Karen O is the most influential woman in music in our current generation, okay maybe not, but she certainly should be. This year when she hasn’t been busy making us dance with her Yeah Yeah Yeahs outfit, she’s been busy creating the soundtrack to one of the most highly anticipated movies of the fall season.
Of course, what makes something incredibly anticipated? Time! We have been waiting to set our ears on this since early 2008 when rumors came out that Ms. O would be doing the whole thing herself.
So with all of that taken care of… what does it sound like? It sounds like she took it upon herself, not only to find some of the best creative minds indie music has to offer (Bradford Cox, Aaron Hemphill, Jack Lawrence, and the rest of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ crew) but she also did what we all should do more often, she used her imagination.
Quiet opener “Igloo” sounds as though O is standing over your bed, quietly humming you to sleep, while lead single, and standout track, “All is Love” comes quickly at you with a feverish, but simple acoustic guitar — and the kids, too. As she spells out “L.O.V.E.”, you can’t help but imagine O singing with a smile on her face.
“Capsize” doesn’t actually appear in the film, but does make a large appearance on the soundtrack, and could have easily been a full fledged Yeah Yeah Yeah’s rocker. The guitar and clap heavy track appeals more to the angrier side of the soundtrack. Nick Zinner adds an almost Pixies-esque guitar riff that while remaining simple is very dark.
“Worried Shoes”, a cover of Daniel Johnston’s 1983 track, gallops throughout, thanks to some embedded slow percussion. Despite being a cover, the song sounds entirely original and though it may sound dark, it’s actually quite uplifting, just wait ’til the end, where the realization sets in: “One day I looked around and I found the sun shining down/And I took off my worried shoes.”
The album pretty much goes right along with the story, even taking words from the book for song titles and adding in an occasional sound clip from the movie. And while most movies don’t use much of the soundtrack in the actual film, it’s very foreseeable that we could hear the majority of these tunes throughout.
Good soundtracks should make you feel exactly as the movie does. If these tunes are any indication, we are in for a movie that is both imaginative, uplifting, and to be enjoyed by adults and children alike. Speaking solely for the soundtrack, it’s a sometimes sugary sweet yet learning experience, and something that we haven’t really heard from Karen O in the past. As far as movie soundtracks go, this is one of the most appropriate and well done in some time.