribal ceremony), "Mother Sky" remains one of the most addictive and dance-inducing songs ever written. You simply cannot stay calm with it, you must move, jump, dance, rock, roll, swing and skip, even hum the mantra "mother sky" along with Suzuki - you can even do physical exercises and pilates with it. This is like an early precursor of techno-trance dance music of the 1990s, with difference being you don't need bloody illicit substances to stay in form, the sound itself does it for you. Remeber, we are still talking about 1970! No synths! Other songs are excellent as well - from Karoli's wonderful guitar solo in "Deadlock" through the ending notes of jazzy Mooney-sung "She Brings the Rain". This album is a remarkable work and if it cannot be strictly pronounced a masterpiece, it is still one of the defining moments of experimental and avant rock music. For me and myself, "Mother Sky" alone merits 5 billion stars of the universe of sound and rhythm.
Report this review (#59123)
Posted Sunday, December 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not a bad album my expectations for a soundtrack compilation were lower, but this is next logical album to buy from can if you already own Tago Mago Ege Bamyasi and Future Days. This album includes the introduction of the innovative singer Damo Suzucki and the exit of the wailing Malcom Mooney. The album starts with the dramatic and sorrowful sounding Deadlock it is a good song to start the album off with, powerful and emotional, track 3 Dealock is a shorter instrumental version of track one with a kind of building up of the melletron (I think) it sounds familiar to King Crimsons Devils Triangle. Track two is a gem Tango Whiskymen may sound like a conventional late 60s early 70s psychodelic song, but Liezbect's avant garde drumming puts it head and shoulders above other such songs, his drumming has this emotional dramatic power to it. Soul Desert is sung by Mooney, I life his high pitched squawking on this song, I fing his unconventional singing style to be quite addictive, with a fantastic prehistoric rythem this song is an instant classic. Its my favourite song on the whole album. Mother Sky is a great rocking epic with powerful guitar by the late Michael Karoli, its got a rocking feel which is unusual for the ethnic sounding Can. The other two tracks Don't turn the light on and She Brings the rain are good, but not as addictive as the other tracks. All in all an album wirth your time, it may sound more conventional and a bit more pschodelic/ space rock than Can but after a couple of listens this album really grows on you. If you like Can then by all means get this album if you havn't already. I also recommend this album to fans of early Pink Floyd and King Crimsons first album In the Court of the Crimson King. It has a similiar vibe. This is Can at its most dramatic (probably because they are film Soundtrack) and perhaps rocking. Don't be decieved that this is just an average soundtrack album, although the songs don't hold together like Can's other studio albums (because the s certain songs cater for certain films), it is still a good purchase the songs are highly listenable by themselves.
Report this review (#81171)
Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars First let me state that rating an album is not an objective type of business or science. My taste was never just progressive or just psychedelia or just greek folk rempetika. I have been listening all at the same time since the age of 12 having started with the Floyd from about infancy, I thank my parents whose cheap greek vinyls I have deeply engraved. Having said that, I believe that this is one of the most underated record of the whole krautrock scene. Nothing else is like it. A mixture of funk, 60's psychedelia, avant garde, improvisational passages and all held together to constitute a higher form that can be called progressive. Really it is good for the ears anytime and for anybody. From start to end. However I played this LP to he listened without a hint of diappointment or irritation. People that listened rock in general easily liked it, people that listen Hip hop liked it, dance, rap, crap they all liked it. It is something like a skeleton key for everyone's head. I wonder why it is the least reissued album of that peroid. Maybe it's tha cover which has been change in one reissue I know anyway.

