This week Drake takes on the OST for a recent Sundance Film Festival darling as well as the latest release from a lady who made her biggest splash with the soundtrack music for the indie auteur, PT Anderson. -ed.
Drake’s Take: New Relases 05.27.08
The day after a national holiday is never kind to new releases, so I’m going to keep it short and keep it in my wheelhouse, with the soundtrack to Son of Rambow. Straight up admission: I’m killing two birds with this one stone, hitting both the new release slot and a submission for Film.com. Elsewhere, Aimee Mann’s latest is in Rhapsody a week early… first impressions after the big doubly dead bird.
Playlist: New Releases 05.27.08
If the film Son of Rambow is a love letter to one’s childhood (see review), then the soundtrack is the mixtape lying next to it in Garth Jennings’ beautiful brown manila envelope. The quirky miniaturized world that Jennings (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Hammer & Tongs) creates here has garnered comparisons to Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, so it’s no surprise that the soundtrack is a key to the film. Use of “Egyptian Reggae” from Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers is just the sort of musical choice that you’d expect from a Wes Anderson project, as is the more obscure (on our shores, anyway) version of “Our Lips Are Sealed” by Fun Boy Three, the splintered offshoot of The Specials (lead singer Terry Hall co-wrote the song with Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go’s).
But the similarities in soundtrack styles ends there, as with Jennings, the music isn’t afraid to go big. Take for instance the choice of Duran Duran’s bombastic “Wild Boys” or even the frenetic “Peek-A-Boo” from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Anderson (and music supervisor Randall Post) would never choose music that so blatantly screamed a specific decade, like with The Cure’s “Close to Me” and Blondie’s “Rapture.” Because the music choices dance around the time period (1982) it’s almost as if the music merely represents a dream of the time, mishmashing songs from 1988 with Gary Numan’s “Cars,” which peaked a full eight years prior.
The soundtrack is split into two halves, the first featuring the aforementioned “I Love the 80’s” mix, and the second half with Joby Talbot‘s whimsical score. Listening to the score by itself, I like it a lot better than I did originally hearing it in the film, as it often jumped in front of the film, trying to lead instead of accompany the film’s gentle humor. But here, coupled with the chosen songs, it serves as a fun reminder of the innocent fun of Rambow.
Album: Aimee Mann – @#%&*! Smilers
Gone are the darker tones of the past two releases (Lost in Space, The Forgotten Arm) as well as electric guitar (not a one to be found!). Instead we find a more optimistic sounding Aimee, writing some of her brightest pop songs since Bachelor No. 2, the last time she flew at all above the radar. “Freeway” just might vault her back into the limelight she briefly (humbly) basked in following her contribution to Magnolia. It won’t be mistaken for anyone but Aimee, but with all the keyboards and not an electric guitar anywhere, it might take some getting used to.
More on the radar this week:
Spiritualized – Songs in A&E / Free album stream from AOL
Health – Disco / Free album stream from AOL / “Triceratops” (CFCF Remix) [mp3]
John Hiatt – Same Old Man
Julie Ocean – Long Gone and Nearly There / Free album stream / “Number 1 Song” [mp3]
Al Green – Lay It Down / “Abandon” [mp3]
I Love Math – Getting To The Point Is Beside It / “Josephine Street” [mp3]
Jenny Scheinman – Jenny Scheinman / “Seasick” [mp3]
Booka Shade – The Sun & The Neon Light / “The Sun and the Neon Light” [mp3]
James Pants – Welcome / Free album stream from AOL / “We’re Through” [mp3]
Walter Meego – Voyager
Steinski – What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospectivet / Free album stream from AOL
Mogwai – Young Team