I Am Sam - Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture Soundtrack
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I've been a Beatles fan forever, so I was intrigued but prepared to be disappointed by covers. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a beautifully conceived and delivered album. Nearly every performer (except maybe Grandaddy with a tepid "Revolution") manages to stay true to the Beatles' original while still adding a little something of themselves to the song, a testament to the strength of both the songwriters and the performers.
The album features an eclectic bunch, from the Black Crowes (with a trippy "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds") to Paul Westerberg (lending new depth to "Nowhere Man" with his seen-it-all-but-still-hopeful time-worn voice). It's especially nice to see lesser-known performers like Heather Nova and the Vines getting space here as well. The common thread seems to be a genuine passion for the music - the inside cover of the CD jacket says simply "all you need is love," and this album really does feel like a labor of love. Most of the songs have a mellow, dreamy quality; listening is sort of like being wrapped up in a warm blanket.
Michael Penn (brother of "I am Sam" star Sean Penn) and his wife Aimee Mann start things off with a tender, Simon-and-Garfunkle-esque duet of "Two of Us." Sarah McLachlan's "Blackbird" is pretty but doesn't add much to the original, which is probably a good thing. Rufus Wainright's "Across the Universe" - with its timely refrain of "Nothing's gonna change my world" - is passionate and plaintive.Read more ›
The first three quarters of this album are fantastic, but there are three versions I find downright unlistenable. Chocolate Genius completely destroys the soul and spirit of 'Julia'. And, although John Lennon originally wanted 'Revolution' to be a slow song, the version by Grandaddy completely misses the point. Nick Cave's version of Let It Be, which finishes off the album, completely spoils the song.
Every other song on the album is either very good or pretty close to a gem. I choose to skip the three songs I couldn't bear to listen to, and enjoy the album for its good points.
The CD has a whopping 17 tracks for almost an hour of music from the movie (or inspired by the movie) I Am Sam. The music was beautifully woven into the movie; but even with just this CD you'll be blown away! It's a must-have for fans of The Beatles, the artists here, and fans of great rock everywhere.
The CD starts off strong with a rendition of "Two Of Us" by Aimee Mann and Michael Penn. I think their personal relationship helped make them harmonize so well for this song. The Black Crowes do an excellent job with the musical arrangement for "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds;" the drums are first-class! Sheryl Crow injects a great country music accent to "Mother Nature's Son." Sarah McLachlan performs a very sensitive rendition of "Blackbird;" and the CD ends beautifully with one of my very favorite Beatles songs, "Let It Be" performed by Nick Cave with Chaz Jankel on piano. Awesome!
Amazon writes that some of the "reinterpretations (on this album)...are riskier." I don't agree. While risks were taken, you won't know it! For example, Grandaddy does a great job of adding their own spice to "Revolution" and Paul Westerberg's voice was rather pleasing to my ear on "Nowhere Man."
The quality of the sound is excellent; and all of the musical arrangements are very thoughtfully produced. The liner notes come with a few color pictures from the motion picture I Am Sam; and you also get the song credits.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Even if you're a die-hard Beatles fan, I believe you will still enjoy this tribute album immensely. Give it a listen!Published 5 months ago by Karen Smallwood
Had to buy it for the third time. First one was stolen from my car. I have the second one somewhere?! Now this one is on cloud so I can play on my iPad or my iPhone.Published 18 months ago by Billie too
I wanted the DVD and got the CD! I was sure that I went to the DVD but somehow it ended up wrong. Oh well...Published 19 months ago by David Townley
I was looking for a CD for car rides with my son, and dreaded the ubiquitous children's music CDs. I remembered loving the soundtrack to this movie and was thrilled to find it. Read morePublished 20 months ago by JG17
Gtreat movie. Bought it for my wife and daughter. They watched it the second I opened it. Would highlly recommend.Published 21 months ago by Chris Gioia