The Dilemma Soundtrack16.01.11 # Soundtrack # 14 Comments
The Dilemma soundtrack. Increasingly it seems a line has been drawn when it comes to compiling soundtrack albums for studio comedy movies. A sexual line. Yes, that’s right. What we might pejoratively bracket as chick flicks or rom-coms – When in Rome or Valentine’s Day, say – have their accompanying records filled out with bubble bath ballads and light-footed pop numbers. Meanwhile, more man-centric movies – Hot Tub Time Machine, Due Date and yes, The Dilemma – invariably deliver a selection of riff-tastic Cro-Magnon rock. The sounds of a bloke drifting towards middle-age like the Mary Celeste drifting the ocean waves, fretting about that spare tyre bobbing round his midriff, the shiny ballroom floor on his crown getting bigger every day, and as a last resort, a last desperate grope in the direction of his fading youth, taking himself out for a drive and listening to something REALLY LOUD on his car stereo.
So while the cast at the top of Ron Howard’s The Dilemma offer an equal divide between the sexes – Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly and Winona Ryder – the soundtrack reeks of testosterone like the locker room of a victorious football team. Indeed, plenty of it is absolute lowest common denominator rock ‘n’ roll – the sound of a caveman deciding he’s thirsty and licking the sweat from his own armpit in order to sate himself, before going out and clubbing his Saturday night date unconscious.
Like what, for example? Well, like Wolfmother. Like KISS, a band smart enough to make being dumb a 100 million album-shifting selling point. And like that utterly inane Fratellis song that goes “duh-duh-der-duh, der-der-der-der-der-der-duh”, thereby making Mr. Silly’s Nonsense Land Band sound like a Wagner-esque work of musical genius in comparison (er, that’s Richard Wagner, kids. Not Wag-Bo from X-Factor). Slightly more literate, though still pretty hairy, are the contributions from the Hold Steady and the Black Keys, the latter serving up some enormous thud and dirty groove on their She’s Long Gone. Attempting to inject some spike into all this stodge are the Virgins, who are like Some Girls-era Rolling Stones for people who have never actually seen or heard the Rolling Stones, but who have watched a hell of a lot of Gossip Girl.
As is so often the case, it is left to the old hands to step in and save the day. Ray Charles’ Sticks and Stones demonstrates that great rock ‘n’ roll can actually be very simple indeed. All that’s really required is a decent tune and a good voice. Even better still is Don’t Do It, maybe the best tune the Band ever recorded. Sure, Robbie Robertson and his boys might be exactly the kind of po-faced gits who are at least partly culpable in the proliferation of beards amongst modern day nincompoops who think a scraggly bit of facial hair singles them out as a world-conquering creative genius, but they sure could play. And their Marvin Gaye cover is as fun and addictive as their rootsy soulfulness ever got.
The Dilemma Soundtrack (Songs) – Track List
1. Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis
2. Detroit Rock City – KISS
3. Just Saying – The Hold Steady
4. She’s Long Gone – The Black Keys
5. Cosmic Egg – Wolfmother
6. Bomb – Band of Skulls
7. Ready, Aim, Fire – Unknown
8. Neon Invasion – Neon Plastix
9. One Week of Danger – The Virgins
10. Don’t Do It – The Band
11. Everything Trying – Damien Jurado
12. Sticks and Stones – Ray Charles
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