Yes, it’s true. I only own ten soundtracks. I’ve owned a lot more over the years, but have gotten tired of most of them pretty quickly (the Kill Bill soundtracks anyone?) Anyway, here is the first part of me telling all about the ten I still have (split up and presented in no particular order).
I (Heart) Huckabees
Some people accused it of being obnoxiously precious and intellectually on par with a Philosophy 101 class, but I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the soundtrack, entirely written by Fiona Apple/Kanye producer Jon Brion (who also did some of the soundtrack for one of my favorite movies Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and two my not favorite movies Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love). The trailer for I(H)H included the song “Knock Yourself Out” and upon seeing it, I immediately became obsessed with it, scouring the internet to see if some intrepid music blog had posted the song. I eventually just gave up and waited until the soundtrack came out and bought it. It was worth it.
Jon Brion – Knock Yourself Out
Jon Brion – JB’s Blues (Buy It)
The Dust Brothers have produced two of the greatest albums of all time, Paul’s Boutique and Odelay so it would make total sense that the music they made on their own would be pretty good too. From techno to light funk, their soundtrack to Fight Club does a lot, but it’s also a real soundtrack (not a songs-used-in-or-inspired-by soundtrack), so you get some weird stuff like sudden changes in the middle of songs. The whole album is basically a collection of background music (except maybe the tacked-on sounding last track, complete with Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden), but it’s great background music.
The Dust Brothers – Marla
The Dust Brothers – Finding the Bomb (Buy It)
The Harder They Come
This soundtrack was one of the tapes that came on family road trips when I was a kid, so I was quite familiar with the music long before I actually saw the movie. The obvious star of the soundtrack (and the movie) is Jimmy Cliff, Jamaica’s answer to America’s soul stars like Al Green and Marvin Gaye. But the album also includes more than also-rans, genre stars like Toots and The Maytals and Desmond Dekker make appearances too. Little known fact: This is the album that went on to launch the aspirations of hundreds of reggae bands comprised entirely of stoned white guys.
Toots and The Maytals – Sweet and Dandy
Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come (Buy It)
Like the film was a strange mix of documentary and acted, the soundtrack is a strange mix of jazz (including some beautiful original tracks by Mark Suozzo), soul and etc. The CD comes packaged with a comic strip booklet in which Harvey Pekar (the subject of the film) takes the reader through some loving annotation and explanation of the soundtrack. Just a reminder that on top of being a professional grouch, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to music too.
Joe Paneri – Paniots Nine
Mark Suozzo – Time Passes Strangely (Cancer Treatment/Retirement Party) (Buy It)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Wes Anderson knows how important a soundtrack is for a film. And like the soundtracks for his other films (one of which will be highlighted in the sequel to this post), this one does not disappoint. Though stranger than his others (who knew that Brazilian Bowie could work so well?), and including a couple of dud songs (for the life of me, I still don’t understand how anyone can take Joan Baez’s voice), it hits home in a big way. Part of that is due to the inclusion of a couple songs by Sven Libaek, including the gorgeous “Open Sea Theme,” and of course the contributions by soundtrack-meister Mark Mothersbaugh (who has scored all of Anderson’s films) and cast member Seu Jorge (who plays the aforementioned Bowie songs in Portuguese).
Sven Libaek – Open Sea Theme
Mark Mothersbaugh – Let Me Tell You About My Boat (Buy It)
So that’s it for this installment. Stay tuned for the second one coming up sometime in the near future, in which I will tell you about the other five soundtracks I own. There will be thrills, chills, and a surprise ending! Well, maybe not. But it’s all good music, so you should come back.
posted by Adam