For a Can album, it sounds like "Spoon" and "Vitamin C" from "Ege Bamyasi". It really takes off after the 3 first songs from which point on is a round 5/5. The first three are more to what the title suggests and I would give them a 4/5, but that's me. If you prefered "Pinch" then look at "Tango Mango" first and then here. My favourite Can album though. When I was about 17 it was my holy grail (I wouldn't know much about bying from the net then) because I had listened it on cd and I wanted it in my vinyl collection badly. When I saw it I would pay anything to buy it and I couldn't believe how lucky I was when I heard its (reasonable) price. I was paying huge for so many [&*!#] and this, oh god! Now I am 27 and it is still a regular on my deck. Anyway I hope I persuaded you to buy it. Such obsession...not even an advertiser. :)


Report this review (#107664)
Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Jut before Tago Mago, Can released this album, a collection of songs which were made for a few movies (Deep End, Deadlock, Cream...). Even if this isn't Can's best work, it's pretty, and two of the tracks are marvellous : the long Mother Sky and She Brings The Rain. Here, you can hear for the last time the first Can singer, Malcolm Mooney, and for the first time, their second singer, Damo Suzuki.

A vry good, but minor, album.

Report this review (#164994)
Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars CAN's record company was demanding a second album, and CAN wasn't ready to actually record some of the material they had been working on. Enter Siggi Loch from United Artists with the idea to release a compiltion record of songs they had already recorded for movie soundtracks. So we have 7 songs from 5 different movies.The cool thing is we get to hear Malcom Mooney's last recorded song with CAN in "She Brings The Rain", and also Damo Suzuki's first recorded song with them in "Don't Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone". Both are great tracks by the way.

"Deadlock" features Karoli's guitar crying out as Damo sings away.The latter part of the song is completely dominated by guitar. "Tango Wiskyman" opens with reserved vocals and percussion. Nice beat. The sound becomes fuller a minute in then drifts back to the original melody. "Deadlock(Titelmusik)" is a short tune with the same melody as the first track only it's more raw and it's an instrumental. There is also some great drumming and organ on this one. "Don't Turn The Lights On, Leave Me Alone" is the first song that evokes that classic CAN sound. Damo sort of mumbles and sings like he's half asleep. Haha.The rhythm is hypnotic, and we get some flute as well.

"Soul Desert" and the final track are the only two songs with Malcom singing.This is my favourite up to this point.That great beat with those passionate vocals. Amazing.This is my second favourite after the next tune "Mother Sky" which I think is one of their best ever. A 14 1/2 minute trip. I love what it says in the liner notes about "Mother Sky". "It's the ultimate demonstration that CAN's repetitive rhythmical approach was not a case of going nowhere but taking you anywhere". Scorching guitar as bass and drums mesmerize. Check out the bass before 2 minutes.The guitar stops as the beat continues then the vocals join in. Screaming guitar 4 minutes in as the rhythm continues to intoxicate. Love the drumming 5 minutes in. Vocals are back after 7 minutes with percussion. More ripping guitar 9 minutes in that ends 12 1/2 minutes in. Nice. Vocals then take guitars place as they come and go to the end of the song.

"She Brings The Rain" is probably the most memorable track in that it sticks in your head long after it's over. Mooney is singing about magic mushrooms and flying on the raven's wings. Very minimal but cool tune. Violin after 1 1/2 minutes, and the guitar makes some noise late.

This is a must for CAN fans out there. And in my opinion a must have for Krautrock fans as well.

Report this review (#165521)
Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second album from Can called Soundtracks is a bit of a dissapointment after their outstanding debut album Monster Movie which I found was very original and exciting. Soundtracks is more polished and the songs are generally shorter than on Monster Movies.

The repetitive Krautrock beats are there of course but my complaint is that the songs don´t have time to evolve in the short time many of them last. It´s pretty saying that the best song here is the only really long song. Mother Sky is a real treat though. Lots of different instrumental bits are build on the repetitive groove and because the song is given time to develop it seems whole. The shorter songs are also very good, but I think the Krautrock format is better suited for long songs.

There are two different vocalists on Soundtracks and even though original vocalist Malcolm Mooney who sings on Soul Desert and She brings the Rain and new vocalist Damo Suzuki who sings on the rest of the songs have very similar sounding voices, I prefer Malcolm Mooney´s dull almost sleepy vocal style. I don´t know the history of Can but I guess Malcolm Mooney stepped out of the band during the recording process ?

