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Mogwai Zidane - A 21st Century Portrait (OST) album cover
3.31 | 39 ratings | 7 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Black Spider (5:02)
2. Terrific Speech 2 (4:06)
3. Wake Up And Go Berserk (4:45)
4. Terrific Speech (4:45)
5. 7:25 (5:11)
6. Half Time (6:49)
7. I Do Have Weapons (4:15)
8. Time and a Half (5:56)
9. It Would Have Happened Anyway (2:34)
10. Black Spider 2 (4:12)
- (silence) (3:12)
11. (untitled) (23:02)

Total Time 49:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Stuart Braithwaite / guitar
- John Cummings / guitar
- Barry Burns / guitar, piano, organ
- Dominic Aitchison / bass
- Martin Bulloch / drums

Releases information

Soundtrack for the film "Zidane, un portrait du 21e siècle"

Artwork: DLT

CD [PIAS] Recordings ‎- PIASX067CD (2006, UK)

2xLP [PIAS] Recordings ‎- PIASX067DLP (2006, Europe)

Thanks to fishsquire for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MOGWAI Zidane - A 21st Century Portrait (OST) ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MOGWAI Zidane - A 21st Century Portrait (OST) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the very good impressions that "Happy Songs for Happy People" and "Mr. Beast" left on me, I had been eagerly waiting for MOGWAI's new album to be released. I didn't know this album/soundtrack was available, but as soon as I found out about it, I bought it. After all, the main "star" here is was my favorite football (soccer) player of the last decade. And I was very interested in hearing what the post- rock band could do with Zidane as main subject of this score.

The results here are mixed. What's clearly obvious from the beginning (but especially in the end) is that this album would fare much better if the movie for which it was created was seen simultaneously. This statement is especially accurate for the last track, the 30-minute "Black Spider 2", which is just a long piece of noise and feedback with some musical touches here and there. I can imagine what this movie is like after listening to its soundtrack. I'm pretty sure it should be very slow, very limited in words or dialogue (if it has any). And I'm sure this soundtrack may fit it like a glove, if it's like I think it is.

The music (which is what I can judge, as I have heard it) is not in the same spirit of MOGWAI's previous album, "Mr. Beast", or even of its predecessor, "Happy Songs (.)" as it's much slower, much more repetitive in tempos and themes, less dynamic . The mood is not depressive, though, but more dream-like. Instead of feeling that we're listening to a collection of tunes written by a depressed, lonely, sad human being, we get the idea that whoever composed this was dreaming, soaring the skies of alpha waves, maybe with the help of opiates or other hallucinogens.

As always, the texturing work is very good. With mostly clean and little-distorted guitars, MOGWAI creates short numbers of extreme depth. The themes are usually weakly developed, which of course it's intentional as it's the main basis of this music: to build upon a theme with texture, harmonics and dynamics in intensity, not so much with changes of melodies and keys. The good news is that the tracks are short (except for the last one), so that they never become tiresome or boring, like those in works by other post-rock artists who love to wander around a single idea for minutes. This has always been MOGWAI's biggest advantage in my point of view, and never it is more evident than here: if some of this dreamy, slow tracks would've lasted longer, the album could've become a real pain to endure. But as it is, it's enjoyable.

3 stars, as the variation in moods and speed is minimal compared with "Mr. Beast", and the tracks less magical than in "Happy Songs (.)". But this is a good album, probably a good soundtrack (we would have to confirm this assertion watching the actual movie) and a decent warm-up to MOGWAI's next real full-length. Add a star if you are a post-rock fan.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait is not really the sixth full-lenth studio album by Scottish post rock artist Mogwai. It´s actually a soundtrack album put together within a short timespan on request by artist and film maker Douglas Gordon for his documentary film about French football legend Zinedine Zidane called Zidane, un portrait du 21e siècle. The album mostly consists of new songs but a few re-worked and re-recorded songs from previous releases by Mogwai has also found their way unto the album.

