Motion Picture soundtracks aren't what they used to be. In the old days they were nearly inseparable from their parent films—Saturday Night Fever's soundtrack still brings back memories of John Travolta shaking his disco-groove thing—but new ones often have little to do with the flicks. Take Batman Forever. Of the 13 previously unreleased cuts, only "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me," U2's exciting industrial extravaganza, gets much screen time.
But listen up anyway. Most of these tunes would hold up without any Batman connection. Sixteen-year-old Brandy caresses the blaxploitation-era funk of the Lenny Kravitz-produced "Where Are You Now?" with womanly assurance. Pop groups Mazzy Star and Massive Attack with Tracey Thorn offer tripped-out highs on "Tell Me Now" and "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game," respectively. Though the album starts to dip near the end because of filler by also-rans like the Devlins and the Flaming Lips, it should keep listeners sated long after the Batmobile drives off into the box office sunset. (Atlantic)