The musicians seem a bit tighter than on Monter Movies and I´m in doubt if that is a good thing as I really liked the very raw and unpolished debut album.

The sound quality is pretty good for the time and I enjoy it.

Even though Soundtracks is not as good as Monter Movies it´s still a very good album and it deserves 3 big stars.

Report this review (#168280)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Can - Soundtracks

Can's second studio album provides an interesting look into one of my favorite bands of all time. Can always had (and has) that odd, distant, slightly eclectic sound that is just a journey for the mind--and this album is no exception. Everything from their tight and fun percussion to the lazily sweet vocals and interesting compositions and improvisation is present, and in a good form.

Of course, this album isn't a widely celebrated album in any respects, and it's certainly a long shot from a masterpiece of any kind (which can honestly be said about all of Can's albums--while they are mostly pretty good, none of them scrape the masterpiece territory in my opinion). This album was written in haste for the band's record company and the results prove this--the record sounds strained (but then again so does much of Can's work). Yet it's strange--almost rebellious in nature, and the compositions themselves are certainly entertaining.

Now the music:

The opening tracks (1-3) all contain interesting, rebellious, melodic riffs that prove to be interesting, catchy, and strangely moving. They are also feature great percussive/trance-like beats that carry you away in the hypnotic sense. Overall, a nice part of the album.

Don't Turn the Lights On... is an interesting track, again with nice percussion, and a neat guitar riff. The vocals deliver very well on this track in my opinion...although on the next one Malcolm Mooney fills in vocals (and also on track 7)--which doesn't exactly please me. He's the one with the estranged and frankly, annoying voice, although his vocals on the final track are actually not that bad. The end of this track features an almost Western (in the American sense) bit of music, which is certainly fun and interesting.

Afterward, things get jamming with the great, great improv track Mother Sky, which, along with the first section, is the highlight of the album. Afterwards, we're led to the outro of a nice, jazzy piece only very slightly hindered by Mooney's vocals: She Brings the Rain.

Overall, this is a nice intermediary album for early Can, and proves the band's skill in writing--under pressure. The album starts strong, but then has it's weaker center moments, before ending roughly with improv and a nifty little outro piece.

It's nothing to write home about--but then again, Can hardly ever is, unless taken on the whole. They are the ultimate example, in my opinion, of the phrase "greater than the sum of its parts," though it's rather hard to explain why. the mysterious, ethereal, rebellious quality of almost all of their music (and certainly ALL of their music featuring Suzuki).

They're just a band--a crazy, improvisational, and fun band that is always a journey to listen to. This album does successfully recreate, or rather, begin creating, the hypnotic quality of their music--just not quite as successfully as, say, Ege Bamyasi, or future releases.

It is, however, a nice album to have for it's stronger moments, and--of course, for those completionists. Something like a 6.8 on my scale, which is easily 3 stars on this one. If you are forced to pick of a Can album, this one's not a bad choice at all, and it actually works relatively well as a starting point, as only one Can album came previously.

Report this review (#171267)
Posted Saturday, May 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Can's 'Soundtracks' is a collection of songs and themes recorded for German b-movies probably no-one here ever saw. It is a collection of sorts and is therefor not always seen as a 'proper' album, though it actually works quite well as a bridge between the debut and 'Tago Mago', featuring both Malcolm Mooney (on 'Soul Desert' and 'She Brings the Rain') and Damo Suzuki. On 'Soundtrack' the band - known for its psychedelic jammy explorations - shows how it could actually write some well-composed melodic tracks with the instrumental 'Deadlock', the belated sixties psychedelic song 'Tango Whiskyman' and the beautiful (both rhythmically and melodically) 'Don't Turn the Light on'. 'Soul Desert' is a heavy psych / psychobeat song with just one theme and great frantic vocals by Mooney. 'Mother Sky' is a fifteen minute cut improvisational song and is perhaps one of the best psychobeat recordings ever made. Its rare to hear a band play such totally bad-ass rock that evokes movies such as Lockstock and Two Smoking Barrels. The shrieking guitar Michael Karoli hits your nerves with a saw, whilst Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit play some of the fasted hypnotic beats ever recorded. Damo Suzuki also shines with his drugged-out performance, adding even more personality to the sound. The final song 'She Brings the Rain' is a very catchy jazz-pop song without drums. I've heard it pop up here an there and I guess the song must have had some succes in the charts. For me the is a raw classic of krautrock music and must-have album for fans of the band.
Report this review (#173006)
Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Apparently Can's record company, before their second album was finished, wanted them to cough up material for a second release. The band didn't feel they had enough, so instead they compiled songs that had been written for movie soundtracks. Thus the album has quite a fitting name.

