Where the Wild Things Are

Well the moment has finally arrived. Nope, Jon and Kate haven’t gotten back together, it’s the world wide release of
Where The Wild Thing Are, the highly anticipated Spike Jonze adaptation of the classic book. Whether or not you’re a fan of the film and/or book (and if you’re not, seriously get it together) there’s not doubt that you’ll run wild for the soundtrack. It’s simple in its concept; Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s) and some of her friends get together, watch an advance screening of the movie and make music that suits it. The result? A whimsical compilation aptly complementing a timeless story. The album is credited to Karen O and The Kids, the “kids” being members of Deerhunter, Liars and the Dead Weather and various members of The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s.

Knowing this information makes listening to the album almost like you’re eavesdropping in on a group of friends jamming. Whether they intended to or not, the entire album has a warmth and familiarity that works perfectly with the material at hand. Spike and Co. could have really dropped the ball on this soundtrack but he did right by calling up ex-girlfriend Karen O. and getting her to swing, chant, harmonize and clap her way through this magical album. Perhaps I’m being a bit airy using words like “magical” and “whimsical”, but that’s the essense of the film and the soundtrack follows suit. It’s Karen O being Karen O with her distinctive voice and energy: it’s sweet, full of emotion and simply a blast to listen to. Hearing little snippets of the film interspersed amidst the songs helps to create a visual picture associated with each track. My favourites are the first single, “All is Love”, “Rumpus” and “Cliffs” but I can’t really say why. Everyone who is familiar with the story will have their own connections to the film and the soundtrack so I leave filling in the “Best Song on The Album” column up to you. Hooray for a good soundtrack! Let the wild rumpus start!

Love 2

A gorgeous male duo out of France, AIR consists of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel. I can assure you, you’re going to fall in love with this band. Whether it’s because of their slinky sex appeal, their coy French accents peeking through smooth vocals or most importantly, the fact that they make super cool music, AIR should be on heavy rotation this autumn. Here’s the skinny, (btw, I think it’s time to bring back that saying; let’s do it together people) AIR’s been around for over a decade and Love 2 is their sixth studio album. One part electronica, one part pop and however many parts you want to dictate into creativity,
Love 2 may end up being the album that gets them some serious recognition. I’ve not seen them live yet, but I suspect it might be a pretty entertaining show with a stage peppered with Moog synthesizers, the Vocoder, a xylophone as well as all of the usual suspects.

“Tropical Disease” and “NightHunter” present a lengthy instrumental trip down Quaalude alley, albeit full of good intentions and interesting 70’s throwbacks. In fact, bringing up the 70’s makes me realize just how reminiscent of the decade that brought us key parties and butterfly collars this album really is; maybe that’s why I like it so much? Other must listens include “Heaven’s Light” a Beach Boys-esque ode to the great beyond and “Love”, simply a nice song and “Sing Sang Sung” a wispy tune worthy of cracking out the hookah.

This isn’t an album for the weak willed; you must be willing to give it a chance or two but when you do, you won’t be sorry. Check it out and let me know what you think at
[email protected].

Find out why Dead Man’s Bones should be on your playlist on the next page …

Dead Man’s Bones

Dead Man’s Bones

Anti Records

Werewolf Heart Records

Just in time for Halloween comes a spooky indie album brought to you by none other than Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling and fellow Canadian Zach Shields. Here’s the skinny, (I told you…I’m going to bring it back!) the two musicians met while in Toronto through their girlfriends. It just so happens that while Gosling was dating Rachael McAdams, Shields called her sister Kaylee his amour. The two bonded over a mutual obsession with all things haunted and ghoulish and began collaborating on what is quickly becoming a triumphant debut. You’re not going to want to put this one on if you’re looking for a pick me up after a day of being stuck on the subway smelling hot breath; it’s pretty heavy. You can quite easily pick up the dark undertones and spooky sentiments but there’s a silver lining to the despair and it comes in the form of the Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir. They’re not on every single track, but pretty close. The pair claim to be influenced by 1960’s doo wop, something you’ll clearly hear in “My Body’s a Zombie for You” as well as “In the Room Where you Sleep”, and the latter is reminiscent of The Monster Mash. Towards the end of the album “Paper Ships” actually has doobie doo wah weaved throughout the entire song..

Keep on listening to hear “Pa Pa Power” one of my favourite on the album, combining the kids’ choir and the duo’s haunting vocals, breaking into a surprisingly uplifting chorus and instrumental interlude. It kind of reminds me of something you might have heard on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. Dare I say that Dead Man’s Bones may be loosely compared to The Arcade Fire? It’s risky, but I’m putting it out there.

They’re currently on tour and quickly sold out their Toronto date. You can be sure a few star stalkers will show up to leer at Gosling but they may be surprised to see that the man who blew them away in Half Nelson may end up doing the same in Dead Man’s Bones.

Let me know if you’ve been listening to any cool new bands that you think ellecanada.com readers would love to know about. E-mail me at
[email protected].

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