Hippo Manchester
September 15, 2005

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CD Reviews
by Amy Diaz

Various artists, Soundtrack to Broken Flowers

Decca Records, 2005

***1/2

For a movie that uses words so sparingly, Broken Flowers surprises by being just as minimalist with its music.

Jazz artist Mulatu Astake’s cool, minor-key instrumentals are the only sound during several solitary scenes of Bill Murray’s character’s travels from one ex-girlfriend to another. Songs like “There Is An End” and “Tell Me Now so I Know” from Holly Golightly provide an equally sleek retro note that is as full of opaque meaning as the movie itself. Only “Not if You Were the Last Dandy on Earth” by Brian Jonestown Massacre breaks the tone with aggression only hinted at elsewhere. “Requiem. OP. 48” performed by Oxford Camerata gives us the other end of the spectrum — the deep well of emotion that Murray’s character never once gives us more than a slight hint of.

Viewing Jim Jarmusch’s quirky, quiet movie isn’t necessary to enjoy this equally oddball soundtrack. But one certainly makes you an even bigger fan of the other.