...or so I'm ready to argue as a 30 year devotee of this sorely under appreciated genre. So, in an effort to do my part, each week I'll be making recommendations of soundtracks current and vintage, make a fuss over long awaited soundtrack scores finally getting a well deserved release, and in general, make some noise about this often overlooked category. Beyond my long experience as a listener and as a pianist and songwriter, both of which I've put to use in writing a quarterly soundtrack column for the Chicago Tribune, I can only offer my recommendations. You'll discern my taste soon enough and upfront I'd like to make it clear that I'll focus most heavily on SCORE soundtracks. In the end, all criticism is subjective but if I can point a listener toward a little heard soundtrack or strongly advise you to either ORDER IMMEDIATELY or SKIP ALTOGETHER, all the better.
Just time for a quickie soundtrack this time out... But, of course, it’s a great one!
Another offbeat soundtrack listening experience is provided by Be Kind Rewind (Lakeshore Records) which finds director Michel Gondry's favorite composer Jean-Michel Bernard creating everything from propulsive 70s rhythmic tracks to what has to be the single most haunting score track of the year - "Solitude" - the piano based piece that accompanies the climax of Gondry's sweet film (the DVD is also a MUST). The movie also includes several source cues from the great blues pianist/singer Fats Waller (his legacy is part of the movie's plot), and some other fun source tracks. I'm also happy that a track of Mos Def (who stars in the film with Jack Black) singing "I Ain't Got Nobody" and "Ain't Misbehavin" in collaboration with Bernard. Bernard himself also shines - many of his cues are awash in strings and his bittersweet melodies never fail to emote. "Mr. Fletcher's Song" which features a vocal by Moe Holmes, the last of the 28 tracks on the jammed packed CD, is particularly moving. Bernard composed the music for Gondry's The Science of Sleep (another must have soundtrack) and the two have come up with another winning collaboration.