Perfect Soundtracks for the Summer Heat

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Summer is a season unleashed. From the start it is, like all seasons, a race against time, the beginning of the end of the heat. But unlike winters spent hunkered down, the heat of summer brings everything to the surface. Right out in the open. Arms flail, tempers flare, and the city streets bake like a urine-soaked cement oven.

So in celebration of what's sure to be another summer spent trying to escape the heat, here are 5 soundtracks that embody the heat of summer. Though summer vacation tends to disappear with the slow clock of time, the undercurrent of revival and urgency that come with a summer's out-of-doors freedom courses throughout every pick.

Soundtracks are a collaboration by nature, asked to translate the image's sentiment into sound. It doesn't come easy, and these picks are more often than not the brainchild of a single person, be it an artist or the — though RZA and Quentin Tarantino cooked up some outrageous cake together. But more than anything else, it's the world that's created through the unity between soundtrack and image. Though the situations are foreign and unique, the sentiments of summer are familiar, from George Lucas's nostalgia to Spike Lee's frustration.

While blockbusters do dominate the box office, they ignore the grace notes that come with a strong soundtrack, made with the story in mind, the subtler moments that give anything its personality. When sound and image click into place over the next five slides, you can feel the sweat trickle down the back of your neck and smell the heat in the wind.

Click to start the list