The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded soundtrackA curious two-disc offering, the soundtrack from The Matrix Reloaded combines the usual from-or-inspired-by-the-movie cocktail of songs on disc one, and instrumental score tracks on disc two (though there are some instrumentals on the first disc that accompanied some of the movie’s more atmospheric moments, namely Rob Dougan’s “Furious Angel” and Fluke’s “Zion”. I hope no one will be really upset if I only touch on the former and spend more time with the latter. I don’t have a problem with the techno and hardcore death metal pieces on the first disc, but it’s just not the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back.

Disc two is the real meat, however, for those of us looking for the score – and the original score album must not have sold all that well, because it looks like this is as close as we’re getting to a score album this time. The traditional Matrix opening – virtually identical to the opening of original movie – is followed by “Trinity Dream”, an action scene whose music screams “something’s going wrong here” as Neo gets his first premonition of Trinity’s fate.

Techno group Juno Reactor – with whom I’m most impressed and may indeed check out their own non-movie works – joins forces with Gocoo for “Teahouse”, the busy eastern-flavored percussion-fest that we hear as Neo fends off the Oracle’s protector blow-for-blow. Not just one of my favorite scenes, but also one of the better selections from the soundtrack. If this doesn’t make you want to get up and do something – run a few blocks, do some kung fu, or what have you – you’ve obviously misfired your CD changer and were listening to Wayne Newton instead. This track will make you want to get up and do something, trust me.

My favorite track on either disc, however, is “Burly Brawl” – a track I grew to love about a month before seeing the movie or knowing where it fell in the story. Big action, big beats, big fun, and those usual choral-and-orchestral interludes that go with Neo flagrantly disobeying all known laws of physics. The track gets positively frenzied toward the end, almost comically so, but it’s all good – and wouldn’t you know it, the Neo/Smith fight wound up being my favorite action setpiece in the whole film, perhaps in part because this music was there.

The second disc ends on a lengthy suite of more subtle instrumental cues, all very nice and intriguing, but…it’s 20 minutes long! The remainder of the disc is taken up by video previews of the Enter The Matrix video game.

3 out of 4A nice package, though I might have been just as happy buying a single CD of the score and leaving the songtrack half of this collection to those who were more inclined toward that style of music – though it’s hard to complain at the single-CD price, and it has convinced me to check out Rob Dougan’s Furious Angels album. Ahhh…the power of cross-marketing.

Order this CD

    Disc one

  1. Linkin Park – Session (2:25)
  2. Marilyn Manson – This Is The New Shit (4:21)
  3. Rob Zombie – Reload (4:27)
  4. Rob Dougan – Furious Angels (5:32)
  5. Deftones – Lucky You (4:10)
  6. Team Sleep – The Passportal (2:57)
  7. P.O.D. – Sleeping Awake (3:28)
  8. Unloco – Bruises (2:38)
  9. Rage Against The Machine – Calm Like A Bomb (5:00)
  10. Oakenfold – Dread Rock (4:42)
  11. Fluke – Zion (4:35)
  12. Dave Matthews Band – When The World Ends (Oakenfold Remix) (5:26)
    Disc two

  1. Don Davis – Main Title (1:32)
  2. Don Davis – Trinity Dream (1:58)
  3. Juno Reactor featuring Gocoo – Teahouse (1:06)
  4. Rob Dougan – Chateau (3:25)
  5. Juno Reactor & Don Davis – Mona Lisa Overdrive (10:11)
  6. Juno Reactor vs. Don Davis – Burly Brawl (5:54)
  7. Don Davis – Matrix Reloaded Suite (17:35)

Released by: Warner Bros.
Release date: 2003
Disc one total running time: 49:49
Disc two total running time: 41:41