21 years later it’s hard to remember just how big a hammer blow the original soundtrack to Danny Boyle’s film “Trainspotting” was to the mid-1990s pop music scene, but it was. The inclusion of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed along with ’90s British bands like Underworld and Primal Scream reestablished those old guard protopunks in the CD collections of a new generation.
Will the new soundtrack to the sequel: “T2 Trainspotting” have a similar impact on its legacy artists Blondie, Run-DMC, Queen, The Clash, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood? Maybe… but I doubt it. It’s just easier to find older music now than it was in 1996. I’m more excited about the inclusion of two new tracks from Edinburgh’s Young Fathers, including this one: “Only God Knows.”
Described as everything from rap to R&B to electronica and pop, just know this about Young Fathers: they’re fast, funky, and their music will make you move. A trio made up of G. Hastings, Alloysious Massaquoi, and Kayus Bankole, Young Fathers won the UK’s Mercury Prize for Album of the Year (“Dead”) in 2014 and haven’t stopped since. In 2015 their powerful album, “White Men are Black Men Too” was released and last year they produced several songs with Massive Attack. And now this.
“Only God Knows” is (intentionally, probably?) a speeding freight train of a song, thumping away with a shouted chorus:
“Only God knows where your wife is sleeping/ Only God knows what the preacher’s preaching / Only God knows that the people are cheating/ Only God knows you don’t need him…”
… and that’s when the Congregational Choir of Leith (Scotland) swoops in behind the lead vocals with a huge, human sound to back up the aggressive top line. It’s classic Young Fathers: powerful and addictively emotional and fun. It’s not the “Born Slippy” of this new “Trainspotting” soundtrack; it’s the “Lust for Life.”