These are not love songs, these are songs about love! What a tag line, and what a soundtrack for all the late gen Xers (or very early Y, if you’re being picky), who aren’t afraid to have their Simon and Garfunkel proudly displayed alongside their Regina Spektor, or their parents’ Hall & Oates side-by-side with The Smiths. Speaking of The Smiths, with the main character plainly a fan of sad British pop music, it’s only fitting to wrap yourself in Morrissey’s emotionally introspective lyrics with ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ and ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.’ For a theme of not receiving what you most desire the collection actually is more pensively, philosophically uplifting then one might initially judge.
Regina Spektor, who has consistently attracted the critics also has two worthy offerings with ‘Us’ and ‘Hero’. Mrs French president Carla Bruni contributes suitable background cafe-esque music for those of us not able to translate the words (Alas, its just not the same with Babel Fish), and Simon & Garfunkel’s short and sweet ‘Bookends’ fits succulently into the emotionally contended side of the mix. The single ‘Sweet disposition’ from soundtrack regulars The Temper Trap didn’t inspire at first, but the radio play did eventually thaw my critically snobbish musical high ground.
When you’re in love and the world is a sunshiney place to be, the Hall and Oates song ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ does indeed make you want to dance around the park in a choreographed group piece, along with the top-of-the-world joy of ‘She’s Got You High’ from Mumm Ra and Spektor’s ‘Us’, whereas when it all goes to the dogs ‘Hero’ and (indeed anything by) The Smiths share the pain.
The closing Smiths cover by She and Him isn’t necessary, but that’s what unsurprisingly and somewhat jadedly happens when the lead actress is a singer. And even when the tracks are not so easily thematically justifiable, the artists can be sweeped into the uber-cool musical cred of the characters (The Black Lips, Feist and even Wolfmother). Widely acclaimed (although admittedly from reviewers mainly in the ‘right’ age group), from such a recent film this has already become one of my favourite soundtracks. Listen to it proudly.