Monday, January 28, 2008

Review: Juno Original Soundtrack


The soundtrack to this year’s plucky teen comedy Juno is like a visit from some old friends you haven’t seen in a while, arriving at your doorstep with an awkward smile, many stories to tell and a tendency to drift off into the amusingly nonsensical. As they warm your heart and tickle a smile onto your face, you'll be left wondering how you survived as long as you did in their absence.

Kimya Dawson, candidly-honest anti-folk heroine and front woman of The Moldy Peaches, provides the very heart of the film’s music. Her candour permeates through her sweet, sharp, nostalgic guitar playing and often provides lyrics that could be spoken by the movie's namesake herself. ‘Anyone Else But You’ is a particular gem on this compilation. A cover of an original Moldy Peaches song, it is tenderly reinterpreted through the refreshingly unpolished voices of Ellen Page and Michael Cera, part-time musician and self-confessed music nerd.

Other treats include classics such as the dulcet tones of Buddy Holly crooning ‘Dearest’, the child-like piano melody of The Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Sticking With You’, and Barry Louis Polisar’s country-tinged jangle ‘All I Want Is You’, dripping with earnestly endearing lyrics that could melt the hearts of even those who staunchly oppose Dolly Parton-esque love songs . Chan Marshall offers the unflinchingly vulnerable 'Sea of Love'; almost sounding like Canadian folk songstress Feist's older sister in her vocal delivery. Scottish indie darlings Belle & Sebastian also make an appearance, offering upbeat, acoustic melodies such as ‘Piazza, New York Catcher’. Antsy Pant's adorably metaphorical 'Tree Hugger' contains lyrics worth writing down in permanent marker on every available space possible; it's charm in the visible laughter of Kimya Dawson through her words, and stumbled-over French phrases.

Even Sonic Youth find their place in the group with a nebulously dreamy cover of The Carpenters’ hit ‘Superstar’. Additionally, the playful, tenacious vocals of Antsy Pants contribute to the underlying, innate rebelliousness and unabashed nature of Juno. The soundtrack thus presents a heart-felt amalgamation of the clashing personalities, both in the film and in the voices of the musicians, as they struggle to find acceptance and stability in their lives, regardless of their age, or the gap that it might wedge between them.

One thing is for certain, however: the charm and irresistibility of this soundtrack is resilient, refusing to wear thin even after numerous listens, assuring you a sort of new and improved outlook on your life, thanks to a hand-picked bunch of bands and musicians that should certainly be a part of every fervent music lover's life.

Rating: (4/5 apples!)

P.S - When you snag yourself a copy, please, please, please enjoy the album, and every song on it, unattatched to the fact that is probably on every wannabe hipster's top five favourite soundtracks of all time list, okay?

A sampling of one of the most lyrically eloquent songs from the collection:

Antsy Pants - Tree Hugger

(The flower said "I wish I was a tree"/The tree said "I wish I could be a different kind of tree"/The cat wished that it was a bee/The turtle wished that it could fly really high into the sky/Over rooftops and then dive deep into the sea)

No comments: