Middle Men [Original Soundtrack]

Middle Men, a film about the development of Internet pornography, is set in 1995, but that has not hampered the music producers from employing a soundtrack full of tracks that far predate or even postdate the time period. Frequently, directors employ their own "temp" soundtrack of music they like to edit their films, later replacing it with scoring and/or licensed music. Here, it sounds like director George Gallo may have gotten to use his temp track, including a mix of seemingly unrelated performances by ‘80s pop/rockers (Hall & Oates, the J.Geils Band, Tears for Fears), a ‘90s one-hit wonder (OMC), a country legend (Patsy Cline), a salsa king (Tito Puente), some classic rock, some rap, etc. It's like an eclectic jukebox in which you never know what's going to come next. It is unusual to find vintage Rolling Stones tracks on a movie soundtrack, just because the licensing is so expensive, but in this case a deal may have been struck; the album is on ABKCO Records, which controls the rights to the Stones' ‘60s recordings. On the other hand, songs from Moby's Play have been licensed so often it's surprising the producers didn't consider them played out. And, even if there's some reason to include the anachronistic 2003 OutKast hit "The Way You Move," why use the "clean" edit with its irritating dropouts in the rap vocal? The album concludes with a couple of tracks from Brian Tyler's score (also released separately as an album, exclusively as a download), with "24/7" leaning toward industrial rock and "Middle Men Suite" a more ambient style. ~ William Ruhlmann

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