Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In Song One, Anne Hathaway is Franny Ellis, an anthropology student who returns to New York City upon learning that her estranged musician brother (Ben Rosenfield) is in a coma after a car accident. In an attempt to understand her brother and find something that will bring him out of his coma, Franny studies his journal. Heading to music clubs in the city, Franny records music her brother has enjoyed in the past and eventually meets one of his favorite musicians, James Forrester (Johnny Flynn), convincing him to play for his brother. In attempting to revive her brother, Franny finds herself reviving something within herself, thanks to a new relationship with his favorite musician.
The Song One Soundtrack features songs performed by various artists such as Naomi Shelton and The Gospel Queens, Sharon Van Etten, America, Felice Brothers and more. But to create the songs performed by Johnny Flynn, the powers that be brought in Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice, AKA: Jenny & Johnny, who worked to find the sound that would eventually become James Forrester's soulful, heartfelt signature sound.
Songs featured on the Song One Soundtrack often have a country feel, though there are some funkadelic, electronic and foreign entries in the mix. Many of the songs are about some sort of loss. April and Little Yellow Dress are songs about love lost. Big Black Cadillac speaks about the pain of James' childhood - the loss of his mother as she ran away from her family. Afraid of Heights is a cute track performed by Johnny Flynn and Anne Hathaway. It's not really a song, but a snippet of singing and speaking set to music. Then there's that strange electric sound of The Crystal Cat by Dan Deacon, which actually features some rather strange cat sounds in the song. Oh, and lets not forget the weird tongue-clicking in O Leaozinho by Paul Whitty.
I love the songs created for and performed by Johnny Flynn, whose soulful sound gives each song that much more meaning. I enjoyed the retro America track, I Need You, a song I grew up with as a kid. But my favorite track on the album is What Have You Done by Naomi Shelton and The Gospel Kings, a funkadelic track which reminds you that the evil done to others will eventually have to be paid back when the end comes around.
In the end, the Song One Soundtrack was quite an entertaining listen. I enjoyed the variety of sounds and styles on the soundtrack and could definitely picture Anne Hathaway's character traveling to various clubs and music scenes, sampling the music to bring her brother back to the land of the living. Definitely an interesting concept that has brought about a pretty decent soundtrack.