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Whip It Soundtrack

The Whip It soundtrack. Not as easy as it looks, this soundtrack compiling malarkey. When I ruminated on which tunes might have trundled their way onto the tie-in record for Drew Barrymore’s roller derby-derived directorial debut Whip It, I got stuck at the grand total of two. The Devo number which shares its title with the Ellen Page-starring movie was one of course, while I also figured that a flick about female roller-skaters represented a most inviting opportunity to smuggle the Anna Karina-trilled/Serge Gainsbourg-penned power pop nugget Roller Girl onto the soundtrack of a major motion picture. But beyond that duo of offerings, I was clean outta ideas. No such difficulties for Whip It’s soundtrack supervisor and long-time Wes Anderson cohort Randall Poster though, as he has managed to er, whip up a 19 song-strong album that arrays veteran stagers next to bright young things, and situates garage rock next to yet more garage rock – without even needing to recourse to either of my two, slightly feeble, suggestions.

Last month’s Jennifer’s Body saw a female director working with a female-led cast from a script written by a woman, and Whip It works with the same (but still disappointingly uncommon) set-up. And the Whip It soundtrack is similarly top-loaded with female talent, as Tilly and the Wall, the Breeders and the Raveonettes deliver three of the album’s opening five cuts. Pot Kettle Black and Bang On, by the first two of the aforementioned acts respectively, are short ’n’ simple rockers, while the Raveonettes’ Dead Sound finds violent squalls of fuzzed-up guitars complimented by Sharin Foo’s distant vocals. The feminine shifts from song performer to song subject on the Ramones’ ancient yet awesome Sheena is a Punk Rocker, in which Beach Boys verse melodies and a playground simple chorus combine to sublime effect.

If we play a little bit of musical connections for a second then a version of Sheena was performed on Gossip Girl, with vocals by Jemina Pearl, ex-of Be Your Own Pet. And two of Pearl’s former band mates from that disintegrated outfit also crop up on the Whip It soundtrack, with Jonas Stein and John Eatherly’s Turbo Fruits functioning as backing band for Landon Pigg on the track High Times. Pigg also appears in the movie as Page’s love interest, and he is not the only cast member to wangle their way onto the accompanying record, as clown prince of the NYC scene of 2002 Har Mar Superstar (who cameos as a roller derby coach) contributes the surprisingly understated Never My Love. Meanwhile, the midpoint of the Whip It soundtrack takes a distinct tilt in the direction of kitsch, with Dolly Parton’s duskily brilliant Jolene rubbing shoulders with drive time fist-pumper Caught Up in You by yeti-haired 80s fret-manglers .38 Special.

As well as cropping up here, I recently heard Jens Lekman’s Arms Around Me on the trailer of forthcoming Kristen Bell-starring romcom When in Rome. Does this signal that the impeccably turned-out pop of the Swedish crooner is teetering on the verge of a mainstream incursion? Well, maybe. But for now simply enjoy the perfectly-crafted combination of aural lushness and lyrical oddity. Also working to mitigate the garage rock-dominated album line-up is Cut Chemist’s What’s The Altitude, which concocts a decent groove around its moody riff and tapped cowbells. Not that everything which made the final soundtrack cut is right on the money. Blue Turning Grey by erstwhile hype-gobblers Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is a pointless little acoustic twang, while the remix of the Chordettes’ Lollipop is bad enough to temporarily invite envy of the hearing-impaired. The Saturday morning kids’ TV affectation of the Go! Team’s Doing It Right is equivalently distressing, like being roughed up by the Banana Splits or bundled down the stairs of the Double Deckers’ big red bus.

But with about three-quarters of the tracks on Whip It proving eminently listenable, these few sonic turds do not do too much to detract from the overall package. It all hangs together reasonably well, with the mix of thunderous guitars and occasionally more esoteric fare proving to be largely well-judged and no doubt the ideal backing music to do some roller derby to… play roller derby to… partake in the fiesta of roller derby to… aw, whatever the hell the verb is, this is a decent accompanying record.

Listen To The Whip It Soundtrack:

You can buy it on cd here
Or download as mp3s here

Whip It Soundtrack (Songs) – Track-Listing
1. Pot Kettle Black – Tilly and the Wall
2. Sheena is a Punk Rocker – The Ramones
3. What’s the Altitude – Cut Chemist feat. Hymnal
4. Bang On – The Breeders
5. Dead Sound – The Raveonettes
6. Blue Turning Grey – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
7. Your Arms Around Me – Jens Lekman
8. Learnalilgivinanlovin – Gotye
9. Boys Wanna Be Her – Peaches
10. Jolene – Dolly Parton
11. Caught Up in You – .38 Special
12. Never My Love – Har Mar Superstar feat. Adam Green
13. Black Gloves – Goose
14. Crown of Age – The Ettes
15. High Times – Landon Pigg & Turbo Fruits
16. Unattainable – Little Joy
17. Lollipop (Squeak E. Clean & Desert Eagles remix) – The Chordettes
18. Doing It Right – The Go! Team
19. Breeze – Apollo Sunshine

Leave your thoughts on the Whip It and the Whip It soundtrack in the comments. If you’re looking for a particular song leave a description and someone normally replies.

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  • DoubleD said

    Who sings the song 28 at the end of the movie when they are showing the credits?

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  • Karyn said

    Brent Kyle (executive producer on the soundtrack as well) had a lot to do with finding several of the artists for the soundtrack (including Jens Lekman, the Go! Team, Tilly and the Wall, Cut Chemist, The Breeders, The Raveonettes, Gotye, Apollo Sunshine, and Goose)

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  • Karyn said

    Lorene Scafaria sings the song 28 whcih is featured in the end credits.

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  • leonard sly said

    Kudos to Drew B and Brent Kyle for their selections for the soundtrack!

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  • Sam said

    What about Radiohead-No Surprises. I saw the movie last night and this song was definitely in it.

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  • Brad said

    This soundtrack is fantastic…who is brent kyle? He did an excellent job matching these tracks?!! In this movie the songs jump you up and make you want to hit someone on skates!!!!

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  • leonard sly said

    Brad- Says on the back of the CD Exective Producer.

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  • Erin said

    What song is playing in the dressing room before the blue bonnet pageant when the dames come to kidnap Ellen Page?

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  • Katherine said

    Hi Erin,
    The song is “Kids” by MGMT.

    Thanks for your help, DoubleD! I was wondering the same thing. 🙂

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  • Erin said

    Thanks Katherine!

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  • Jacob said

    the strokes – heart in a cage

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  • darci said

    I’m going to check this movie out…can’t wait to see it. The soundtrack alone makes the movie seem great, plus it has a winning cast…should be fun.

    Love to see Tilly and the Wall and The Raveonettes on the soundtrack, but I’m especially happy about Little Joy – “Unattainable” was easily one of my top 5 tracks of 2008.

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  • darci said

    This is really one of the best soundtracks that’s been out for awhile…really makes me want to see the movie. Love The Raveonettes and Tilly and the Wall, but I was especially happy to see that they used Little Joy’s “Unattainable” – that was one of favorite tracks from 08…I can’t wait to see how they use the song in the movie.

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  • Lisa said

    What’s the song with the orchestra that starts near the end of the movie when she’s slapping oliver and continues through part of their final game against the holy rollers? ah i’ve been looking for it for an hour. this movie is AWESOME!

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  • Rochell said

    Whats the song like at the end that keeps saying “keep falling”? who sings it?

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