Metro Boomin: Metro Boomin Presents Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Soundtrack From and Inspired by the Motion Picture) Album Review

For all the excitement, some of the beats skew extra generic, even by soundtrack standards. Synths and drums have been Metro’s bread and butter for years, but even he gets stuck in a rhythmic tar pit every once in a while. The hi-hats and plodding groove of “All The Way Live” sound as catatonic as the Future hook warbling through it, not to mention how the minimalism of “Self-Love” would tip over into sleepy territory without Coi Leray’s chirpy vocals keeping things lively. Metro and his band of co-producers get their best work off when they broaden their horizons with some experiments. They warp guitar strings (“Home”), bounce colorful synths off Afrobeats drum programming (“Link Up”), and punch holes through the middle of beefed-up samples (“Nas Morales”) to dazzling effect. Metro’s eye for direction gives the better songs here a big boost.

Things really begin to wobble when it comes to the features and their many references to crawling walls and slinging webs. Some find a good balance, like A$AP Rocky putting himself in Miles’ shoes on “Am I Dreaming?” (“Count up my ones, lacin’ up my favorite 1s…Kiss my momma on the forehead ‘fore I get the Code Red/And swing by 410, beef patty, cornbread”) or Lil Uzi Vert digging at Spider-Man’s outcast nature on “Home.” Some, like Lil Wayne’s marathon verse on “Annihilate,” pack as many references to spiders and Spider-Man characters into 13 bars as possible (“I give an opp arachnophobia,” “She’ll turn to Spider-Woman if I bite her”) like he’s being watched by a radioactive Sony A&R. Others just barely register—it’s remarkable how bored Metro regulars Offset and 21 Savage sound on their combined five verses across the album.

But the one song where theme and music blend together perfectly is James Blake’s “Hummingbird.” Over a pitched-up sample of Patience and Prudence’s “Tonight You Belong To Me” that eventually pitches down and melts into a gooey drum pattern, Blake coos a story of unrequited love that, while easily applicable to Miles and Gwen Stacy, hits at universal truths about love and acceptance with those ghostly wails of his (“Pen pal on a night shift/She’s who I get away with/Realizing she might/Be all I need in this life”). It’s no “Sunflower,” but it matches the dim intimacy of the scene it underscores while also sounding just as eerily beautiful on its own.

Across The Spider-Verse is a sequel to an IP-driven box-office hit that doubles as an arm of the Sony/Disney/Marvel industrial complex, but it’s also about defying the status quo. It deconstructs the superhero’s relationship to tragedy and features a web-slinging T-Rex. There’s drama and humor in this multiverse of madness, and Metro Boomin’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse soundtrack captures those qualities in fleeting doses. Nothing here feels as unorganized as the last Black Panther soundtrack or the shill-tastic hollowness of the Space Jam: A New Legacy companion album. However, only a few songs will live outside their cinematic context, and some land like unfinished leftovers from previous Metro projects. Some strands in the web are stronger than others.

Source link

Comments are closed.