on July 22, 2009
This is only the second soundtrack I've ever bought, and the first album I've ever had the desire to write a review for on Amazon. If you've seen (500) Days of Summer, you will likely have loved it and the dimension that music adds to the events that transpire on screen. In a nutshell, this soundtrack lets you relive the film on every listen while giving you the full treatment of what the movie could only briefly sample (like The Temper Trap's brilliant "Sweet Disposition"). Like the film, this album effectively takes its audience on a rollercoaster ride from the highs of happiness (Hall & Oates) to the lows of blindsiding sadness (Regina Spektor on "Hero"). And yes, both songs by The Smiths from the movie are on this soundtrack, too (along with a cover of "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" by Zooey Deschanel's She & Him). Like the film, this is an album that is a pleasure to take in more than once, and will only further enhance your appreciation of the former.
The romantic comedy "(500) Days of Summer" starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph-Gordon Levitt is a film that has garnered quite a bit of attention due to its music featuring many classic hits from The Smiths, Hall & Oates, Simon & Garfunkel but also contemporary hits from artists such as Regina Spektor, Meaghan Smith and even a track by Deschanel's band She & Him.
The music encompasses the rollercoaster emotions of Tom (Gordon-Levitt) as the hopeless romantic who falls in love with Summer (Deschanel) who doesn't believe in true love. Through the music of the film, you are taken through a journey through happiness and sadness courtesy of its diverse musical soundtrack.
The "(500) Days of Summer" soundtrack kicks off with a short instrumental track by Mychael Danna and Rob Simons titled "A Story of Boy Meets Girl" and transitions to Regina Spektor's whimsical piano/violin driven-track "Us". The soundtrack also features Spektor's all-piano based track "Hero".
The soundtrack features a good diversity of musical tracks which include the mesmerizing, depressing but yet one of my favorite songs from The Smiths - "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" by the Smiths and "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I want" (which was featured on the 80's soundtrack "Pretty in Pink").
The fourth track "Bad Kids" is courtesy of flower-punk band Black Lips which has a musical flair and humor in its lyrics which for me, the track was reminiscent of The Ramones. While the sixth track "There Goes the Fear" features an alternative mid-tempo rock track which features dreamy guitars.
The seventh" track is the classic Hall & Oates hit "You Make My Dreams", an awesome song but an 80's track that offsets the musical consistency of the soundtrack. The eighth track "Sweet Disposition" comes from the popular Australian band, The Temper Trap (which was featured on the abc Family finale of "Greek" (Season 2) and Australian TV show "Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities".
The ninth track "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" comes from popular singer/model and First Lady of France Carla Bruni (wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy). The acoustic guitar track lends its romantic imprint on the soundtrack.
The tenth track "Mushaboom" is an earlier but still enjoyable hit song by the popular Canadian singer-songwriter, Feist and comes from her 2004 album "Let It Die".
The 12th track is a short song titled "Bookends" by music legends Simon & Garfunkel (from the duo's 1968 chart topping album "Bookends").
The 13th track "Vagabonds" comes from Australian rock band, Wolfmother and sports a little of their 60's psychedelic rock and 90's rock influence. While the 14th track "She's Got You High" brings a catchy UK rock feel by the defunct band Mumm-ra. The song was one of the band's hits from 2007 from their popular album "These Things Move in Threes" (their first and final full-length album).
The 15th track "Here Comes Your Man" by Meaghan Smith which gives her angelic vocal and musical spin to the 1989 hit song originally by The Pixies.
The soundtrack ends with She & Him's (which is an Indie folk and featuring actress Zooey Deschanel and musician M. Ward) version of The Smiths "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want".
"(500) Days of Summer" is a wonderful soundtrack that features a good balance of upbeat and romantic classics to upbeat rock tracks. For those who found the musical experience of the film to be quite enchanting, the soundtrack features a very good collection of tracks.
The downside is that this is not a soundtrack that showcases a lot of new music and a lot of the tracks featured on this soundtrack are from previously released albums in the past by the artists and the bands featured.