Soundtracks really feels like a transition album to me. It's both a mix of the band's early psychedelic jams and the band's later moves into improvisation, experimentation, and avant-garde rock. The next release, Tago Mago, brings their later form to full fruition. This is also the last appearance from Malcolm Mooney, as he only sings on two songs, Soul Desert and She Brings the Rain. The rest of the vocals are handled by Damo Suzuki, who would become the vocalist during the band's prime years. All in all, the songs on here are better than I had expected them to be, given that I think most movie soundtracks I've heard aren't any better than compilation albums filled with singles. I feel that these are fairly good, albeit short, Krautrock songs. Unfortunately, I have to agree with UMUR on this one. Many of the songs, while repetitive, feel too short for them to fully evolve and build. Although I disagree with him in that I think the tighter compositions work here, given that these were songs made for various soundtracks. I can still give Soundtracks 3 stars, but there are definitely better Can albums out there.

Report this review (#235644)
Posted Saturday, August 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Soundtracks isn't as essential as many other Can albums. It was actually some sort of stopgap released to fulfil legal obligations to the record label and compiled a number of previously released songs from soundtracks that Can had contributed to.

This historic perspective aside, this is actually one of the most enjoyable Can albums for me. Deadlock is one of their most emotive songs, featuring a touching plaintive vocal by Suzuki and the typical weeping guitars from Karoli. Other tracks like Tango Whiskeyman and Don't Turn The Light On mark a shift towards a more rhythmic focus. Don't Turn The Light On is the first recording with Suzuki as vocalist by the way. Well yeah, vocalist... whatever you choose to name it, he's most effective here on this album!

Soul Desert on the other hand is the last recording with Malcolm Mooney. It's a minimalist masterpiece where the music has been stripped of harmony and melody and where only raw emotion and rhythm is left.

The focal point is Mother Sky of course, this track that got me into Can through a cover from the British band Loop in 1989. Can's original is superior of course and one of the best extended pieces they've done. It's as much space rock as it is kraut and it drones through a 14 minute dope-infused hypnotic groove of sorts. Pass me that joint Damo will ye? Pure trance.

She Brings the Rain is something entirely different and ends the album with a light jazzy touch. Very moody and mellow. Beautiful this one.

Overall Soundtracks could be the perfect introduction to Can, more accessible and catchy then usual yet featuring all of their trademark experimental drifts. Add the variety of the material and the diversity in the vocal styles and you end up with an excellent addition to my Can pack.

Report this review (#254934)
Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Since several reviewers browsed the background of this "Soundtrack" album, I'll just tell my mind about the music featured in here.

From gentle ("Tango Whiskeyman") to fine psychedelia ("Deadlock"), this album is nothing too depraved nor hurting for the era. Nothing revolutionary to tell the truth. Short musical breaks with little magic (except "Mother Sky" of course).

Some acoustic psyche are featured ("Don't Turn the Light On?") but I can't frankly be impressed with such a song. Let's listen to the great "Airplane" to get some more depth while exploring these territories.

Actually, this album or better said this collection of songs leaves me quite cold overall. Great moments are absent so far as I am quite suffering while listening to "Soul Desert" to say the least.

Of course, there is the incredible and fantastic "Mother Sky". A quarter of an hour of acid psychedelia which renders quite a good picture of the late sixties. Early Floyd is close by, for sure. An hypnotic beat all the way through, crying guitar and impeccable drumming are providing essential elements and ensure that the whole sounds extremely enjoyable to my ears. By far the highlight. A great "trip" indeed. That's how I like "Can".

