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(500) Days of Summer is a movie about love, sure, but it's also a movie about music. These songs build bridges between Tom and Summer and they tear them down. They can make you dance and they can make you cry. They describe how we feel and express emotions that just couldn't get out any other way. Music is the soul of this movie.
- director Marc Webb
Of course, I'm familiar with all bands on the soundtrack, most of these songs I already have on various albums. Particularly, I'm keen on the old stuff. I mean who can say no to Hall & Oates' "You Make My Dreams" as you picture Daryl Hall's legs flapping. Or just give into Morrissey as he whines "Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Pease, Please, Please, No Really Please Let Me Get What I Want". Or reflecting on a time of innocence with Simon & Garfunkel's sweet and harmless "Bookends".
If there is a theme on this soundtrack, it's that these are all love songs. While as usual, the more established alternative acts (Regina Spektor, Feist, Wolfmother) does a great job with their love songs, the unknown artists (at least to me) on this compilation actually does a great job introducing themselves to me. I was particularly impressed with "She's Got You High" by Mumm-Ra (are they named after the Thundercats' arch-nemesis? If so: AWESOME).
As a cover lover, I noticed there are two on the album. As I previously mentioned, "Please...." by She & Him does an excellent job with the cover, although it sounds pretty much like the original. Singer Zooey Deschanel does not bother changing the lyrics from a male's perspective (and there's no hint of desperation in her vocals) and M Ward does his best Johnny Marr jangly guitar. No problem here, it's just that I've heard this before.
official/myspace). She re-interpreted the song as a slower-based song with male backup singers. There's just something really sweet about the song when it's slowed down from the original.
The really weird wild-card in this bunch is current-spouse of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian model-turned-singer, Carla Bruni. To be fair, she's been releasing music since 2002, and her acoustic-folk French song, "Quelqu'un m'a dit" does a nice job as a break between all the English-based songs.
It should be interesting to see where the soundtrack play in the movie, so let me know if you see (500) Days of Summer. The romantic comedy movie is currently playing at selected theaters near you, while the soundtrack is available now via the great Sire Records. There's always Amazon and iTunes (iTunes version includes the actors singing "Sugar Town", "Here Comes Your Man" and "At Last").
Trivia: The movie will be released in Australia on October 1st, where the soundtrack actually have two Aussie bands: The Temper Trap and Wolfmother.