No Impact Man

Composed By: Bobby Johnston

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            When author Colin Beavan decides to do some research for his latest novel, the self-proclaimed environmentalist decides he can no longer afford to not practice what he preaches.  He decides to conduct a one year experiment in which he will make as low an impact on the environment as possible.  That means no car, no garbage, no waste, no electricity, no non-local food, etc.  Unfortunately, he has more than one person to think about at this point Ė his wife and baby for example, who didnít exactly sign up for this experiment.  Thus, the No Impact Man documentary becomes more than just an experiment in environmentalism, but in just how much one woman is willing to sacrifice for the love of a man.

            The musical score of No Impact Man was created by composer Bobby Johnston.  Known for his use of organic and acoustic instruments in his musical scores (often played by Johnston himself) made Bobby Johnston the perfect choice as composer for this project.  In fact, according to Johnston, while the directors of this documentary were at his studio, ďwe began to notice that many of the instruments seemed to match the low impact spirit of the film. There are bottles, metal scrap pieces, found and repaired items. Very few of my instruments were bought new. Many are beat-up, cheapies; some were donated by friends who never used them.Ē  Thus, the musical score of No Impact Man features acoustic guitars and a variety of other instruments (rattles, bottles, etc.) and an extremely down to earth organic sound. 

            When I review soundtracks, there are times when I will look at the PR material prior to listening to the soundtrack, but sometimes, I simply listen to the music without looking at the PR.  That way, there are no preconceived notions regarding the film genre and what the music might sound like.  There are times that this style of reviewing music makes for an even better review.  In the case of No Impact Man, I had no idea what kind of movie this was or what it was about.  As I listened to the music, I felt wonderfully relaxed.  Iím a sucker for a well-played acoustic guitar and this album features plenty of that. 

            The acoustic guitars accompanied by rattles, bottles, homemade percussion instruments and the like arranged perfectly in accordance to Johnstonís composition is both relaxing and fun.  I challenge anyone to listen to this soundtrack and not tap their fingers, their feet or nod their heads along with the music.  The No Impact Man Soundtrack is a fun, uplifting, organic album perfectly suited for the film it was composed for and a great listen for music lovers everywhere.


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