Underworld–Moaner

Despite terrible reviews for the film, Batman & Robin was a surprise hit soundtrack.  It produced three diverse top ten hits and even won an Emmy for The Smashing Pumpkins’ contribution The End is the Beginning is the End.  But the real standout is the inclusion of Underworld.  Programmed alongside ultra popular, radio-vetted US acts like Jewel, R. Kelly, Goo Goo Dolls (who, let’s face it, were the kings of 90s soundtracks) and R.E.M, the British electronic group seem like an odd addition.  That’s until you hear Moaner, a song that embodies Gotham and Frank Miller-era Batman in a way you would have never imagined.  Over the expanse of ten minutes the song becomes many things: pulsing, nocturnal, threatening, urban, frenzied, foreboding.  In many ways it is the tonal opposite of Born Slippy .NUXX, which had already featured on the #1 soundtrack of the decade in Trainspotting.  That track had glimmers of light and a sense of warm intimacy.  Moaner is all cold alienation, slippery and dark.  It uses its electronics to produce screeching isolation.  Karl Hyde has never sounded more rabid or scarily obsessive.  If the only good thing to have come of the film is this song, then it was still fully worth it.

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