Release Date: Jan 19, 2010
Record label: New West
Genre(s): Country, Soundtrack
The soundtrack for Crazy Heart was produced by T Bone Burnett and contains 16 songs from the film starring Jeff Bridges. The movie is dedicated to Stephen Bruton, the legendary Texas musician, and a lifelong friend of Burnett's, wrote or co-wrote most of the original music performed by Bridges and Ryan Bingham. Bruton died from cancer shortly after finishing the project.
For a film with so much buzz behind it—and now a handful of Oscar nominations—Crazy Heart has a pretty well-known story line. That story is about the hard-living country singer Bad Blake, played by Jeff Bridges, who’s spent his life on the road. He’s drank too much, he’s run through women, and now he’s broken down. You can cover that and then some in just one George Jones tune.
Most songs in films are, for better or worse, aural parsley, incidental to the real meat of a movie. T Bone Burnett — the man behind the soundtracks for Walk the Line, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? — seems to have made it his mission to turn music into a more substantial cinematic side dish, if not an entrée, and in the dusky vérité drama Crazy Heart, he finds a fitting muse. As Bad Blake, a dissolute Merle Haggard/Kris Kristofferson country-outlaw type, Jeff Bridges croons of wrong turns and ruin in a whiskeyed road-warrior warble; he’s a man who’s used up his second, third, and fourth chances.
"It's all magic." That's the phrase the late Stephen Bruton used in September 2008 to describe working on the set of Crazy Heart, and with good reason. Actor Jeff Bridges embodies his role as an original outlaw songwriter – confident, crooked, and hardened with time. Paired with Bruton's lyricism, co-producer T Bone Burnett's saturated Americana backdrop, and Joel Guzman's accordion brushes, Bridges notches a Tex-Mex trifecta starting with opener "Hold on You" that bodes well against Burnett's other soundtrack selections, including Townes Van Zandt ("If I Needed You"), Waylon Jennings ("Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way"), and Lightnin' Hopkins ("Once a Gambler").
Moments of brightness lend an unexpected brilliance to this soundtrack. Laura Barton 2010 There is an art to the great film soundtrack, a subtle kind of weaving that ensures the music leaves itself as firmly embedded in one's memory every bit as much as the movie's plot or characters. Think Simon and Garfunkel's scoring for The Graduate, Elliott Smith's songs for Good Will Hunting, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? single-handedly launching some sort of great bluegrass revival.