Review: The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack

V/A: The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack (Soul Temple, 10/23/12)

Assembled by rapper/director RZA, the soundtrack for The Man with the Iron Fists aurally delivers on the eyeball-punching promises of his over-the top grindhouse martial-arts movie.

From blues-driven opener “The Baddest Man Alive,” which sees RZA reunite with collaborators The Black Keys, this collection of largely new tracks works as a cohesive album while being eclectic enough to function as accompaniment for a film.

The artistry, in fact, is in the track order, with a particularly well-done moment coming in the transition from Danny Brown’s dirty delivery on “Tick Tock” to Cantonese pop singer Frances Yip crooning on the Morricone-tinged “Green is the Mountain.” Unification comes from the crossover — RZA curating western and samurai motifs into something uniquely hip hop. (Check out his separate score with Howard Drossin for more dramatic, instrumental mixtures.)

By pairing rappers like Kanye West, the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan, and Kool G. Rap alongside balladeers like Corinne Bailey Rae and Mable John, The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack is a balanced work, banging along and pulling back. It’s fun accompaniment to a world of sex, violence, and martial arts.

Check out the video for “The Baddest Man Alive” and stream the album here.