I'm a big fan of this film, and think it represents Leonardo DiCaprio's most daring work to that point.
So when Amazon.com was doing a clearance on the 1996 versions of the William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Music From The Motion Picture and William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Music From The Motion Picture, Volume 2, I grabbed both of them.
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Music From The Motion Picture:
The first album (a soundtrack, really), has got great stuff from Garbage ("#1 Crush"), early, dada-esque Everclear ("Local God"), solid track from The Cardigans (Lovefool), and the way under-rated Stina Nordenstam ("Little Star"). Oddly, only the love song theme from the movie from Des'ree ("Kissing You") leaves me a bit cold.
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Music From The Motion Picture, Volume 2:
I hate this album. Freaking passionately.
Not because of the content -- that's actually amazing. We're talking phenomenal instrumentals intro'ed or outro'ed or overlayed with actual Shakespearean dialog from the film, which is a cool device.
The problem is this is one of the most poorly mixed professional albums I own. I have a lot of music, and this and another album have the same problem. I have to turn up the volume to catch some of the whispered, dialog, then have my eardrums virtually (literally) ruptured by the next track.
This forces me to work the volume nob constantly between tracks, rather than be able to sit back and enjoy the powerful, heady stuff. I've been trying to normalize the volume on my digital jukebox without ruining the songs, which is not going well. There's a decibel differential of 12 to 28dB (the biggest differential of any album I own), sometimes back-to-back, causing me aural pain and putting my speakers at risk. Normalizing the tracks as a batch is alternately muddying their sound or causing clipping problems.
I'm ticked that I have to spend so much time to make an album I bought listen-able. And I do a fair amount of sound work.
Again, the content is (for me) amazing, with (for me) only the "The Montague Boys" track feeling a little off.
But the technical side will keep from letting this disc live in my CD player for weeks on end, which I think it would have otherwise.