Thanks to this great song, and given the fact that it is good for almost half of the album, my rating is three stars.

Report this review (#267229)
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Now THAT's the Can that made me care enough to review them. Partially because this album wasn't conceived in one main recording session, but instead was a compilation of sorts of tracks the band contributed to various films, and partially because it's historically a transitional album (two tracks were recorded with Mooney in the band, the other five with Suzuki), Soundtracks tends to be somewhat overlooked in the early works of Can. This, as far as I'm concerned, is a horrific travesty on the part of Can lovers, as it's easily my #2 from the group, and were it not for including the lowest point of the first Mooney era, this would probably be my favorite (and would probably get a ***** rating).

As mentioned, two of the tracks on here are from when Mooney was still with the group, before his schizophrenia completely overwhelmed him and he had to take off. One of them, the closing "She Brings the Rain," is actually quite nice. It's completely unlike anything the band would ever release in the rest of its career, a perfectly conventional and pleasant jazz- pop number whose total lack of weirdness probably helps explain why the album gets largely overlooked (though I sincerely hope I can give Can fans more credit than that). The other one, however, the side-one closer "Soul Desert," is a total disgrace, and amply shows that Mooney had to go. What's pretty odd to me, actually, is that it's not just Mooney's singing itself that bothers me so much on this track, though that certainly is an incredible irritant. No, what really strikes me is how stiff and uninvigorating the backing track sounds, especially in comparison to the instrumental textures on the rest of the album. It's almost as if the band had to throw off the shackles of Mooney's presence, not just to improve the vocals but to give themselves freedom to really cut loose themselves, in order to reach its full potential.

And boy, is that potential reached in the other five tracks. The opening "Deadlock," as well as its reprise, "Deadlock (Title Music)," is one of the most powerful emotional experiences in the Can catalogue, mainly because of the GORGEOUSLY mournful guitar sound that Karoli pulls out. Suzuki's waillings in unison with the guitar lines may be completely indiscernable, but the phrasing he uses complements the overall mood (whatever it exactly might be) to perfection. The "(Title Music)" reprise is even more stately, pushing the guitar line into the background and pushing the booming percussion and (in parts) Schmidt's chordings into the foreground, and while it's not as gorgeous as its predecessor, it's certainly worth all of its 1:40 of space.

The other two tracks on side one manage to pull off the simultaneous feat of not sounding as "twisted" as I usually think of Can as being, and of sounding twisted enough that I couldn't imagine any other band doing tracks like this. "Tango Whiskeyman" is a good counterexample to show what I mean when I say Mooney's presence made the band too stiff and rigid and awkward; this shows (to my ears, anyway) a much more confident, much more interesting Jaki than the one playing behind Mooney, as his "ethnic" percussion rhythms (and come to think of it, was anybody in 'Western' pop music really bringing in "ethnic" rhythms of this kind back in 1970? There sure weren't any Talking Heads around yet, for sure!) give a neat flair to a folk-pop ballad with a catchy melody and an alienish vocal part. "Don't Turn the Light On, Leave Me Alone" is even better, a demonstration of Can's mastery of cold, robotic, hypnotic bass-heavy pop-rock made as paranoid as possible by Damo's slurred vocals. And dig those Easterny wind-instrument noises (are they recorders? I can't completely tell) that act as sprinkles on this doughnut of paranoid depression!

