Silver Linings Playbook
Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Sony Music
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the romantic dramedy Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper is Pat Solitano, a former high school teacher who has just returned to his family home after spending time in a mental health care facility coping with bipolar disorder. He has only been away eight months, but in that time, his wife (Brea Bree) has moved away, filing a restraining order against Pat as a result of the violent episode that put him in the hospital in the first place. His father (Robert DeNiro) has lost his job and has resorted to bookmaking to raise money. Things look bleak until Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), an out of work widow with whom Pat develops an interesting bond that turns into something much more.
The Silver Linings Playbook Soundtrack features music by various artists including Stevie Wonder, Danny Elfman, Jesse J, Rare Earth, Alabama Shakes and more. The music has a decidedly older sound to it, featuring some older Motown and country rock, and basically speaks to all the various facets of love from unrequited, to full on love, to love lost. I recognized and enjoyed quite a few of the songs on this album, including the beautiful song of unrequited love My Cherie Amor by Stevie Wonder, Hey Big Brother by Rare Earth, and Unsquare Dance and the West Side Story tune Maria by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.
I also found a new song on the album that spoke to my romantic nature. Written by Diane Warren and performed by Jesse J, Sliver Lining (Crazy 'Bout You) is a love song with such amazing lyrics that I just have to let them speak for themselves: "Call me crazy / In a world when no one, no one understands / It good to finally find someone, someone who can / You know me, better than I know myself / Don't care what they say, don't care what this world thinks / We got each other that's all we need / And you show me / I don't need nothing else." The lyrics are not only beautiful in their strength and conviction, but they perfectly describe the relationship that eventually develops between Pat and Tiffany in the film.
On the other side of the spectrum, I have to say that there was one song on the album that annoyed me to no end. Intended to be an ode to a special woman, Girl from the North Country comes off rather painful thanks to the unlikely pairing of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. Quite honestly, I think the song would have been much better had it only been sung by Johnny Cash, but that's just my personal opinion...one that I happen to think many who hear Girl from the North Country will share with me.
Despite that aforementioned monstrosity, I found the Silver Linings Playbook Soundtrack to be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to describing the various emotions surrounding love. The songs that were selected made perfect sense when one realizes what the movie was about and, as a standalone album, the Silver Linings Playbook Soundtrack will be an album any fan of songs with meaningful lyrics and great melodies will enjoy.