But one of the positives about this soundtrack is that for those who felt close to the characters and perhaps identified with the film's storyline can definitely find themselves and literally be exposed to new music or artists/bands they have never been familiar with before. Personally, a soundtrack featuring the Smiths and Regina Spektor is a win-win for me and certain tracks on this album definitely opened to other artists that I have never heard of.
Definitely one of the most enjoyable soundtracks that I have listened to all year!
on July 16, 2012
Hey, you remember that time your heart got broken and pretty much the world ended and all was lost and you felt like you might as well just die right now because what the hell use is living if it's going to feel like this? Yeah, so do writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, as well as director Marcus Webb and their movie (500) DAYS OF SUMMER proves it. What an awful, rotten, stupid movie. Dumb. Don't see it. You'll kill yourself afterward.
The soundtrack, on the other hand, is pretty good. With moments of stupid and horrible.
The movie tells the story of Tom Hansen and his love of Summer Finn, a woman who returns his attention and affection, but NOT to the depths Tom does. For Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Summer (Zooey Deschanel) is perfect, but depthless. He doesn't see her as a person, as an individual, only as "the one". Their relationship is doomed from the beginning. And the movie tells the story of their failed relationship, to the accompaniment of some great music, courtesy of heartbreak -song specialists Regina Spektor and The Smiths, with some help from others like Carla Bruni, Meaghan Smith, The Temper Trap, and She & Him.
Regina Spektor's "Us" opens the disc, after a brief prologue introducing the characters of Tom and Summer to us, and it's a beautiful string- and piano-heavy song, originally from Spektor's SOVIET KITSCH album. It's very understated and melancholy and is the perfect opening for this album.
Of the 16 tracks on this soundtrack, The Smiths occupy 3 places, although 1 is in name only. The Smiths appear on "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" and "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want", two of most depressingly wonderful love songs to come out of the 1980s and, my God, what must go through Morrissey's head that inspires lines like "And if a double-decker bus kills the both of us / to die by your side, well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine." I don't think I want to know. But his music certainly sets the theme for the entire movie, and The Smiths' presence is felt throughout.
The album closes with a cover of "Please, Please, Please..." by She & Him, the "indie folk" duo Zooey Deschanel belongs to. It's not a horrible cover, but I've never been too impressed with Deschanel's vocal style and she just doesn't have that downtrodden, hopeless tone Morrissey exudes so effortlessly.
There are quite a few songs from bands I'd never heard of before, like Black Lips ("Bad Kids"), Doves ("There Goes the Fear"), Wolfmother ("Vagabond"), and Mumm-Ra ("She's Got You High"), but throughout the disc a few very recognizable and welcome tunes pop up (Hall and Oates, "You Make My Dreams" as well as The Temper Trap's "Sweet Disposition") and it feels like home.
The soundtrack as a whole oozes heartbreak and grey skies, which I think was probably the point. After all, the movie is wretched and awful. Says the director, "When your heart is first broken, it consumes you. And it's an emotion I wanted to make a movie about, before I forgot how it felt." He certainly succeeded, and he compiled a collection of songs that hit that nail on the head, as well. While the emotional experience of listening to this soundtrack is kid's stuff compared to the movie, make no mistake: this is NOT a sunny pop collection. And yet you can't help but dig it.
What I like about this disc is the variety. But that variety could also be said to act as a con. I feel like this album could have lost a few songs that served as obvious filler, and come out stronger in the end for it. Feist's "Mushaboom" is a good song, but it's not very memorable. "Bad Kids" from Black Lips has that same retro feel and easily fits into that Smiths-era feel, but it's also about a million times too hyper and frantic for the mood of this soundtrack. Simon & Garfunkel's "Bookends", at 1 minute 23 seconds, is not only an unnecessary addition that doesn't add a thing to the mix, but it also feels as if it were added simply for street cred, you know? Oh, you're doing a heartbreaking melancholy soundtrack? Which Simon & Garfunkel song are you using?
