Catch and Release:
Music from the Motion Picture
(Sony Music Soundtrax/Legacy)
First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2007, Volume 14, #1
Written by John Metzger
Movie soundtracks can be tricky propositions to assemble. Without the accompanying visuals that a film inherently provides, a stream of songs quickly can devolve into a nonsensical flurry of disconnected music. Rarely, then, do these kinds of compilations capture the magical cohesiveness of a good, personalized mix tape, which makes the outing associated with Catch and Release — the new film starring Jennifer Garner and Timothy Olyphant — an exception to the rule. The entirety of the set unfolds in a single-minded fashion as it explores life and love by linking together material that occupies the sonic space where Death Cab for Cutie’s indie pop intersects with Sufjan Stevens’ indie folk — though, for the record, Stevens himself doesn’t appear on the collection.
Razor, a track that was culled from Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor, is given a new life as Catch and Release’s opening cut. With its rippling, acoustic guitar refrains, the song casts a gentle effusion of currents, both light and dark, as if to mirror the difficult decisions that come with the dawning of a new day. Throughout the remainder of the affair, the music subtly vacillates between hope and dejection as the album’s bittersweet melodies unite to form a colorful, emotional tapestry. On My Drug Buddy, for example, The Lemonheads concocts a haunting depiction of co-dependency, while Andrew Rodriguez finds strength by blurring the line between Neil Young’s angst and Hall & Oates’ blue-eyed soul on the confessional What I Done. Elsewhere, Alaska! builds upon the ebb and flow of Byrds-ian country (Resistance), Paul Westerberg revels in his misery (Let the Bad Times Roll), and Gary Jules updates Cat Stevens’ brand of pastoral, airy folk (Pills). Other highlights include the Doves’ glorious epic There Goes the Fear; the spry, elastic groove of Gomez’s These 3 Sins; the perky, harmonic beauty of The Magic Numbers’ Mornings Eleven; and the twinkling majesty of Blinker the Star’s A Nest for Two. In most cases, the tunes have been rescued from an array of solid if lesser endeavors, and the organic nature of their new sequencing on Catch and Release transforms the set from a simple movie soundtrack into a survey of the current alternative and indie music scenes that can stand on its own accord. ½
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box