Thursday, August 12, 2010

We are Sex Bob-Omb! We're Here to Make You Think About Death and Get Sad and Stuff: The Scott Pilgrim Movie Soundtrack

It's Scott Pilgrim week on Shake Well Before Enjoying! I'll be talking about the soundtrack, the videogame, the movie and my feelings about the whole Scott Pilgrim phenomenon today through Sunday! Why not a day for the comics? I guess I just feel like they've been covered pretty well. Most everyone who wants to read them has read them, and I'm not sure I have a lot to add to that conversation. It would, of course, be hard to talk about all this stuff without mentioning them, but I'm not setting aside a full post just about the books.

So, today... the soundtrack. The soundtrack came out earlier this week, and I've given it about three spins as of this writing. Some things to get out of the way; if you don't like either a) indie rock, especially of the Canadian variety or b) Beck, you're probably better off taking a pass on this one. There are a couple of old rock 'n' roll standards ("Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones and "Teenage Dream" by T-Rex), but mostly this is late '90s to current indie rock and new Beck songs.

That being said, if you like either of those things, or especially if you like both, this is a disc (or a download, I guess, if you're one of those people) that's well worth your money. The new Beck songs are separated as ones by Sex Bob-Omb! (Scott's fictional band) and those that are just performed by Beck himself. I honestly like the Sex Bob-Omb tracks better, but that has a lot to do with the fuzzed out garage rock style that they possess. Beck and Edgar Wright really seemed to hit on what, at least in my mind, Sex Bob-Omb's sound would be. Also, the fact that the actors actually perform those tracks is pretty awesome.

In addition to those, Broken Social Scene teamed with the actor who plays Crash to provide two Crash & the Boys tracks (but no The Boys & Crash tracks). One of which is "I Am So Sad, So Very, Very Sad," which is done pretty much exactly as it was in the comics. The second is "We Hate You, Please Die," which, despite not containing a dedication to Scott's roommate, is still a pretty rockin' tune.

As for songs by "real" bands, Metric contributes a new song, the Plumtree song which is the protagonist's namesake makes an appearance and the inimitable Frank Black (of the Pixies, natch) shows up with "I Heard Ramona Sing." The whole thing plays like a really great garage/indie mixtape. It even throws in a random chiptune version of one of the Sex Bob-Omb songs! There are only a few weak points, and it mostly revolves around the one or two bands I didn't really like before anyways. (Sorry, Beachwood Sparks, you kind of bore me!)

The only other minor gripes I have revolve around things I would have liked to see, being a fan of the comic. I was hoping for "Launchpad McQuack" and "LAST SONG KILLS AUDIENCE," in terms of songs from the fictional bands. As for "real" bands, in one of the books, Bryan Lee O'Malley talks about the music he listens to while drawing/writing, and he states that he always felt the Replacements were Ramona's favorite band. There are no Replacements tracks on this soundtrack, but, hey, that's being nitpicky. Not to mention, I haven't seen the movie yet, and it's very possible that there are songs in the movie that just aren't on the disc.

So, yeah, overall, aside from a few minor gripes, a great soundtrack. I really recommend it.

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