If the 14 tracks here are slotted into the movie of the same name with accuracy and smarts—they are—that doesn’t prevent them from appearing in, well, the movie of the same name, with attendant pushy tie-in offers. Trainspotting is a phenomenon, and you can’t dance to a phenomenon: It hardly rhymes with anything. But ignore the badgering graphics and liner notes, because this soundtrack is a fine document of what might be called emotionally alternative British and almost-British classic and contemporary pop. It’s sequenced beautifully, kicking off with the consummate paradox of Iggy Pop’s jostling “Lust for Life,” which makes promises the rest of the album casually breaks. Brian Eno’s sparkling dirge “Deep Blue Day” and the subterranean swing of “Trainspotting,” by Primal Scream, provide a heavy, druglike undertow. Young fogeys will thrill to the almost-forgotten sounds of later Blondie (Sleeper’s faithful “Atomic”) and the flawlessly morose New Order, which turns in “Temptation” here, although any other single would have done. The album’s not all irony, alienation, and relapses—there’s one thread of true connection trying not to snap, heard on Lou Reed’s heartbreaking “Perfect Day” and Iggy’s lugubrious (but very funny) “Nightclubbing.” Britpop artistes Pulp perform a perky tale of squatting in “Mile End,” and Underworld’s “Born Slippy” lunges at disco delirium, but ends up something more interesting, by turns frantic and exhausted. “You’ve read the book, now buy the vest!” a bewildered, hoopla-weary Art Spiegelman once wrote. Yes, the hype is obnoxious, and yes, the soundtrack is brilliant.—Arion Berger