Scott Pilgrim Soundtrack13.08.10 # Soundtrack # 16 Comments
The Scott Pilgrim soundtrack. If you’re investing a small portion of your no doubt immensely valuable time reading this then I’m going to make the less than Holmesian deduction that you give two hoots about Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim comic books, or Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the Edgar Wright movie based on said comic books, or most probably both. So a degree of familiarity with the property is going to be taken as read, lest I spunk the whole of my 600 words on an Everest of clunky exposition, like some record reviewing Reed Richards.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has been subject of a titanic tug of love between the myriad online movie news outlets, with each one eager to exude the most slobber over every willy-teasing clip/trailer/picture, and each determined to let off the largest hyperbole artillery to demonstrate that no, they’re most excited about Wright’s movie – to the point where you half-expect poor little Scott Pilgrim vs. the World to spin round, tears in its big round eyes, and wail, “Collider! Slash Film! Ain’t It Cool! I love you all, but can’t you see you’re tearing me apart?” And it’s not only the internet news hunter-gatherers eager to grab a piece of the action, Wright has had a host of big name musos at his beck and call for the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack album; the most notable of these being er, Beck.
The Church of Scientology’s funkiest disciple (sorry JT) breathes life into Sex Bob-omb, the most prominent of the fictional bands featured in the Pilgrim-verse, he having supposedly penned more than 20 new songs for that power trio. Unsurprisingly, not all of those tracks get an airing here, though the ones that do are none too shabby at all. If there can any complaint, it’s that Sex Bob-omb, who are meant to suck like a pan-dimensional wormhole, come over as just, well, too good. On the other hand, writing as a soundtrack reviewer who seems to have spent much of this year dealing with alleged comedy cuts that you can barely make it to even the end of the first listen (an old woman squawking She Drives Me Crazy on The Back-up Plan tie-in album sticks horribly in the memory), the fact that the likes of We Are Sex Bob-omb and Summertime stand up to repeat plays is no bad thing at all.
But if the original material is refreshingly decent, then some of the older songs which have been called into action miss the mark. While the Plumtree track that provided Scott Pilgrim with his name is really rather ace, all ’90s chugging guitars and sweet, sweet harmonies, and Frank Black and the cosmic country of Beachwood Sparks are both neat enough, Teenage Dream by T. Rex and Under My Thumb by the Stones both feel like lazy picks, scarcely requiring of yet another airing. And the Bluetones and Blood Red Shoes may well be hugely grateful for the royalties boost, but the tunes from each are strictly B-list.
Beck turns up as himself for two versions of Ramona (nothing to do with the Ramones song of the same name), the first an acoustic sketch, the second a fuller, lushly-stringed version. Further O’Malley-created bands are given voice and noise – Metric following their Eclipse soundtrack appearance by providing template for Faustian sell-outs the Clash at Demonhead, while Broken Social Scene chip in two briefly explosive songs on behalf of Sex Bob-omb rivals/allies Clash and the Boys. The involvement of the Broken Socials seems significant, because if there’s any charge you can make stick against the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack, it’s that an air of college rock earnestness hangs over the whole endeavour. The characters might be young, but this is squarely aimed at older Generation Y-ers – a shot of nostalgic youthfulness for those who came of age at the turn of the millennium.
Scott Pilgrim Soundtrack Song List
1. We Are Sex Bob-omb – Sex Bob-omb
2. Scott Pilgrim – Plumtree
3. I Heard Ramona Sing – Frank Black
4. By Your Side – Beachwood Sparks
5. O Katrina! – The Black Lips
6. I’m So Sad, So Very, Very, Sad – Crash and the Boys
7. We Hate You Please Die – Crash and the Boys
8. Garbage Truck – Sex Bob-omb
9. Teenage Dream – T. Rex
10. Sleazy Bed Track – The Bluetones
11. It’s Getting Boring by the Sea – Blood Red Shoes
12. Black Sheep – Metric
13. Threshold (8-bit) – Sex Bob-omb
14. Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl – Broken Social Scene
15. Under My Thumb – The Rolling Stones
16. Ramona (acoustic) – Beck
17. Ramona (orchestral) – Beck
18. Summertime – Sex Bob-omb
19. Threshold – Brian LeBarton
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