Jim Steinman (the melodramatic writer behind Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell) is the author of many of the tracks here, and they have his typical rock & roll Sturm und Drang, especially when the backup group consists of members of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Also on hand are The Blasters, Maria McKee, and Ry Cooder. The album's hit single turned out to be Dan Hartman's "I Can Dream about You".
Even though it relies heavily on film scorer John Barry's by-now formulaic (if no less effective) methodology of fusing his distinctively luxuriant string arrangements with the music of whatever time or locale the score sets out to evoke (in this case, largely the Hollywood of the 1910s and '20s), the composer triumphed once again, garnering his second Academy Award nomination of the 1990s. Perhaps because of the years he spent dues-paying with English pop and jazz combos, Barry gets inside this period jazz and ragtime with both enthusiasm and, more importantly, taste, recalling similar effective efforts on Francis Coppola's The Cotton Club.
An above-average soundtrack to a mediocre film, this dance-oriented album hits more than it misses. The title track by David Bowie is fluff by his standards, but as it's produced by Nile Rodgers (a year before their collaboration on Black Tie White Noise), it's danceable fluff. Further in, the album samples the beginnings of the '90s techno revolution, with excellent tracks from Future Sound of London ("Papua New Guinea"), Moby ("Next Is the E"), Ministry's Bush-era primal scream "N.W.O.," and Mindless's "Mindless." Brian Eno's exclusive track "Under" is one of his best from the '90s.