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Music Review: Soundtrack – (500) Days Of Summer

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The soundtrack album to the motion picture (500) Days Of Summer has now been released. The movie is a romantic comedy starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Let me admit right up front that I have not seen the film. This means that the music from the soundtrack must stand on its own in this review, which may not be entirely fair to it or the film.

Let me also announce that the album is a nice listen in its own right. Yes I am sure that having seen the film would enhance the listening experience but the music does hang together in an odd way. It is quirky in places but never crosses the line into over indulgence. There is an ebb and flow that keeps my attention but is relaxing at the same time.

It starts out very strong. “A Story Of A Boy Meets Girl” is a spoken introduction to the theme of the movie and by virtue of its inclusion here to the theme of the album as well. Next comes a frenetic piano and vocal by Regina Spektor on “Us.” Strings are added and the pace slows a bit but Spektor’s changes of tone are constantly unique. Any material by The Smiths is always welcome and here “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” and “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" are included. They both contain a smooth vocal which belies the complex textures of the music.

Things slow down a bit but then the first chords of Hall & Oates big 1981 hit “You Make My Dreams” blast from the speakers. It may seem a bit out of place but musically it wakes you up and clears the palate, so to speak, for the second half of the album.

"Quelqu’un M’a Dit" is a track sung by Carla Bruni. It’s not in English and I don’t care. Its mood is seductive and it comes across as a love song, which I really hope is the case.

The women bring the album to a satisfying conclusion. Regina Spektor returns with “Hero” but it is Feist who steals the show. Her “Mushaboom” starts out as almost vaudeville/pop and morphs into her own brand of creative music. Meaghan Smith gives a good rendition of The Pixies “Here Comes Your Man” and even actress Zooey Deschanel takes a vocal turn with a reprise of “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.”

(500) Days Of Summer is above all an interesting and entertaining soundtrack album. Whether you see the movie or not, there is alot of good music to be had here.

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