The X-Files: The Album


Elektra Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Alicia St. Rose


I've never been a fan of television show The X-Files. Not owning a television set might have something to do with it, but I don't think so. I tried to acquaint myself with the serial by taking advantage of the VHS rentals and utilizing my boyfriend's TV and VCR. Unfortunately, the episode I rented had some inane story about liver flukes the size of humans living in the hull of a Russian tanker ship. This was completely off-putting and I haven't dipped my toe in the pool since.

Also I have a problem with the formula: girl likes boy, boy likes girl, but neither has the chutzpah to make a move. It gets old! Sorry, if I've offended any "x-philes" out there. I'm just expressing an opinion and at the same time explaining why I missed my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The X-Files - The Movie.

So why would I review a soundtrack to a movie I could care less about? Simply, because this album is packed with some superb musical moments! And to tell the truth, if the cohesion and mood expressed on this album is in any way exhibited in the movie, I might have to head to the video store again.

Some of the strongest and most innovative influences in alternative music are represented on this album and there is not a weak spot to be found. We can thank the producers Don Was and Chris Carter for their excellent discrimination in putting this package together.

Most notable are the cover songs and reworkings of originals. Filter opens the album with a cover of Harry Nilsson's "One". This is more than a cover; it's an appropriation. You can barely make out the song through the rain of guitars and vocal anguish. The band X gives us a cover of the Doors' "Crystal Ship" which threatens to outdo the original.

And Sting and Sarah McLachlan may have bested their originals with new renditions of "Invisible Sun" and "Black", respectively. Sting duets with Aswad and the reggae additive in the Police's early work bursts forth with full flavor in this marvelous version.

Other contributions to this show case come from Björk with the mesmerizing "Hunter", The Cardigans with the cool "Deuce", Soul Coughing's distinctive sound on "16 Horses" and Ween's wacky "Beacon Light".

There are two instrumentals. The album would not be complete without "The X-Files Theme" courtesy of the Dust Brothers. And there is a surprisingly good instrumental by Noel Gallagher, of Oasis.

The album is rounded out with performances by Tonic, The Foo Fighters, The Cure and Better Than Ezra making this album a virtual smorgasbord of alternative goodies. Fill up and go back for seconds!

Rating: A

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© 2000 Alicia St. Rose and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Elektra Records, and is used for informational purposes only.