Music by: Various Artists
Distributed by: Sony Masterworks
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the British drama, Shame, Michael Fassbender stars as Brandon, a successful and handsome man in his thirties who lives and works in New York. On the surface, it would seem that Brandon has it all, but he has been keeping a secret - Brandon struggles with a sex addiction. Keeping it under wraps for quite some time, Brandon wonders what he will do when his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) arrives unannounced with indefinite plans as to the length of her stay.
The music of Shame features a clever mix of genre from various artists including musical score from Harry Escott, a British composer whose main focus as a composer is to create music that can act as a storyteller. Escott is best known for his musical scoring of the movies Hard Candy, A Mighty Heart, Deep Water and Shifty. The musical score for Shame depicts the emotions of the main character, Brandon, as he struggles with the ups and downs of his addiction. There are only three tracks of musical scoring by Escott, but each track features dramatic composition offering insight into Brandon and his psychological and emotional issues.
But to me, the best part of this soundtrack is the way it appeals to lovers of every genre. The musical score by Harry Escott is interspersed around classical music by Johann Sebastian Bach, R&B by Tom Tom Club, punk by Blondie, disco by Chic, jazz by John Coltrane and Chet Baker and dance music from Marc Loque. I loved the classical tracks (Aria, Prelude and Praeludium) by Bach performed by celebrated Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. Blondie's Rapture brought back memories of my youth as did Chic's I Want Your Love. I found Chet Baker's Let's Get Lost to be a beautiful love song and had a lot of fun singing along with it.
There were only two tracks that I found a bit trying. First, although I loved the jazz stylings of My Favorite Things by Coltrane, I found the track to be a bit too long. I was smiling at first when I heard this version of a song I've known since childhood, but after ten minutes, I was starting to wonder just how long Coltrane could actually drag this thing out (the track is actually over thirteen minutes long. I also found fault with New York, New York. Perhaps I am too in love with the version of the song performed by Frank Sinatra, but I've heard other versions of the song and not found them to be as misguided as the version by Carey Mulligan on this soundtrack. It's not horrible, but it's not good either.
To sum things up, there isn't one music aficionado who couldn't find something to like about the Shame Soundtrack. It features an excellent mix of genres arranged to perfectly complement each other. Some tracks will bring back memories, others will have you tapping your feet and still others you will find yourself singing along with. All-in-all, I'd say that make for one enjoyable soundtrack - a collection of music that perfectly compliments a film and is perfectly enjoyable as a standalone album.