Movies You Can Hear -- Or Maybe Not ...

As the sequel to this decade's most popular horror

film, Scream 2 has a lot to live up to. So the fact that its

soundtrack is crammed with some of the moment's hottest

musicians is no

surprise. Although it includes new tracks by everyone from Master P

to the

Dave Matthews band, Scream 2 functions mainly as a

companion to the

film. Its mostly lackluster songs don't pack the punch necessary to

make it

a successful album in its own right.

The soundtrack opens with Master P's "Scream." Filled

with doomsday lyrics and a chorus of "I hear him comin'/I see him

comin'/Scream!" -- followed by shrieks and bellows contributed by

Master P,

Silkk the Shocker and others -- the song strikes the right balance

of

goosebumps

and giggles to complement Wes Craven's horror

flick.

Kottonmouth Kings' "Suburban Life," with its mixture of white-boy

raps and alternagrunge samples, makes a decent segue between

Master P's

opener and the rest of the album, which is mainly composed of

rock.

Aside from a couple of clever lines, though ("Two turntables and a

Heineken

beer"), the song is the kind of aural wallpaper typical of

soundtracks.

D'Angelo's cover of The Artist Formerly Known as Prince's "She's

Always in my Hair" is one of the few standouts here. Burning with

primeval

funk, D'Angelo's wah-wah vocal grooves over the finger-snapping

drumline

like there's no tomorrow. It¹s so good it almost makes up for the

next

track, the mediocre "Help Myself," from the normally brilliant Dave

Matthews Band.

Likewise, Collective Soul's "She Said" is average at best,

although

it takes on a triumphant warmth if you¹ve heard it during the film's

closing shot.

Other numbers -- including "Dear Lover" by the Foo Fighters and

"The Swing"

from Everclear -- are equally average, and don¹t benefit from

cinematic resonance.

The John Spencer Blues Explosion offers a rendition of "Right

Place,

Wrong Time," updating the funky classic with their kamikaze

charisma and a

truckload of funky, fuzzed guitar. In another cover, Less Than Jake

takes on

the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You." In the movie this song

is

delivered by one of the characters in a romantic -- yet suitably

gruesome --

cafeteria scene, but Jake's ska-pop version is just as fun.

The eerie, downcast melody of Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand" is a

fitting counterpart to the film. It's used in several scenes throughout

Scream 2 -- practically every time Craven wants to

achieve a spooky mood, in fact. Eels' dreamy "Your Lucky Day In

Hell" wields a

similarly chilling charm and serves as foreshadowing during an

early scene.

The soundtrack closes with "The Race," performed by mystery

band Ear 2000, with spoken word vocals by David

Arquette, who portrays Officer Dewey in Scream and

Scream 2.

The lyrics explore what happens when the innocence of every

character (especially the current beau of Neve Campbell's

character, Sidney) is called into question. Meanwhile, the track's

musical aspect swings from revved-up party rock to a mellow,

ambient outro.

Scream 2 might be an enjoyable listen for fans of the film,

but on its own it's not really worth the price. The only truly scary

thing

about

this collection is how dull so much of it is, especially given its

stellar

cast.