Soundtrack Review: Inglourious Basterds
Thu, 13 Aug 2009 08:50:57
Quentin Tarantino is truly a soundtrack alchemist.
He blends together seemingly disparate artists and genres of music and creates pure aural gold for his films. Each one of his soundtracks not only helps bring the stories to life, but they also become classic albums in their own right. How can you forget the Pulp Fiction soundtrack's pairing of Dick Dale and Al Green? "Stuck In the Middle With You" was NEVER the same after Reservoir Dogs either.
Inglourious Basterds continues that tradition. The film stands out as Tarantino's most simultaneously epic and personal work, and the soundtrack [Available August 18] remains the perfect complement to the director's WWII masterpiece. Nick Perdito's "The Green Leaves of Summer" sets the mood with its lush accordion and slowly strummed strings in the backdrop. The track functions as this fantasy's gateway and sets the tone.
Ennio Morricone's "The Verdict" blends a classical piano line with Spanish guitar licks for pure Spaghetti Western bombast. The shock-n-awe distortion at the beginning of Billy Preston's funk-I-fied "Slaughter" feels ominous, but then the song explodes into a downright danceable hook. Morricone's "The Surrender" is equally badass, but in a completely different way. Lillian Harvey and Willy Fritsch's "Ich Wollt Ich Waer Ein Huhn" bubbles with whimsy, breaking up the tension and adding levity to this pastiche.
The centerpiece of this collection is David Bowie's "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)." In the movie, it serves as sonic backdrop to a ritualistic preparation for one of the main character's most pivotal moments. During the flow of the record, the song exerts the same effect that it does in the movie—bleeding raw, unbridled emotion. Regardless of the era it was recorded in, each song feels meant for the film because Tarantino covers such a wide range of emotions in the narrative.
There's joy, pain, anger, ecstasy and fear in Basterds. Isn't that what all classic records are supposed to have too?