02 October 2008

Plug of the Week: Soundtrack of Shelter

Shelter is a movie about a gay romance. I like it a lot. If you like romances and are not gay-smooch-phobic, rent it and watch it. It's good and the rental won't cost you much and why not?

I like the movie, but I love the soundtrack. I rented the movie more than once because I had the music playing in my head. When I realized that, I bought the soundtrack album, which went into heavy rotation on my iPod. I thought I was so over "guy with his guitar singing soulfully" music, but it turned out I was just over what I had been hearing.

The Shelter music is from several artists, Shane Mack has four songs on the album, and they set the tone for the whole work. Here's a sample. (The video is a nice picture of the movie, but doesn't illustrate the song very well. I didn't get to make it and they didn't ask my opinion.)

Not all the song are strictly guy with guitar, but they do stay toward that corner of the landscape. Matthew Popieluch has two tracks. I particularly like "Darkness Descends", which I also heard a snip of in a Best Buy commercial. (That drove me crazy because my brain insisted that I knew the song and yet refused to reveal which one it was.)

Darkness Descends - Matthew Popieluch

Dance Yourself to Death has the most-different track, "Teenage Romanticide", which I don't like as much as it seems like I ought to. I really like "No One's Home" from Brett Cookingham & Matt Pavolaitis, which I wouldn't have expected to. Funny old world.

There are two tracks that were written for the movie by J. Peter Robinson. One of them, "Zach Conflicted" blows me away every time I hear it.

Zach Conflicted - J. Peter Robinson

That one is by far my favorite on the album.

A lot of soundtrack albums really don't work standing along as albums, but if you had this one and didn't know it was from a movie you might not notice. It is a very good compilation. You can easily listen to it straight through, and I think it shows off the different artists very well. I like the Shane Mack songs, but when I sorted the album by artist and got his four in a row, it was too much of too similar. Those same four songs programmed with the others sound brilliant. Someone did some great working putting this music together.

The story of how the music got programmed must be interesting. The movie itself was taken from script to screen in an astonishingly short time, so I have to give major props to the Musical Supervisor Brian Goldman. It looks, from some online poking around, that a lot of the music was taken from stuff that had been coming into a new music division of the here! network. Still, to put together diverse music that supports the movie so well AND that works completely on its own terms as an album, in that short time window, is a stunning accomplishment (in my opinion). I hope that some day I can talk to him about how they did it. (If I do, you will be sure to read about it.)

Shelter Soundtrack
on Amazon.com

No comments: