Music By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the hit Showtime comedy series, Shameless, William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, an alcoholic whose six intelligent and industrious children must find a way to make it through life on their own as their father can usually be found passed out on the floor in their South Side Chicago home. Based on a British comedy, Shameless tells the tale of a dysfunctional family who gets by despite the adversity they face without making apologies for their dysfunction.
Released in April 2014, Shameless: Music from the Television Series features songs from four seasons of the series. Choosing what songs will be on an album representing a show that is about to embark on its fifth season could not have been easy. In fact, the series has used over 750 songs in its run. According to Series Music Supervisor Ann Kline, "It was really hard narrowing the track list down! We tried to include songs that really captured the essence of the show. So, some of the tracks are wild, some quirky and some are really sad, but all are Shameless."
That being said, the album features some really great alternative rock music by bands I would like to know better like The High Strung, The Moog, La Strada, Choo Choo La Rouge, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Wild Yaks and more. The music does feature a variety of themes. There are songs about love (Loved You All Along by La Strada), the ups and downs of life (The Luck You Got by The High Strung), the times when it seems nothing ever goes right (Black Cloud by Choo Choo La Rouge), fun and silly rocking tracks (Tomahawk by the Wild Yaks), alternative/hill-stomping tracks (Something for Nothing by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band), sad tracks about getting yourself in over your head (Hangman by Chris Pureka ) and more. There's even a beautiful instrumental piece included on this album (Years by JBM).
Despite being an album filled with alternative music, each track has a different style and sound to it. Some are catchy, some are sad, some are sassy, but all are incredibly enjoyable. With only fourteen tracks though, the Shameless Soundtrack seems a bit too short, but Ann Kline thinks that there's a remedy for that: "Hopefully we can put out some follow up soundtracks, because there were tons more songs we would have loved to include, many of which are hard to find." Sounds like there might be a sequel album in the works. That's good news, because Shameless: Music from the Television Series is a definite hit as far as I'm concerned!