Album Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World by Original Soundtrack
Very Good, Based on 7 Critics
Drowned In Sound - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Two things are clear from the advertising campaign for forthcoming indie-loser-flick-cum-superhero-blockbuster Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. They are: a) much of the script is lifted line-for-line from the original comic book series (hooray!), and b) it's going to make Lots of Money. Now, I don't want to get all True Art about it, but in this sort of scenario - where something you love is being reproduced via a more mainstream medium - we've become somewhat predisposed to expect (or even want) to dislike it.
The soundtracks to movies adapted from comic books are often marketing free-for-alls; promoting bands takes precedence over choosing songs that make sense for the film. However, nothing could be further from the truth for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’s music. Since so much of the comic revolves around the bands that the characters play in, the film was already somewhat protected from having a bunch of random songs crammed into its soundtrack, but the film’s creative team ensured that the music was done right.
This soundtrack to the Michael Cera flick, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World features tunes penned by Beck and performed by the fictional garage band in which Cera?s character plays bass. ”Garbage Truck” is the keeper, with a fuzz-punk groove that?s no laughing matter. Elsewhere you get T. Rex?s ….
Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a mixtape disguised as an all-star punk compilation disguised as a movie soundtrack, and it has grabbed much attention. Part of it is the cast: With Beck, Broken Social Scene, Frank Black, The Black Lips and T. Rex being corralled by Nigel Godrich, there's just too good a collection of talent to be taken for granted. Part of it is also the film's aesthetic: Music is just as crucial to the film as are action-movie motifs, comic-book narrative, or video games.The movie flopped at the box office mainly because of Michael Cera burnout.
Comic books about rock music are usually cringe-inducing. The most common mistake cartoonists make is to oversell their fictional rockers' coolness, or to go heavy on "hip" references in the hope of either impressing or flattering their readers. Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series succeeds mainly because he was never overtly striving for coolness, and he clearly understood the lives of young indie rock musicians.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a brilliant, exciting movie that successfully combines indie-rock, martial arts action, and awkward romance. The songs drive a lot of the action in the film, either overtly as they’re played by the bands within the movie or as subtle background accompaniment. So how well does the official soundtrack work as a memento of the film, and how well does it work as a compilation album? As a memento of the movie, the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack mostly succeeds.
A wild yet charming soundtrack to one of this summer’s best, and weirdest, blockbusters. Mike Diver 2010 Spoiler of sorts: when you go to see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (and you really should – it’s one of the most riotously fun, singularly bizarre blockbusters of recent summers), be sure to pack earplugs. The Edgar Wright-directed adaptation of the graphic novel series is one of the loudest films I’ve seen/heard in years.