Margot at the Wedding: Music from the Motion Picture
First Appeared in The Music Box, February 2008, Volume 15, #2
Written by John Metzger
Mon February 18, 2008, 07:00 AM CST
Even before the invention of the iPod, film soundtracks that moved beyond orchestral scores had a tendency to be rather eclectic affairs. Since then, they surprisingly have cut an even wider swath across the plains and plateaus of the music industry. In a sense, they are the only truly liberated aspect of a business that has become ridiculously sliced, diced, categorized, and segmented. Nevertheless, they also rarely live up to the potential and promise that they hold.
At first glance, Margot at the Wedding: Music from the Motion Picture certainly appears to be an intriguing prospect. Its creators not only were crazy enough to commingle oldies from Alice Cooper, Steve Forbert, Gilbert OíSullivan, The DBís, and X, but they also didnít forsake more recent fare from Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips as well as Diane Cluck. Unfortunately, while many of the songs themselves are quite good, the sum total of the endeavor slips into an uninspired, somnambulant haze.
The problems with Margot at the Wedding: Music from the Motion Picture are not immediately apparent, however. There are some truly wonderful songs that were unearthed for inclusion on the collection, and these are scattered here and there throughout the set. Likewise, there does appear, at least, to have been an attempt to bring some organization to the sequencing of the endeavor, which, for all intents and purposes, has been divided into smaller, more digestible segments. The opening mini-suite, for example, rolls from the endearing warmth of Forbertís Romeoís Tune to the gentle, folk-blues of Jorma Kaukonenís Genesis to the quaint and quiet í60s pop of Evie Sandsí One Fine Summer Morning before it returns, once again, to Forbertís underappreciated canon with Goiní Down the Laurel.
Still, itís telling that the track from Alice Cooper that is featured on Margot at the Wedding: Music from the Motion Picture is his tender ballad You and Me. Consequently, it ought not to be surprising that for all of its desire to put forth an eclectic exterior, the set instead winds up striking a rather monochomatic pose. Thereís a feeling of immense sorrow and pain that lies at its core; thereís a sense of disconnection and struggle that emanates from its soul. The DBís may claim that "nothing is wrong," but the listener is left instead with the impression that everything has gone horribly awry. Maybe this is precisely the point, but without the film to provide such context, Margot at the Wedding: Music from the Motion Picture sometimes sounds a little too claustrophobic and dreary.
Margot at the Wedding: Music from the Motion Picture is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
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