Not gripping, listening


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.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.