Zombieland Soundtrack17.10.09 # Soundtrack # 69 Comments
The Zombieland soundtrack. Considering that the movie revolves around a neatly-ordered roster of rules (Jesse Eisenberg’s cowardly Columbus comprehensively laying down the law on how to avoid being gobbled by the undead), it seems appropriate that the soundtrack of Zombieland should exhibit similarly taxonomic tendencies. Because the range of songs here each fall into one of several sub-categories, with these mini-groupings then in turn all uniting under a single banner – that of the Flag of Fromage. So we get examples of barroom rock cheese, lonely hearts cheese, Americana cheese, and pop culture cheese, as well as a few bits of random classical and college rock being tossed into the great zombie fondue as well.
It is a musical collection which seems attuned to the spawning movie’s two central characters, with the robust, no-nonsense sensibility of Woody Harrelson’s Tallahassee and the simpering timidity of Columbus both seeping through from specific cuts. The head-breaking tendencies of the former seemingly find their sonic elucidation in the beer-stained likes of Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, Your Touch by the Black Keys, and Salute your Solution by the Raconteurs, while the latter’s pitiable loneliness is represented by Paul Anka’s barfsome Puppy Love and the fulsome honk of Popular from stage musical Wicked.
The soundtrack also exudes a sense of the open road, of an America swept clear (well, sort of) by the zombie infestation, where the journey west is once again a venture into unknown peril. In this regard, drive time stalwart Don’t Fear the Reaper sits easily alongside the rural badlands feel of Sea Wolf’s You’re a Wolf, while there is a comparable sense of bucolic ruggedness emanating from the respective contributions of Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and Howlin’ Rain. The most famous aural adventure into us-and-them territory is also deployed, with those scrapping banjos from Deliverance being wheeled out for the nth occasion. And Ray Parker Jr.’s hit (guess which one) Ghostbusters (too easy?) shows up, as it does in surreally amusing circumstances in the movie itself.
The contemporary indie aspect struggles though. The 80s-inflected pulse of Gold Guns Girls by Metric is not too shabby at all, but the contributions from Crash Kings, Marching Band and Doves all pass by without making any kind of impression – beyond that of a kind of vaguely unpleasant staleness, like a cat’s litter tray in adjacent room that needs changing.
However, the overall effect of the Zombieland soundtrack does manage to pretty much mirror that which is exerted by its parent movie, with both offering a level of enjoyment in inverse proportion to the degree of seriousness by which they are judged. Or, to put it another way, if you can greet the double-exclamation marked, spandex-clad, fists-aloft bombastic ridiculousness of Van Halen’s Everybody Wants Some!! with a grin rather than a grimace, then you, my friend, are in business.
(NB There isn’t a soundtrack album so we’ve compiled the tracks in the player below. Click ‘buy mp3’ next to any track you want to download.)
Zombieland Soundtrack (Songs) – Track-Listing
1. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Metallica
2. Feels So Good – Chuck Mangione
3. You’re a Wolf – Sea Wolf
4. No-one’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses
5. Duelin’ Banjos – Arthur Smith
6. Gold Guns Girls – Metric
7. Everybody Wants Some!! – Van Halen
8. Puppy Love – Paul Anka
9. Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ – Velvet Underground
10. The Marriage of Figaro – London Philharmonic Orchestra
11. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain – Willie Nelson
12. It’s Only Wednesday – Crash Kings
13. Hard to Come Back – Success
14. Death Prayer in Heaven’s Orchard – Howlin’ Rain
15. Moonlight Kiss – Raul Malo
16. Popular – Kristen Chenoweth
17. Kingdom of Rust – Doves
18. Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.
19. Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
20. I’m So Lonesome, I Could Cry – Hank Williams
21. Feel Good About It – Marching Band
22. Vienna Blood – Vienna State Orchestra
23. Your Touch – Black Keys
24. Salute Your Solution – The Raconteurs
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