Soundtrack Review: FAST FIVE

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
May 2nd, 2011

Rating: 2.5/5

Do you want to drive fast? Beyond flipping that NOS switch and stepping on the gas, to really get one's adrenaline pumping, you turn up the music. Music that is loud, pulsating, driving. The FAST AND THE FURIOUS series has been known as much for its intense racing sequences and hilarious (intentional or not) one-liners as its soundtracks that always keep pace with the action on screen. The latest installment in the series, FAST FIVE, is no exception giving us a soundtrack filled with artists spitting their flows over beats that nearly demand you hop in the driver’s seat and, seeing as the film takes place in Rio, a good handful of Latin and reggaeton-flavored tracks to round out the collection.

Busta Rhymes, Don Omar, Reek da Villian, and J-doe kick things off with “How We Roll (Fast Five Remix),” a commanding track featuring wailing electric guitars over the standard beats to make one thing clear – the world of FAST AND THE FURIOUS – is back. FAST FIVE takes us from the streets of LA to the streets of Rio and “Desabafo/Deixa Du Dizer” gets us in that mind set featuring Brazilian rapper Marcelo D2 and Brazilian singer Claudia. Other Brazilian and reggaeton artists such as MV Bill (“L. Gelada-3 Da Madrugada”), Carlinhos Brown (“Carlito Marron”) and Don Omar along with Lucenzo (“Danza Kuduro”) help round out the feeling that, as Dom (Vin Diesel) said, “This is Brazil!” The sound of Rio permeates through these tracks, setting this collection (and this film) apart from the ones that have preceded it. Although other installments in the series have also traveled outside of Los Angeles (THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT), the soundtrack for FAST FIVE is decidedly Brazilian, while still featuring its standard rap and rock tracks that have always driven the music of the series.

Adding to the range of styles on this soundtrack are two tracks from electronic and house artists Hybrid and Edu K. Hybrid’s “Han Drifting” is full of driving beats and electric guitars that fit right in with the rest of the line up – a track that almost hedges on sounding like a new addition to the world of electronic scoring. Hybrid also paired up with Edu K on “Million Dollar Race,” combining their electronic sound with Edu K’s more lyrical elements. Regardless of the different styles, each artist featured on the soundtrack has one important element in common – they get your heart beat racing.

Seeing as he also has a role in the film (as technician specialist Tej), it is no surprise that Ludacris (along with Slaughterhouse and Claret Jai) also lent his musical styling to the soundtrack to wrap things up with his aptly titled track, “Furiously Dangerous.” With rhymes based in the world of racing, this track works to tie everything together and remind us that even as the series moves away from being strictly about racing, it is clear it will always be rooted in trying to be the first to cross the finish line.

Beyond all the artists populating the line up, there are also a few tracks from the film’s composer, Brian Tyler, that are not included on the score compilation for the film. As the franchise moves forward, the character’s relationships continue to evolve and in doing so, the emotional stakes get higher each time this crew rolls out together. Tyler’s score works to further expand on these moments when the racing takes a back seat and their relationships with one another come to the forefront. Make no mistake; Tyler’s tracks are still rooted in commanding percussion and attention grabbing bass, but with the addition of full orchestration to give even these moments that high stakes feeling that has been a staple of the series from the beginning.

The FAST AND THE FURIOUS series has always been about the action and the soundtracks have helped provide that extra boost to push those scenes even further.  I was hoping for a few more hard hitting tracks like “How We Roll” and “Han Drifting” to populate the soundtrack that seemed to have that “classic” FAST feel. Although I appreciated the different styles and staying true to the feeling of the location, for this series, it seems to work best when the tracks feel like something you could turn up and race to. But as the series grows, the soundtracks do too and FAST FIVE succeeds in painting this changing world as our crew go from simply being precision drivers to a full on heist team. Whether racing for pink slips or bank vaults, this soundtrack turns up the volume as FAST FIVE continues to turn up the action.

This soundtrack is available through Abkco.

1. "How We Roll (Fast Five Remix)" - Don Omar, J-doe, Busta Rhymes & Reek da Villian
2. " Desabafo/Deixa Eu Dizer" - Marcelo D2 & Claudia
3. "Assembling the Team" - Brian Tyler
4. "L. Gelada-3 Da Madrugada" - MV Bill
5. "Carlito Marron" - Carlinhos Brown
6. "Han Drifting" - Hybrid
7. "Million Dollar Race" - Hybrid & Edu K
8. "Mad Skills" - Brian Tyler
9. "Batalha" - ObandO
10. "Danza Kuduro" - Don Omar featuring Lucenzo
11. "Follow Me Follow Me (Quen Que Caguetou?) [Fast Five Hybrid Remix] - Speed, Black Alien & Tejo
12. "Fast Five Suite" - Brian Tyler
13. "Furiously Dangerous" - Ludacris featuring Slaughterhouse & Claret Jai

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