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  • Smoke Signals: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture
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Smoke Signals: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture Soundtrack

32 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, June 23, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

At its best, the soundtrack to Smoke Signals is a beautiful experience--simple orchestrations with plaintive flute and guitar (just check out "Arnold Is Dead") give the soundtrack to this Native American-directed, -written, and -acted film an introspective feel. Too often, however, the otherwise moving score by B.C. Rich resorts to standard rock clichés. The electric guitar used throughout has a generic '80s metal sound, which does little to enhance the film's tone (unlike the included and wonderful vocal contributions from Native American ensembles Ulali and the Eaglebear Singers). Guitar-shaded soundtracks can work extremely well (check out the excellent Gas Food Lodging score). Here, however, the ax is up-front and distracting. It's a shame because on more subdued tracks like "Charles Bronson," "Fry Bread Riot," and "That's My Father," the Northwest Sinfonia is simply sublime. Cuts by singer/songwriters Dar Williams and Jim Boyd are also featured, making this soundtrack all the more powerful. --Jason Verlinde

1. Forgive Our Fathers Suite
2. On Fire Suite
3. Fourth Of July
4. Arnold's Body
5. Road Buddy
6. Arnold Is Dead
7. Treaties
8. Fry Bread
9. Reservation Blues
10. Hippy Arnold
11. Journey Begins
12. Alternate Gymnast
13. A Million Miles Away
14. Good Day For Breakfast
15. Breaking Bottles
16. Arnold Leaves
17. Clobbering Thomas
18. Super Thomas
19. John Wayne's Teeth
20. Charles Bronson
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: June 23, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Tvt
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • ASIN: B000007Q6L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,546 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bundtlust TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
At times the soundtrack to Smoke Signals is lighthearted, like the laugh-out-loud novelty of the Eaglebear Singers chanting a song called "John Wayne's Teeth." At other times it is a hummable road song, like "Reservation Blues" or "A Million Miles Away." But most of the time it is a journey, a journey of remembrance, questions, pain, and, like the phoenix, rising from the ashes and soaring.
I loved the two songs by Ulali, one of which ("All My Relations") can be found on their album Mahk Jchi. Their haunting acapella chants really made "Forgive Our Fathers Suite" the best song on the soundtrack even though it was difficult to choose a favourite. The song is eerie, powerful, connected, a plea. Pounding drums and near-guttural chants open the track, but near the middle there is a sudden transition to a gentle three-part harmony flowing like the river, a sense of tension being released, of past ghosts freed and worries laid to rest.
The music ranges from quiet guitar and flute, Native flute and percussion ("Charles Bronson"), chant and guitar ("Victor's Run Suite,")to a mixture of rock and Native influence ("On Fire Suite," "Fourth of July"). Many of Thomas's storytelling songs have the exact same introduction ("Hippy Arnold," "Good Day for Breakfast," and "Fry Bread Riot" all sound suspiciously similar although it does lend continuity to the setting).
This is one of the best soundtracks I've ever invested in. There are a variety of songs spanning a number of genres, all Native, all representing different aspects of who we are and where we are going. It is always touching, powerful, and an awakening whenever I listen to it. If you are searching for something or if your journey is only beginning, pick up a copy of "Smoke Signals" to help you on your path.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dale Moomaw on January 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Smoke Signals Soundtrack is incredible. I grew up on the Colville Indian Res, and was able to listen to great Pow Wow music most of my life. This soundtrack really puts my life into perspective. There is some old style music mixed with a new sound. This CD can really give you a taste of it all. I now live in Ft. Worth, TX and work in very busy Trauma-ER. Everyday on my way home I listen to a few songs on the Smoke Signals soundtrack. I also have a few Jim Boyd CD's. He can really get you up spiritually when you are down.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I have yet to buy the cd, but I have listened to the entire thing several times, many times standing rooted to the floor of the local book and music store. the guitar sometimes does get in the way, but that is the part that the "younger generation" of American Indians identify with. The film is fantastic, and the soundtrack follows much the same way. The film and music brought tears to my eyes, and laughter to my heart, as i remembered the stories my own father and grandmother told me of living on a reservation. Both the film and the soundtrack will be in my mind and heart.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD because I wanted to hear more of the type of singing (
I bought this CD because I wanted to hear more of the type of singing (Don't know the proper term for it, but it brings tears to my eyes!)that Ulali did for the movie score. This singing style is not displayed in most of the tracks on the CD, although I did find the rest of the songs interesting. Wish the recitation in the final scene of the movie had been included on the CD. I agree with other reviewers that a CD of Native American music might be more satisfying to listeners who wish to explore different cultural styles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bridget on September 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I've never been a soundtrack lover but this one's the exeption. It captures the mood and emotions of the movie. I just love it...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This songs on this CD exude both the thunder and gentleness of musical expression. On many of the songs the Native American elements are very strong. Other songs are more white folky sounding, and then there are the ambient soundtrack snippets which sound good to, but aren't really full- fledged "songs". There are a few tracks which I just can't get into, but overall its a great CD with an excellent production. Wow- what a film though. Very powerful stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Johnson Greene on June 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I LIKED THE MOVIE SO I BOUGHT THE SOUNDTRACK SOME GOOD MUSIC THE LAST CUT -ALL MY RELATIONS- BY ULALI IS JUST AWSOME ALSO BY JIM BOYD SO I SEARCHED EVERYWHERE FOR JIM BOYD CD'S AND FOUND THAT soundofamerica.com HAS 3CD'S BY JIM BOYD SO I BOUGHT THEM AND OOH MAN THE GUY IS GOOD HE CAN SING AND PLAY.GOOD SOUNDTRACK HERE.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I'm glad that I ordered the soundtrack before reading the reviews. After I read the reviews, I thought, "what have I done?," because they were so negative. I have seen the movie 3 times, and the soundtrack brings back pleasant memories of the stories told in the movie. I enjoy all the vocals. The instrumentals are merely background and intermission until the next song. I especially enjoy the last cut with the narrative that was not used in the movie, "All my relations." The soundtrack is a must for every Smoke Signals fan.
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