Due Date Soundtrack11.11.10 # Soundtrack # 38 Comments
One particular track on the soundtrack to Due Date, the new road trip comedy with Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, exerted a curious fascination for me – This is Why I’m Hot, by the modest MIMS. Mind, it wasn’t so much the song itself as one specific lyric, which (if I heard it correctly) sounded very much like: “I’m representing York”. Now, if that is indeed the correct interpretation, then I can only wholeheartedly applaud the sentiment. It’s about time the northern cities of the United Kingdom were celebrated in contemporary song. One minor quibble would be MIMS’ neglect to devote a verse to the prodigious merits of the Jorvik Viking Centre, but you can’t have everything, can you?
Indeed not. Just ask Christophe Beck. His is the name you will see attached to the ‘music by’ credit if you go and catch RDJ and Galifianakis’s odd couple shtick at the movies (or watch it on a torrent. Credits’ll be the same), though on the Due Date soundtrack album he is marginalised to a three-track epilogue. And given how heavily director Todd Phillips relies on pre-existing pop music to fill out his films, it is the grab-bag of hits here which demands the greater attention.
When a motion picture soundtrack leans primarily on outsourced tunes the aim surely has to be for the resulting compilation to resemble something akin to a great mixtape given to you by a friend; shining a light on hidden gems, exhuming forgotten classics and introducing the very best in new music. What is not required is the lazy tossing off of some radio standard, one of those numbers so famous and ubiquitous that, realistically speaking, anyone with an ounce of desire to hear the damn thing will already have sorted themselves out with their own copy long, long ago. So, just as you wouldn’t give a friend any credit for slapping Hold On, I’m Comin’ on a mixtape, neither am I going to be giving anyone any credit for its presence here. Ditto White Room, which gets further points deducted for being by Cream, one of the most pompous bunch of chin-strokers ever to try and ruin rock ‘n’ roll for everyone not completely hung up on time signatures and cosmically opaque lyrics. Still, marvellous soloing from Clapton.
Wolfmother’s contribution will delight anyone pining for the Datsuns, though the other 99.9% of the planet’s population might struggle to understand the joke. They are joking, right? Is There a Ghost by Band of Horses begins in pensive manner before building into a big pounding tangle that you can well imagine the band all earnestly shaking their earnest beards to when they play it live. Billy Currington’s contribution, People Are Crazy, remains mellow throughout, at least in musical terms. The accompanying words are slightly more adventurous, with the song’s narrator advocating booze and the Good Lord, while scratching his head in bewilderment at his fellow man. Now those, quite frankly, are the likes and dislikes of a suburban serial killer. Or a disgruntled office drone who winds up going on a shooting spree, and whose neighbours afterwards say “But he was so quiet and polite”, really meaning “But he was so quiet and polite, till he loaded up and guns and started blowing out the brains of innocent bystanders”. Worrying.
Sweet Jane is a magnificent song when played by the Velvets. So magnificent in fact that the immediate instinct is to dismiss any other version out of hand. The Cowboy Junkies’ take is, wisely, very different to that of grumpy ol’ Lou and gang, redolent less of the boozy barroom and more of bedroom intimacy. But I still prefer the original. And as for Rod Stewart’s Amazing Grace… well, it’s tempting to wish for another version, literally any other version – one honked by a Sesame Street puppet, I don’t care what – when antediluvian Rod finally begins rasping the familiar lyrics after a lengthy, deceptively inoffensive, guitar intro. Short, it mercifully is. Sweet, it most certainly is not.
Due Date Soundtrack (Songa & Score) – Track List
1. Hold On, I’m Comin’ – Sam & Dave
2. New Moon Rising – Wolfmother
3. Is there a Ghost – Band of Horses
4. People are Crazy – Billy Currington
5. White Room – Cream
6. This is Why I’m Hot – MIMS
7. Sweet Jane – Cowboy Junkies
8. Amazing Grace – Rod Stewart
9. Check Ya Self 2010 – Ice Cube, feat. Chuck D, with Lisa Kekaula
10. Glaucoma – Christophe Beck
11. A Good Sign – Christophe Beck
12. Ethan’s Theme – Christophe Beck
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