Five soundtracks that are better than their movies
Often, not nearly enough attention is paid to movie soundtracks. While most movie buffs and cinephiles will memorise cast members and directors at the drop of a hat, with soundtrack composers it’s a little different. And if there is a well-known soundtrack, chances are it goes along with a classic, like Jaws or The Lord of the Rings. But not all incredible soundtracks have to go hand in hand with incredible movies. Here is our list of five soundtracks that are so good, they outshine their films.
Tron: Legacy was a particularly uninspiring example of style over substance. The movie looked expensive, sounded beautiful, and had a talented cast, but even Jeff Bridges couldn’t stop the end result from being simply average. Daft Punk are on top form, however, steadily building in tension, standing out a mile from the mediocrity, and mustering up as much emotion as they can from viewers to make up for all the rest. Standout tracks are The Game Has Changed and Overture.
The Great Gatsby
Unfortunately, one of the many things that worked against Baz Luhrman’s movie was that that soundtrack tried too hard to modernise the jazz age. But when taken on its own, the music is hugely enjoyable and very well done. Jack White and Lana Del Ray are definite highlights, and during the scenes in which they play, their songs are some of the few things that actually work in favour of the film. Sadly though, they just don’t fit the tone of the story. Our advice is to buy the soundtrack, and forget that it belongs to a movie.
As one of the more forgotten films in Cameron Crowe’s outstanding career, Singles is still pretty good. While it’s no Say Anything or Almost Famous, with Singles, Crowe created an enjoyable and somewhat interesting look at the love lives of Seattle’s grungy 20-somethings in the 90s. Similar to Reality Bites and other rom-coms about newly disaffected adults that came along later, Singles is a movie about offbeat love and realistic expectations, filmed against the backdrop of the Seattle music scene when Kurt Cobain was still alive. And it shows. The soundtrack features the likes of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, when they were fresh on the scene and about to change the rock music industry forever. As a veteran of Rolling Stone magazine, never let it be said that Cameron Crowe can’t pick a soundtrack.
The Twilight Saga
Forget the script, forget the source material, and forget everything you hate, or in some cases maybe even love, about the Twilight movies, and spare a thought for the soundtrack. The movies feature the likes of Muse, Paramore, and Death Cab for Cutie, and the resulting sound is like a who’s who mixtape of talented teen angst, and it’s surprisingly satisfying.
Unlike one or two of the movies on this list, The Hours is just a fantastic film all round. There’s really no two ways about it. The performances of the cast coupled with the quiet fierceness of the script make for a movie that is a muted force of nature. But neither Nicole Kidman nor Ed Harris were the best thing about this movie. Instead Phillip Glass’s perfect soundtrack is what elevated The Hours from being just a good movie to being a work of art.