Various Artists - Hallam Foe OST
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Various Artists
Hallam Foe OST

Essentially a compilation for the Domino Records label, the soundtrack to this British flick features a slew of previously released songs from a good portion of artists on the roster, and a solitary exclusive track from a band who might very well move copies of the soundtrack all by themselves. Certainly not put together simply for the sake of hitting the charts, it's an odd little jaunt through the catalogue of a label who have certainly never really played it super-safe, releasing everything from skronked-out rock to twee pop and dreary post rock.

If I had to describe the soundtrack in short, I would say that it sounds distinctly like Britain in the winter. Although there are some songs on the release that let loose, a good portion of it captures a sort of folkly gloom. Orange Juice actually kicks things off with what is probably the most punchy song on the entire release with the jangling "Blue Boy," and from there it sorta zooms all over the map until the latter third settles down again. Clinic grinds through the teeth-clenched "If You Could Read Your Mind" while "Double Shadow" from Junior Boys feels a bit out of place with its brighter electro pop and Psapp add the lo-fi, but charming "Tricycle."

Elsewhere, Hood, Movietone, Woodbine, and Cinema take the soundtrack in a decidedly more dreary direction. The former groups are all quite lush as they tread through their foggy soundscapes. Throw in the harmonica and electric piano meanderings of the Bill Wells Trio and the electronics-tinted folk of Juana Molina and it's a release that best sinks under your skin slowly. Oh, and even the big-name group (Franz Ferdinand) offer up a completely mellow track that's completely devoid of percussion and shows a completely different side. As mentioned above, it's the only exclusive song on the release, and yet it's something so completely different than their usual output that fans of that group will likely want to hear it if only to tide them over a bit. If you're a fan of the Domino label, you've probably heard a lot of this stuff already. In terms of capturing a fairly cohesive flow, the soundtrack does a good job (and may work even better within the context of the film). As a listening experience, it's certainly not the best stuff the label has to offer (in my opinion anyway).

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2008-08-28 20:30:23