The Wire: And All the Pieces that Matter

By CLEA SIMON  |  March 12, 2008
4.0 4.0 Stars
The Wire is over, but the five-season drama lives on in the unforgettable characters and in this simmering HBO collection. From the five versions of Tom Waits’s “Way Down in the Hole” (one from each season — they played under the opening titles) to Diablo’s “Jail Flick,” the Baltimore accent apparent in the slick, sly rap, this is the music of the urban underside: the cops, the gangstas, and all those caught in the middle. Soulful stars including Solomon Burke and the Blind Boys of Alabama take their place alongside plentiful hip-hop, with unexpected twists (Paul Weller’s grim “Walk on Gilded Splinters”) unifying this disc by mood, if not style. Fans may find it difficult to separate these songs from their placement in the show: the Pogues’ “The Body of an American” is indelibly linked to Ray Cole’s wake. But the shuffling of tunes (Waits’s own take on his tune, from Season 2, comes before the final dialogue clip) mixes it up a bit. And if Stelios Kazatzides’s “Efuge, Efuge” confuses the uninitiated, it still carries the longing and desperation of the more mainstream tunes — aural snapshots from mean streets.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Tom Waits, The Pogues, Paul Weller,  More more >
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