The Closer: Season 3
Music By: Various Artists
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the comic book series by Alan Moore and David Gibbons, Watchmen is a mystery adventure film set in an alternate universe and timeline. In this alternate universe, superheroes have had a profound effect on society, changing the course of history by becoming involved in the Vietnam War and bringing a victory to the United States, among many other things. By 1985, the Cold War between Russia and the United States has escalated and the Doomsday Clock is approaching midnight. However, the Watchmen, a former vigilante superhero team, are dealing with a bigger issue – one of their former members has been murdered. An investigation into his death reveals a sinister plot to murder and discredit all superheroes. Can the Watchmen reunite and act in time to save the world’s superheroes or will they fall victim to the murderous conspiracy that threatens them all?
Watchmen is not your average superhero movie. In the past, movie superheroes were mostly good-doers who always used ethical means to fight crime. The Watchmen are a vigilante superhero team and therefore do not follow the ethical path. As director Zack Snyder imparts in the liner notes of Watchmen: Music from the Motion Picture, the movie basically pulls “people out of their comfort zone” and shakes up “their assumptions about superheroes and the type of world they might have created.” Such a movie is deserving of a soundtrack that throws the audience for a loop – something out of the ordinary and yet still blending with the movie and its storyline.
Watchmen: Music from the Motion Picture features music from various artists. Most times when you hear that a motion picture contains music from various artists, you expect that those artists will at least reflect a certain era or music genre. Not so in the case of Watchmen. In fact, this has to be the most eclectic collection of music I have ever seen assembled for a movie. You have the hard rocking alternative sound of My Chemical Romance, the soulful crooning of Nat King Cole, the folksy incantations of Bob Dylan, the rocking declarations of Janis Joplin, the bluesy beauty that is the voice of Billie Holiday, classical music, church music and more. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the variety of artists whose songs appear on this soundtrack.
The songs do much to reflect the timeline of the film as well as the feelings of the characters. I have yet to see the film, but I have had quite a bit of advance knowledge of it and I can see how each song somehow fits into the fabric of the film. But what meant even more to me is that I not only knew most of the songs on the album, I truly enjoyed quite a few of them. I love the romance of Unforgettable by Nat King Cole, the message of Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix, The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel and The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan, the heart and soul poured out in Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby Magee . Ride of the Valkyries is one of my favorite orchestral pieces.
Of the twelve songs, I did have a couple that I wasn’t too keen on. Although Pruit Igoe & Prophecies , a church music piece by The Philip Glass Ensemble, is enjoyable in the beginning, eight minutes of this music was enough to drive me to drink. Nina Simone’s Pirate Jenny was more of a spoken piece than an actual song that wasn’t all that enjoyable. This “song” doesn’t even appear in this film. It is actually played during the end credits in a Watchmen animated direct-to-video movie recently released on DVD. I’d say that two out of twelve isn’t all that bad when you consider the amount of soundtracks featuring various artists out there. Usually, two out of twelve equals the amount of songs you actually enjoyed.
I loved Watchmen: Music from the Motion Picture for its originality. Its eclectic nature grabs you and throws you for a loop, much like the characters and storyline in the film. Of course, this album doesn’t contain all of the music from the film. The musical score is featured on a completely different album. I can’t wait to give that one a listen. If it is even half as good as Watchmen: Music from the Motion Picture, I’ll be very happy. You can bet that this album has definitely earned a spot in my collection of prized motion picture soundtracks…in fact, I think I’ll listen to it again right now. Check it out for yourself and you can join me in singing along.