The main attraction of the album, though, is undoubtedly the 14:30 "Mother Sky." From the very first moments of Karoli's guitar pyrotechnics, underpinned by the groove-power of Jaki and Holger setting the standard (to that point) of how a rhythm section is supposed to sound when functioning as a "normal" rhythm section, I am entranced, up to the very end. Suzuki is rousing and hypnotic, Karoli just rips whenever the focus comes around to him (and he takes on several styles and moods throughout), Schmidt makes some solid contributions of his own near the end, and the rhythm section plows on and on in the tightest manner possible. Of course, this doesn't stop Jaki from having his own special spotlight, either; all the while holding together the groove of the whole, he gets in some terrific polyrhythmic passages starting around the 5:00 mark and going on for a couple of minutes, proving that he could be even more than the world's best metronome. Man, if you've wondered why I was so down on "Yoo Doo Right" overall, it's because I knew this band had, somewhere inside it, the potential for something as amazing as "Mother Sky." "Halleluwah" ranks a little higher in my book for being awesome for 18 minutes instead of 14-and-a-half, and because it's more intriguingly disturbing, but this sucker rocks in a way even "Halleluwah" doesn't pull off, and that says something.

In short, any fan of Krautrock, instrumental jamming, or of interesting-yet-unconventional rock music has to pick up a copy of this at some point. And, of course, it goes without saying that being a Can fan without this is simply inexcusable.

Report this review (#282757)
Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Soundtracks is an album which will be automatically interesting to big-time CAN fans as a document of the time period ranging from the end of Malcolm Mooney's tenure as lead singer and the early phases of Damo Suzuki's stint in the band. Of the two singers on display here, Suzuki is the one who impresses the most, simply because he gets up to speed with the band almost instantaneously - he's so comfortable laying his bizarre performances over the band's hypnotic krautrock beat you'd think they'd been playing together for years. Musically speaking, there are a few weak tracks (the closer just doesn't feel like a CAN composition in any way), but it's otherwise a solid (if unmemorable) effort.
Report this review (#465950)
Posted Monday, June 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars And what kind of soundtracks these are! This german psychedelic - often acid - record contains some movietracks of some not welknown movies. The song range from psychobeat (Deadlock, Mothersky) to soulfull lazymusic (Tango Whiskyman and She brings the Rain) and to crazy (drunken?) sang agressive songs (Don't turn the light on, leave me alone).

The german psychedelic movement began somewhat late, around 1968 with Can and Amon Duül II as primary examples. This soundtracks tape is a good example of german acid rock. The krautrock aproach delivers Can some good rocky feel and sometimes unique-sounding landscapes. The jungleflutes in Tango Whiskey Man were a great finding.

The idea of psychobeat is an continues drumming assisted by bass and endless guitar experiments. It shakes you back and forth and never stops- well, let's say it seems like it never stops and real good psychobeat makes you want it to be endless. Mother Sky is a real good example of these psychobeat and is one of the best songs of the record. Side two may be somewhat better then side one anyway.

Side one deserves three stars and side two four stars. Well, let's be fair, I'll give it four!

Report this review (#587273)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars SOUNDTRACKS was a transitional album for CAN being not only a crossroads from the heavy psych jams of their first couple albums (i'm counting DELAY here) to the more experimental electronic and stranger albums that follow. Malcolm Mooney was on his way out and only appears on two tracks here, those being "Soul Desert" and the least CAN sounding track i've ever heard "She Brings The Rain" that actually reminds me more of a Stray Cats rockabilly sound than anything in the Krautrock world. This album marked the beginning of the new singer David Suzuki who really fits quite well with the sound and arrives at the time where he contributed to the new experimental phase.

Like the title suggests this album is a collection of tracks that were written for various films, the first three tracks being for the film "Deadlock" alone. Despite being composed for different sources, this album still feels like it could have been a real CAN album with the exception of the final track. The two singers on the album don't feel in conflict with another and actually adds a more diverse feel. My favorite track has to be the 14 minute plus "Mother Sky" which has the honor of being both hypnotically spacey and a serious rocker as well with a seriously beefy bass and a smokin' guitar which is some of the hardest rock CAN has ever indulged in. Not as good as the albums that precede and follow but still a good listen.

CAN isn't without their influences. This is Krautrock but for example "Dont Turn The Light On" reminds me a bit of "Sympathy For The Devil" by the Rolling Stones and I keep expecting a little "ooo, ooo" back-up vocals to take place. Basically don't expect a uniform album with this one but don't be surprised if it actually holds up as one. This is what it says, namely SOUNDTRACKS. This is a hodge-podge of tracks that are totally unrelated and are simply put together in a composite form to be released for consumption by fans, although I really wonder how many fans CAN had at this point being far removed from this place and time. Many decades after this release I find this to be a very worthy listen.

