Jack Goes Boating

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            The romantic dramedy Jack Goes Boating stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Jack, a limousine driver with a dream to work for the New York MTA and such an obsession with reggae that he has actually made a half-hearted attempt at growing dreadlocks.  His friends, Clyde and Lucy (John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega) are determined to set Jack up with the perfect woman and so they introduce him to Connie (Amy Ryan), one of Lucy’s co-workers at a Brooklyn funeral home.  The two hit it off instantly and their relationship continues to grow as that of Clyde and Lucy falls apart.  A story of love, betrayal, friendship and grace, the movie opened in limited release in September 2010.

            The soundtrack of Jack Goes Boating features various artists such as Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bears, Darondo, and Mel Tormé with original music from Evan Lurie.  The music is as diverse as the characters and consists of a mix of alternative, reggae and jazz.  Prior to reading the film description, I had no understanding of the eclectic song selections found on this soundtrack.  Now that I know what the film is about I have a better understanding of the styles of songs selected for the film.

            That being said, it doesn’t mean that I actually enjoyed this soundtrack.  Different styles of music can be placed together on a soundtrack without seeming sound wrong with one another, but on the Jack Goes Boating Soundtrack, the various styles seems to clash irreparably.  There is no flow from one song to the other.  You go from alternative to alternative to reggae to jazz and jazz and more jazz.  Despite the variety in the musical genre, the shows should still flow into one another with a sense of cohesiveness.  Not so on this soundtrack.

            I did enjoy the jazz tracks, but that was not enough for me to recommend purchasing the Jack Goes Boating Soundtrack.  The songs may make sense for the various scenes they were chosen for, but the reality is that as a soundtrack, this album is a mishmash of mismatched music and not worth wasting hard-earned money on.


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