T2 Trainspotting Soundtrack (2017)

27 Apr


It’s been a little over two decades since Danny Boyle achieved the impossible and created the closest thing to a perfect adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s debut novel Trainspotting. The film’s success hinged not only on Boyle’s uncanny knack for capturing Welsh’s artistic voice, but also on the music that became iconic and synonymous with the tale.

Trainspotting’s soundtrack was a runaway success; it breathed new life into Iggy Pop’s classic ‘Lust for Life’. and introduced the masses to Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’. With such enormous shoes to fill, it’s little wonder T2’s soundtrack is so painfully self conscious,  simultaneously sticking too closely to the original and trying too hard to forge it’s own path.

The Prodigy offer up a remix of Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’ which adds nothing to the original, and has clearly only been produced so that the song which catapulted the film into popular culture gets it’s due. Even ‘Born Slippy’ earns itself a nod by way of Underworld’s ‘Slow Slippy’, which again just doesn’t do the original justice.

To separate T2 from its predecessor tracks like Young Fathers’ ‘God Only Knows’, and The Rubberbandits’ ‘Dad’s Best Friend’ remind us that this is a new film set in a new age, but they fail to capture the heady mix of desperation and faint hope that made Trainspotting thrilling.

There are a few inspired choices, however. Blondie’s ‘Dreaming’ is a far less sledgehammer to the head nod to the pivotal role of ‘Atomic’ in the original. Neither a rehashing of the past, or a seemingly ill fitting look to the future, it would appear to be a perfect choice for Renton et al. Highest honors are reserved for the inspired pick of Wolf Alice’s ‘Silk’. Faintly unhinged, lonesome, and yet somehow anthemic ‘Silk’ is the musical embodiment of Welsh’s nuanced emotional palette. It’s inclusion gives me some hope that Boyle has managed to capture the characters in all their flawed glory once again.

A real mixed bag.




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