Year One

Composed By: Theodore Shapiro

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In Year One, Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera) are pair of simple hunter-gatherers living with their clan in a primitive village during an early period in the history of man.  When it is discovered that Zed has eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, he is banished from the Tribe.  Oh decides to accompany his friend in his travels through the ancient world.  The two soon find themselves in a great deal of trouble thanks to a chance encounter with the brothers Cain (David Cross) and Abel (Paul Rudd).

            American composer Theodore Shapiro created the musical score for Year One.  Creating musical scores for the comedy genre has become something of a specialty for Shapiro.  He has composed the soundtracks of such comedy greats as Marley & Me, Not Another Teen Movie, The Devil Wears Prada, Idiocracy and Tropic Thunder.

            For the soundtrack of Year One, Shapiro relied heavily on the movie’s setting.  The music of the Middle Eastern culture provided great inspiration for this soundtrack.  Traditional Middle Eastern music performed on traditional instruments of the region comprise a great deal of this soundtrack.  However, this is a comedy and so a bit of comedic attitude is injected by manipulating the traditional sounds of the region.  Imagine this music set to a hip-hop beat as it is in the tracks Bazaar, Wine and Spongecake and The Gates of Sodom.  The infusion of rocking guitars and percussion on some tracks, such as The Chosen Ones, also helps to lighten the mood.

            I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the Year One Soundtrack, especially since the album contains a rather daunting 24 tracks.  However, I am a fan of this style of music and couldn’t help but laugh every time I heard it played to a hip-hop beat as I pictures scenes from the movie’s trailer.  Shapiro has done it again - the Year One Soundtrack is an album worth purchasing and adding to your soundtrack collection.


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