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John McEntire and Various Artists
Reach the Rock: Music from the Motion Picture

Reach the Rock is the latest flick from John Hughes, the man who transformed teen-sex comedies into intimate, serio-comic dramas. Although I haven’t seen it, I am eager to see how Hughes integrated the contents of this brilliant CD into the movie. The songs on the Reach the Rock soundtrack have a surprisingly mature ambience, a far cry from the pop anthems woven into The Breakfast Club. The Chicago master musician John McEntire composed, performed, and recorded seven of the twelve songs here. Indie-hipsters Tortoise, Polvo, Dianogah, Bundy K. Brown, and the Sea and Cake donated the other five.

McEntire’s tracks shine like jewels. His mellow, pulsating rhythms are easy on the ears. “Overview” and “Stolen Car” mingle live instrumentation and keyboard-triggered samples. With its soothing bass lines, seamless beats, and an unusual combination of instruments, this soundtrack stands on its own as a unique work of art.

Originally published in the Orlando Weekly on February 4, 1999.