Killing Them Softly

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on the novel Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins, Killing Them Softly stars Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, a professional hitman.  After a heist that takes place in a high stakes poker game in Markie Trotman's (Ray Liotta) illegal gambling establishment, Cogan is visited by an emissary for the mob.  He takes on the job, knowing that the person he is pointed towards is not responsible, but dealing with the situation in his own very special way.

                The Killing Them Softly Soundtrack features music by various artists including Carl Stone, The Velvet Underground, Nico, Barrett Strong and more.  As soon as I started listening to first track of the album, I started wondering if the version sent to me was corrupted somehow.  The strange interrupted ambient noise on Moon Dance is enough to give the listener pause, wondering if his/her hearing is a tad off...perhaps the ears need popping...nope, that's just the way this instrumental track is mixed.  Just plain weird, and that's exactly the way to describe the eclectic selection of songs found on this album.

                Now that I have done a little research on the movie, I can understand some of the selections like Heroine by Velvet Underground and I Think This Town Is Nervous by The Wreckery that, along with Money (That's What I Want) by Barrett Strong, describe characters and situations in the film.  But, without seeing the film, I have no idea what went into the selection of some of the older tunes like Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries by Jack Hylton and his Orchestra and It's Only a Paper Moon by Cliff Edwards.

                To someone who hasn't seen the film, the Killing Them Softly Soundtrack is a diverse collection of songs with seemingly no rhyme nor reason for the song selection.  There are no connections between the songs at all and the only song I found myself wanting to sing along with was an old favorite, Money (That's What I Want).  The rest of the soundtrack was so uninspiring that I couldn't be bothered with it.  Definitely not an album I would recommend as a stand alone and the honest truth is that this may not be an album that fans of the film are going to be bothered buying either.


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