Various Artists, Fast Five Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (ABKCO)

The fact that I'm even writing this review speaks to the quality of the Fast Five soundtrack. It dropped last week (May 3), but I've enjoyed listening to it so much that I wanted to feature it anyway.

If you've listened to the soundtracks that were put out for The Fast and the Furious series previously, you know what to expect with this one. Particularly if you're familiar with the album for Fast & Furious - this CD has the same Latin sound as that one, even with some of the same artists. Fast Five is a superior album, though, because it has more tracks and it's more musically diverse. Imagine if you put the original Fast and the Furious album in a blender with Fast & Furious, and you'd get Fast Five.

The album starts off with the only song it could lead with: the speaker-wrecking "How We Roll," which played during the film and over its closing credits. I am not generally a fan of rap music, but even I had to turn the volume up and blast this one a couple of times as soon as I got this CD in hand. It's guaranteed to get your adrenaline going.

After that, you'll find a track from musician and actor Don Omar, who played Santos in the film. Aside from being part of "How We Roll," he also contributes "Danza Kudero." I always think it's neat when people who were in the movie contribute to the soundtrack, and this is a good track, not just a token addition. The majority of the CD is composed of music that's either got a Latin flavor, a rap feel, or some combination of both. It sounds better than that reads, and it definitely captures the feel of the film.

The real bonus for me is that the soundtrack includes two score tracks from Brian Tyler (who also did the music for Paul Walker's movie Timeline). Tyler took over scoring this film series awhile ago and he has done a great job. "Assembling The Team," the third track on the disc, makes me want to go out and get busted for speeding. And the "Fast Five Suite" at the end is fantastic too. It's important to note that Tyler's score was released as a separate album - which is also worth picking up - but that album does not contain the two score tracks which appear on this one. It doesn't bother me, because hopefully fans who wouldn't consider a score album will hear Tyler's music on the soundtrack CD and consider picking up the second disc.

Fast Five isn't perfect, however. There's one bomb on this disc and it's a pretty big one. Thankfully, it's at the end: "Furiously Dangerous," by Ludacris featuring Slaughterhouse and Claret Jai. Now, I liked Ludacris' musical efforts on 2 Fast 2 Furious. And I get the idea of a song that's an obvious movie tie-in (remember the "fast and furious" line thrown into "You Slip, She Grip" from the last movie?). But this is just a horrible song. The female vocals are so screeching that after hearing it once, I now make a point of playing every song on the album except this one.

One bad song out of thirteen tracks, though? I'll take that. And take it from someone who ordinarily wouldn't listen to this kind of music: Fast Five won me over, and I think it'll do the same for you.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Pick up your copy of Fast Five (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) through Amazon for $10!