Based on the hip, wildly popular young adult novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist follows the young, romantically burned bass player Nick (Juno and Superbad’s Michael Cera) over the course of an adventurous, sleepless night lived after hours in the underground indie rock scene of New York. Joining him in his musical scavenger hunt to discover the location of a secret show featuring a legendary band is the far worldlier Norah (Charlie Bartlett’s Kat Dennings). As the two opposites attract over their taste in killer tunes in director Peter Sollett’s cinematic adaptation of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
Arguably the Fall release that’s been receiving the most buzz in the film world with infectious trailers and interactive opportunities for fans to build their own streaming musical playlist, video, or photo filled widgets from Sprout Builder and Sony Pictures, while the film itself doesn’t open until October 3, the soundtrack has been garnering pre-orders since August. Set to hit the street on September 23, the jam-packed, eclectic and catchy fifteen track album (which will also be released in limited edition in vinyl directly from Atlantic Records), offers listeners the chance to play musical detectives right along with Nick and Norah as we groove to the alternately snappy and splendorous offerings by some of indie rock’s finest bands who have yet to catch on to the general public.
After only a few listens, with refreshingly a different artist for each and every tune, I was hooked. Ready to track down more from nearly every act included and thankfully via MySpace and band websites, you’ll be able to locate them far quicker than Nick and Norah do in the film. Of course, had they just grabbed a laptop, there would’ve been no need for a book, let alone a movie.
The disc opens with the melancholic yet pretty “Speed Of Sound,” by the late Chris Bell which helps evoke Nick’s heartache audibly as it laments tragedy throughout the endlessly depressing lyrics making the beauty of the track seem like an ingeniously ironic counterpoint. However, Devendra Banhart’s “Lover,” a toe-tapping and peppy propositional come-hither tune with a great hook about ninety seconds in, establishes the sheer joy and optimism of whimsical and surprisingly funny new young love.
Ratcheting it up several decibels, Bishop Allen’s “Middle Management,” a ska-punk lite track is a highpoint and used throughout promos for the film and can be heard as one of many soundtrack tunes in the veritable musical scrapbook that is the film’s official trailer.