Butter Soundtrack and Score

Composed By: Mateo Messina

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In Butter, young Destiny (Yara Shahidi) is an orphan in a small town in Iowa who finds herself placed with Ethan and Jill Emmet (Rob Corddry and Alicia Silverstone).  While visiting the Iowa State Fair, she discovers a display of a prize-winning butter sculpture.  Proving that she has a talent for carving butter, Destiny soon finds herself pitted against Laura Pickler (Jennifer Gardner), an ambitious competitor who will stop at nothing to win.

                In October 2012, Lakeshore Records released two albums of music from Butter.  The Butter Soundtrack features music by various artists such as Fitz and the Tantrums, Orleans, Hugo, Hot 8 Brass Band and more.  The Butter Original Score features music created by American composer Mateo Messina who has written, produced and premiered fifteen symphonies since the age of twenty-three.  But he is best known for the musical scores he has created for commercials (Nike, Microsoft, Honda, Sony, Norelco and more) and films such as Thank You For Smoking, Up in the Air and Juno.

                The music found on the Butter Soundtrack alternates between rock and country and isn't particularly set in any decade, although a couple of the best songs on the album were popular in the 70s.  The theme is love - obsessive, happy, broken, unrequited...and even love of food, expressed in the tongue-in-cheek track Butter (The Greatest Gift in Life).  The tracks I did recognize were not exactly versions I had heard on the radio.  I wasn't fond of the version of Still the One by Orleans.  Despite the fact that it was performed by the original artist, it is not the beloved version I grew up adoring.  I loved what the Hot 8 Brass Band did with Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing.  It gave the song more depth to hear it performed in a marching band style musically combined with a pure The White Shadow shower scene sing-a-long.  An extremely unique and refreshing approach to the song.  The only song that I recognized that sounded exactly as I remembered it was Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest.

                The musical score of Butter is actually quite enjoyable - possibly more so than the soundtrack.  It has a unique funky jazz sound with quirks in the music that indicate the humorous disposition of the film.  Despite the fact that the tracks are short and numerous, I found myself really getting into the music, tapping my hands and feet to the beats and air-playing piano pieces.  I listened to the score at least three times and found it to be a lot of fun.

                In short, both the Butter Original Score and the Butter Soundtrack are enjoyable albums, but I found the score much more enjoyable, offering up a unique and fun sound that kept my attention far easier than the soundtrack did.


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