Music — The Best Sounding Movies Of Fall

The best sounding movies of fall

Soundtracks worth scoring

By Amy Diaz []

Some movies sound better than they appear.

Garden State, for example, was one of my favorite movies of the late summer/early fall. A solid little B+ coming of age film with a sweet romance and a nice dollop of black comedy.

But it was the Garden State soundtrack that really blew me away.

A lovely, mellow mix of indie rock, the album probably my favorite movie compilitation released in 2004.

I have high hopes, however, that it will get some company when the soundtracks for fall movies hit the shelves. Unlike summer movies—which usually provide great action sequences but horrible “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing”-filled soundtracks—the thinkier fall movie crowd is fertile ground for some great mix-tape style CDs.

In addition to Garden State, the early part of the fall saw a fun collection with the soundtrack from Wicker Park. Far more entertaining than the movie, the album featured tracks from Death Cab for Cutie, Snow Patrol, The Shins and Mogwai. The standout is a kicking little cover of “Against All Odds” by the Postal Service.

Released a few weeks before Friday’s opening of Ray, this Ray Charles life story has the kind of material a music editor must dream about.The 17 tracks range from early Charles (“Mess Around,” “I’ve Got a Woman”) to later Charles (“Georgia On My Mind,” “You Don’t Know Me”).

The album isn’t necessarily a sampler of Charles’ styles but a greatest hits with emphasis on the younger years. What really comes throw is the power of Charles voice and the originality of his sound which is blues, gospel and soul without really being confined to any of those genres. Stand-out tracks such as “What’d I Say” and “(Night Time Is) The Right Time” remind you that before Charles became famous for pretty songs like “Georgia On My Mind” he knew how to have some naughty fun.

Of course, not all soundtracks have to be so high minded. Sometimes they can just provide something to giggle at. Enter Team America: World Police.

The movie’s currently in theaters but the soundtrack is scheduled for release, rather appropriately, on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 2

Surely there is no better song to pump you up for a trip to the polls than the brilliant “America, F--- Yeah!” And, afterwards, romance the one you love to the soulful “Pearl Harbor Sucked and I Miss You.” These songs may not make it on to your I-Pod but the album will keep you in puppet humor until the DVD comes out.

As great as a multi-artist compilation-style soundtrack can be, one of my favorite soundtracks was the mostly-score-filled CD for Punch Drunk Love.

The brain behind that movie’s music is also the power behind the soundtrack/score for I Heart Huckabees.

This movie’s CD features the light, existential-comedy friendly score that filled the white space of this weird little movie. Also included are five songs (one of which appears in the movie’s trailer with vocals , though the movie includes only the instrumental version) from the aforementioned brain of Jon Brion.

If you are looking for a soundtrack that’s a little less cutting edge and a little more even-my-mom-will-like-it, save up for the Nov. 16 release of the soundtrack for Bridget Jones—The Edge of Reason.

Though an official track list is not available, unofficial reports include artists such as The Darkness, Joss Stone, Robbie Williams, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and a Rufus Wainwright/ Dido duet.

More biopic fun is on the way with the Nov. 23 release of the Beyond the Sea Soundtrack. This biography of Bobby Darin (starring a slicked back Kevin Spacey) will occasion a soundtrack of his most silky, danceable hits. (Though, sadly, his lovely “It Ain’t Necessarily So” is not on the roster.)

Of course the soundtrack that I’ll be most eagerly awaiting is the one to The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Scheduled for a late December release, the movie is another from the brilliant Wes Anderson who not only turns in consistenly entertaining fare but also darn fine collections of music.

—Amy Diaz

2004 HippoPress LLC | Manchester, NH