The D Train

Music Composed By: Andrew Dost

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the comedy, The D Train, Jack Black is Dan Landsman, former high school geek, now chairman of the high school alumni committee.  Planned attendance for the twentieth high school reunion is not looking good, but Dan has a plan.  Oliver Lawless (James Marsden) who was once the most popular guy in high school has landed a gig as the face for Banana Boat's television campaign.  If Dan can get Oliver to go to the reunion, others will follow, but just how much is Dan willing to give up to become Mr. Popular.

            The music of The D Train features songs by various artists such as INXS, The Vapors, Candlebox and Mr. Mister and a musical score by Andrew Dost.  An American musician and songwriter with the ability to play multiple instruments, Dost is probably best known as a member of the popular indie band fun. The score of The D Train represents his first foray into feature film scoring.

            According to Dost, "The directors Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul, absolutely had a clear vision.  They knew right away that they wanted a synthesizer-driven, John Hughes-esque score.  We tried a few different ideas anyway - a western, Morricone style sound, for example - but when we landed back on the synthesizers we knew it was the way to go."  In keeping with the John Hughes-esque scoring idea, Dost used synthesizers to express the emotions of the film's main characters.  Dan is featured prominently with upbeat tones that gain momentum as his determination rises and sad, mellow tones as his low self-esteem climbs to the forefront.  Oliver Lawless is a more mysterious and dangerous synthesized sound with percussion beats.

            And though the score is just what the directors were looking for, it's the songs that I really enjoyed, taking me back to my own past.  It starts off with A Million Stars, an original song by Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark), Rob Kroehler (Ladylike), Jack Antonoff (fun.) and Andrew Dost that has that 80s feel.  That is followed by So In Love by Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark, Never Tear Us Apart by INXS, Harden My Heart by Quarterflash, I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner, Turning Japanese by The Vapors, Kyrie by Mr. Mister and Far Behind by Candlebox.  All of these songs are from the 80s and speak of the wonders and angst of love found, love lost and the changes love imposes on an individual. 

            The D Train Soundtrack is an incredibly fun listening experience with songs and score that will bring many of us back to a simpler time when being liked in high school was a main priority and not much else mattered.  The music of this film was a great way for Dost to begin his film scoring career.


For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at