Album: Various Artists

Music from Ocean's Eleven, Warner Sunset
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The Independent Culture

The sleeve's trying a little too hard to be Reservoir Dogs, but everything else about this soundtrack to Steven Soderbergh's Rat Pack caper remake is perfectly judged. Produced by David Holmes, the album mingles period classics evocative of the original film's Playboy swinger style with more modern pieces of Holmes's incidental music, the two blended seamlessly to timeless effect. The older cuts are chosen with great care, sensibly ignoring the oeuvre of Sinatra, Martin and Davis. The opening backdrop of Percy Faith's "Theme for Young Lovers" plunges one straight into the surreally antiseptic atmosphere of the Las Vegas leisure industry; Perry Como's "Papa Loves Mambo" is the epitome of Fifties faux-luxe kitsch; and Quincy Jones's "Blues in the Night" has the brash, sleazy attitude of a true bump'n'grind burlesque classic. Holmes's pieces, meanwhile, range from Money Mark-style dub keyboard excursions such as "Boobytrapping" to cool electric-jazz fusion numbers such as the Fela Kuti-flavoured "Rubens In", whisking the story along with martini-generation style. The most impressive section involves ancient and modern, as Holmes's "Lyman Zerga" segues neatly into Arthur Lyman's "Caravan" – a quintessential slice of period exotica – which slips into Holmes's "Gritty Shaker" and "Planting the Seed". Some day, perhaps, all soundtracks will be approached with this level of care.

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