WEEKEND.MUSIC

The marriage of music and film

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Oct. 27, 2005 

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Cameron Crowe is the kind of director who values music almost as importantly as the acting, script and cinematography in film. In an interview about the choice of music in his films from the "Elizabethtown" Web site (www.elizabethtown.com) Crowe said, "There is nothing more powerful than when the right piece of music marries with the right piece of film."

Like other music-savvy filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson) Crowe seems to have a knack for using music and songs to help project the mood of his films.

"Elizabethtown" is Crowe's sixth film to date and, like his others, features a soundtrack that not only embodies the feeling of the film but also Crowe's apparent love of music.

In the past, Crowe employed a certain flavor in his soundtracks. With "Almost Famous" he took on his love of classic rock. In "Singles" he tapped the 90's alternative and Seattle grunge rock scene, while "Say Anything" focused on the power of a great love song. With "Elizabethtown," country music seems to be his weapon of choice.

The "Elizabethtown" soundtrack features fifteen wonderfully diverse songs that manage to work seemingly well with the overall feeling of his new film opus. The opening song to the disc is by Crowe's musical muse/wife Nancy Wilson, who provides yet another wonderful instrumental piece (not to mention a second soundtrack disc devoted solely to her film score).

Other notable tracks come from Elton John's "My Father's Gun" which makes numerous appearances in the film, an interesting piece from Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and a nice little closing track by relatively new country rock group I Nine. There are also a couple fun country tracks from The Hombres and Patty Griffin.

Tom Petty's "It'll All Work Out," and Helen Stellar's "io (This Time Around)" were the most memorable tracks from the film and are definitely the two strongest songs on the soundtrack.

"Elizabethtown" is a solid soundtrack with very agreeable songs, however, it isn't Crowe's best compilation to date. There are a couple songs that seem to be out of place or just lacking excitement (Ryan Adams' sleepy song "Come Pick Me Up" seems to drone on in monotonous drag for five minutes too long.) However, for those Crowe fans out there, this soundtrack will no doubt be a must-have, especially if you appreciate and love music as much as Crowe does.

 

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