I got this soundtrack primarily because I recognized a lot of songs while I watched the movie, and Amazon was offering it for $5. I don't regret the purchase; I'd have bought it for the Hall & Oates and Temper Trap songs alone, I'm sure. As a soundtrack, it does a good job of invoking some of those emotions I felt during the movie only, thank God, not to the extent I was feeling them then. I think the movie and its memory will always be stronger in my mind than the soundtrack could ever be, which is somewhat unfortunate because I own the soundtrack and can listen to it any time I want, whereas the movie would pose more of a problem--not that I would EVER want to watch that thing repeatedly.
If viewed on its own, however, I don't think this album stands up to individual scrutiny. It almost has to be listened to as a companion piece of the movie; there's just too much filler here to make a cohesive album otherwise. I think it's a case of some songs reflecting the theme while other songs simply fit well into a particular scene without necessarily being thematically relevant.
Either way, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER is a good soundtrack, and a decent album. I recommend it to music lovers in general because, filler aside, there are no bad songs here. Just don't watch the movie. It's awful, rotten, and STUPID. Dumb movie.
on January 19, 2010
This soundtrack is great for two reasons:
#1: It's filled with great music! I would not only recommend this soundtrack to those who are fans of the film. So much talent ranging from the 80's English Indie rock group The Smiths, to more modern groups like Wolfmother, Carla Bruni, and Regina Spektor. Even if you are not familiar with these musicians, the talent is so evident through the music and lyrics of each track. This soundtrack is very well balanced with heartbreaking (seriously) tunes to more upbeat rock (not too heavy though).
#2: If you are a fan of the film, this compilation is for you. It's so hard to find good soundtracks these days, especially those that are consistent and keep you hooked. Although most of the music present on the soundtrack have been previously released on other albums, the theme of this film is still beautifully told through each track (whoever put this soundtrack together did a great job). The Smiths tell their side as "See the luck I've had, can turn a good man bad" to Wolfmother's intro as "This is a song of innocence lost".
Aside from the scenes running through your mind as you browse through the music, it's difficult to put aside one's own experiences and we ourselves are immersed. This could be the soundtrack to your own life.
Great music...great storyline...bottom line. Hope everyone enjoys!
on September 29, 2010
(500) Days of Summer was the feel good movie of 2009. Bringing together Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the requisite couple, this film tackles the ever-present issue of boy meets girl, with a twist in which the boy falls in love but the girl doesn't.
The soundtrack was just like the movie - light and airy. It is perfect for driving around with the top down on a warm summer night. The soundtrack provided a good mix of oldies (from the always popular Hall and Oates) and new music (from the ever talented Regina Spektor). The mix also includes a track from She & Him, the She being Ms. Deschanel, star of the film.
Opening with "A Story of Boy Meets Girl", we meet Tom and Summer. We find out when they meet and goes on to explain that it is a story of a boy meeting a girl, but it is not a love story. We move into Regina Spektor's "Us", about making a statue of lovers and how the tourists come to gawk at it. It also tells how they will name a city after the lovers. From there, the soundtrack flows right along with the rest of movie, taking us through the meeting and eventual romance of Tom and Summer.
Overall, the album provides a good backing track to the film, keeping it simple. There is nothing overdone here - no rising crescendos, nothing that sticks out from the premise of the film. Everything flows nicely and keeps things moving, but not so quickly that you can't enjoy the music for what it is. There is even a foreign language track from Carla Bruni to give the music a little international flair.
This is one album that will be on repeat all summer long - the songs are catchy and easy to sing along to.
Full Track Listing:
1. A Story of Boy Meets Girl - Mychael Danna and Rob Simenson
2. Us - Regina Spektor
3. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
4. Bad Kids - Black Lips
5. Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths
6. There Goes the Fear - Doves
7. You Make My Dreams - Hall and Oates
8. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
9. Quelqu'un m'a dit - Carla Bruni
10. Mushaboom - Feist
11. Hero - Regina Spektor
12. Bookends - Simon and Garfunkel
13. Vagabond - Wolfmother
14. She's Got You High - Mumm-Ra
15. Here Comes Your Man - Meaghan Smith
16. Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want - She & Him
17. Here Comes Your Man (Bonus Track) - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
18. Sugar Town (Bonus Track) - Zooey Deschanel
19. At Last (Bonus Track) - Kevin Michael