Armageddon [Original Soundtrack]

A would-be blockbuster soundtrack for a would-be blockbuster, Armageddon is a strange album, as far as carefully tailored soundtracks go. Sometime during production, Columbia evidently bet that Aerosmith, whom they recently acquired for millions of dollars, would be a big draw. That was before Nine Lives bombed and the group lost much of their teen following. Nevertheless, the album features no less than four Aerosmith tunes, including the singles "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" and "What Kind of Love Are You On," both of which are pretty standard latter-day Aerosmith songs that are outclassed not only by "Sweet Emotion," but even their hamfisted cover of "Come Together." Those four songs provide the core of an album that is clearly aimed at a "mature" audience -- well, with new songs from Shawn Colvin, Patty Smyth, Jon Bon Jovi, Trevor Rabin, and Journey (complete with new vocalist Steve Augeri), plus oldies by ZZ Top and Bob Seger, the album was never really intended for a young audience. Of course, stumbling post-grungsters Our Lady Peace and fledgling folk chanteuse Chantal Kreviazuk are added as attractions for younger audiences, but they don't add much to the stodgiest "event movie" soundtrack in memory. And that's really too bad, because if there's one audience that buys into event movies, it's adolescents -- and, for all of its many flaws, Godzilla at least knew that much. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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