Paper Heart

Music By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Ask Charlyne Yi about love and sheíll tell you that it doesnít exist, at least not in that Hollywood fantasy style of love anyway.  Searching for some understanding of the idea of love, Charlyne and her friend Nick (Jake M. Johnson) begin a trip across America to create a documentary on the subject.  As she talks with friends, romance novelists, bikers, scientists, clergy and even children, Charlyne receives a multitude of answers, but nothing concrete that would prove to her that love truly exists.  That is, until she meets Michael (real life boyfriend Michael Cera), a boy who shares her skepticism and outlook on life.  Will Michael be the one person who can prove to Charlyne the existence of love?

            Independent films often use independent artists when creating a soundtrack and Paper Heart is no exception.  What does make this soundtrack very exceptional is that two of the largest musical contributors are actually two of the stars in the film.  Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi wrote and performed most of the music found on the Paper Heart soundtrack.  Other contributors include Alden Penner, Nicholas Scribner, Benjamin Borden, Mark Lawson, Matthew Patrick Davis and Zach Condon.

            After listening to the soundtrack, I was floored to realize that a majority of the mostly upbeat and quite enjoyable soundtrack was actually written by two comedic actors.  It was clear to me that Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera are even more talented than I could ever imagine.  Their musical scoring is incredibly imaginative, adding a uniqueness to the music that wouldnít be found on most soundtracks.  For instance, who would have ever thought they would see bells in a dirty sock listed  among the instruments used to create a soundtrack.  These were the most exotic instruments appearing along with whistling, snapping, claps, glockenspiel, maracas, accordions, thumb pianos, autoharps, baby harps, melodica drums, shakers, and your average guitars, flutes, keyboards, bass and percussion.  I was even surprised to discover the range of the musical talent of the actors who performed every instrument so well that I would have never guessed them amateurs.

            While I enjoyed every single track of the Paper Heart Soundtrack, Twin Dream Pheonix is my favorite.  It begins with an interesting Latin flare and ends giving the listener the feeling that itís high noon and something interesting is about to happen to our favorite gunslinger.

            The entire soundtrack is an extremely enjoyable and unique experience, including the song Magic Perfume, written by Charlene Yi and Matthew Patrick Davis and sung quite horribly by Charlyne Yi.  Despite the offkey singing, you canít help but laugh at the lyrics.  Listening to the Paper Heart Soundtrack was one of those things that canít be adequately described.  You have to experience it for yourself to get the full picture.  Suffice it to say that I was extremely impressed with what I heard and now want to see the movie as soon as it hits the theaters.


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