Not gripping, listening

Issue 

Not gripping, listening

Higher Learning (soundtrack)
Various artists
Epic Records
Reviewed by Sean Moysey

For me the soundtrack to the movie Higher Learning parallels a triple-J play list. It puts rap from performers like Ice Cube and Mista Grimm side by side with ballads from Tori Amos and Eve's Plum.

It isn't a gripping album, but it is a good CD for doing housework or reading the paper. The tracks have more impact in the context of the film. One segment of Higher Learning cuts from Malik, a working-class African-American, listening to rap, then to Remy, an alienated "middle America" Anglo listening to heavy metal, and finally to Kristy, a naive daughter of small business people, listening to contemporary folk. The music enhances their different socioeconomic positions.

When I heard Ice Cube's "Higher" during the movie, I thought the lyrics were progressive. I must have been listening selectively. While it is arguable the song is a critique of campus, upon careful inspection the lyrics project a cynical outlook toward everything.

Soul Searchin' by Me'Shell NdegeOcello is on the Triple-J play list and on the way to hit status. It is a nice song about establishing a relationship.

To my surprise I actually like Losing My Religion sung by Tori Amos (it is originally a REM song). Usually I hate ballads but this one sticks in my head, and I don't mind it there.

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