The music on Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait does not feel like a natural successor to Mr. Beast (2006). This sounds more like an album released after Come on Die Young (1999). The music is generally more mellow, repetitive, atmospheric and with a more improvised feel than what we´ve gotten used to with the three preceeding albums Rock Action (2001), Happy Songs for Happy People (2003) and Mr. Beast. Pleasant guitar driven post rock with added piano and organ which is great for the variation is still the style on this album though. There are 10 regular tracks on the album but after the last track Black Spider 2 ends there are a few minutes of silence before a 20 minute ambient drone starts. An unneccesary hidden track if you ask me but some people might enjoy it.

The musicianship is excellent. At this point in their career Mogwai is a well oiled engine.

The production is excellent. A really pleasant and clean sound.

If you normally like Mogwai´s music there´s a good chance you´ll enjoy this album too but I wouldn´t recommend newcomers to start here. It´s a good album and well deserving a BIG 3 star rating, but I do prefer the three more structured predecessors.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars 6/10

"Zidane:a 21st Century Portrait" has expectedly some low, boring moments, but memorable, standout ones as well.

Soundtracks never really were my thing, although I love when music is well placed in movies, being a movie nerd. But I never bought nor got any soundtrack or original score of a picture. I had to make an exception for this little, surprising gem, "Zidane: A Twentieth Century Portrait"'s soundtrack, written and executed by Post-Rock legends Mogwai. I'm not at all a soccer fan, but I used to be one thus I have a decent knowledge about the sport, and I can easily remember this player as a great one. As far as Mogwai are concerned, this album is better than a few of their actual studio albums in my opinion.

The music is remindful of earlier Mogwai albums such as "Come On Die Young", because of it's "slowcore" influences. However on that album there were vocals, in that case pretty a disappointing addiction to the music in my opinion, while this album is completely instrumental. The music itself is completely mellow, no strong build ups, no sonic explosions, just mellow songs, that have surprisingly catchy and easy melodies. The atmosphere thus is as well very calm, meditative, but also, like it is usual of Mogwai, a bit melancholic and sad.

"Zidane.." has many memorable moments that I enjoyed thoroughly: the two parts of "Black Spider" and "Terrific Speech" have a beautiful tone and memorable melodies that give quite a good atmosphere. However, some moments were dull and boring, especially the last track, the Untitled twenty three minute piece, that is extremely monotonous and just did not appeal to me at all. I also sense the sort of inconsistency there is in many Mogwai albums: the first half is good, the second half most of the time is very forgettable. This also has happened, at least for me, with "Hardcore Will Never Die", "The Hawk Is Howling", and especially "Come On Die Young". Now, "Zidane" is just the same, and my level of enjoyment as a whole of this album is pretty much equal to the mentioned albums, which I found barely decent.

I did not expect much from this album, but it turned out to have some standout points, and some lower ones as well, like predicted. But I overall thought it was a pleasurable experience, maybe too long, or too boring in some points. It could have been better, but I'm not complaining.

Review by Warthur
2 stars It's little surprise that Mogwai's soundtrack for a biographical documentary on Zidane sounds like a big step backwards for the band - the director apparently showed the band scenes from the film with a remix of Mogwai Fear Satan (from Young Team) playing over it to give them an idea of what sort of material the film called for. It's interesting listening to the band attempt to play once more in the style of Young Team or Come On Die Young, but I rather suspect that the band left that sound behind for a good reason; they've already done all they really wanted to do in that style and, frankly, sound a little bored (and more than a little boring) here.

Latest members reviews

5 stars It's not possible to fully understand this album of post rock band from Scotland without referring to football and this magic events that took place at 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany (The movie was first screened just before Mundial). Music was never so close with this sport's discipline. The mov ... (read more)

Report this review (#426773) | Posted by rokakuya | Saturday, April 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Not necessarily an instant classic but definately one of their better albums. theyre problem has always been that they make brilliant songs but shotty albums and within this sub genre or even just the progressive rock genre that can't really make for a great album. But in this case it perfectly ... (read more)

Report this review (#161910) | Posted by shentile | Saturday, February 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "The initial idea was to make a film which would follow just one character as he journeys through a story", explains Philippe Parreno. "And then the idea came to film just a single player during an entire match. A match lasts the same time as a film. We're both soccer fans. The first and only ... (read more)

Report this review (#102032) | Posted by sularetal | Thursday, December 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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