Soundtracks are a lot more than movie music...
...or so I'm ready to argue as a 30 year devotee of this sorely under appreciated genre. So, in an effort to do my part, each week
I'll be making recommendations of soundtracks current and vintage, make a fuss over long awaited soundtrack scores finally getting
a well deserved release, and in general, make some noise about this often overlooked category. Beyond my long experience as a
listener and as a pianist and songwriter, both of which I've put to use in writing a quarterly soundtrack column for the Chicago
Tribune, I can only offer my recommendations. You'll discern my taste soon enough and upfront I'd like to make it clear that I'll
focus most heavily on SCORE soundtracks. In the end, all criticism is subjective but if I can point a listener toward a little heard
soundtrack or strongly advise you to either ORDER IMMEDIATELY or SKIP ALTOGETHER, all the better.
Just time for a quick recommendation this week:
Music has always been an important component of the films of director Robert Altman and
his latest, a fictional version of the backstage goings on at A Prairie Home Companion is no
exception. This soundtrack (out now on New Line Records) of the movie version of the long
running radio hit has all the folksy trademarks fans of the show (and the O Brother, Where Art
Thou? soundtrack) will clamor for. Presiding over the all star cast (each contributing songs) of
Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson, and yes, Lindsay Lohan, is Garison Keillor
himself and his wonderful, unsung backing musician's. Streep’s voice is perfectly suited for
the country flavored songs as is Harrelson’s while Lohan offers enough enthusiasm on her
“Frankie & Johnny” number to squeak by. At times this sounds like a soundtrack sequel to
Altman’s all star Nashville – 30 years later. Get out your guitar pics and prepare to strum
along, country folkies!
Don't forget to check out previous soundtrack recommendations by visiting the ARCHIVES
Next Week: TBD
The soundtrack cover for Robert
Altman's latest cinematic subculture
examination, a fantasy version of
the long running A Prairie Home
Companion, onscreen singing sisters
Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin (below)
and Streep's daughter in the film,
Lindsay Lohan (below right), getting
her chance at the mic.