Report this review (#1145101)
Posted Sunday, March 9, 2014 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Generally when thinking of Can's early discography, Soundtracks is that one that is often forgotten, to the point where even Damo Suzuki himself claimed that the first real album by the band was Tago Mago, which makes some amount of sense given how this is a compliation of various tracks to be used for silm soundtracks. The album has less of a focus on the repetitive, hypnotic groove of Can's other albums and instead possesses a more psychedelic, conventional approach, although still with heavy kraturock leanings, especially on the 14 minute Mother Sky. Definitely underrated overall however, and an album that I count as a 'real' Can album, especially given the prominence of vocals in it making it not feel unlike a studio output.

Even the opening track, Deadlock shows a more rock oriented approach to songwriting, beginning with a powerful wail of a guitar, the vocals sounding more conventional in terms of melodic structure, compared to the more repetitive, rhythmic approach taken on albums such as Tago Mago and Ege Baymasi. Tango Whiskyman is frankly amazing, with Damo's vocals going beyond the usual weirdness they have and sounding straight up beautiful in parts, all around being a very subdued song, with even the louder parts maintaining an overarching sense of restraint. The drumming is also to be commended here, being wonderfully groovy and subtle, yet maintaining the rhythmic focus the band has. Don't Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone is a more freeform composition, having some form of direction, but largely sounding all over the place, with each instrument seemingly going back and forth in the mix, occasionally following some sort of pattern, other times more sticking to a general tone, with the Suzuki's voice having much more of a drawl to it. The 2 songs containing Malcolm Mooney on vocals stand as the weakest on this album, Soul Desert being honestly extremely boring, with the vocals being mixed badly, and just all around sounding obnoxious, having that extremely loose quality to them that was there in Monster Movie, but without the almost manic edge to it that made them so entertaining there. The main problem with She Brings the Rain, despite the fact that it is a much better song that all around sounds lovely, is that it feels extremely out of place, not just on this record, but by this band as a whole, although I do enjoy it enough to be able to forgive this, at least to some extent. Mother Sky is easily the best song on Soundtracks, continuing Can's trend of having their long, extended jams being by far the best parts of their discography, being incredibly hypnotic and sounding as if they could go on forever. Mother Sky is no exception to this, starting off with a 2 minute guitar solo while a repetitive bassline and drum beat dominate the song, being almost constant throughout the entire song, rarely ever changing, instead throwing me into a deeper trance. This song is one of the more varied of these imporvisational, extended jams, featuring a plethora of guitar solos, stronger focus on groove, cool, memorable, catchy vocal lines, and an ever increasing intensity and sense of urgency, especially with that bassline. As said at the start of my description for this song, I feel like it could go on for ages without it losing any enjoyment from me, it's just a krautrock masterpiece, and one of Can's better songs.

While a less focused album than the three that were to come directly after this, and having a less formed identity compared to the absolute powerhouse that was to come, I enjoy this album greatly. The more rock oriented approach Can took here led to there being some killer guitar moments strewn throughout, especially on Deadlock and Mother Sky, and also meant that you got some looser moments such as Tango Whiskyman, which is undoubtedly an absolute gem. I'd recommend listening to this album after the next 2, as this is less memorable and less cohesive, but this is still undoubtedly a must hear if you enjoy Can, or just krautrock in general.

Best songs: Deadlock, Tango Whiskyman, Mother Sky (this one especially)

Weakest songs: Soul Desert

Verdict: Another great album in the discography of one of the greatest krautrock artists of all time, with shorter songs with more of a traditional structure to them, despite still being far from that, and then the absolute masterpiece of Mother Sky. Listen to Tago Mago and Ege Baymasi before this, but don't miss listening to this album.

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Posted Sunday, June 2, 2019 | Review Permalink

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