SHAME: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (a J!-ENT World Groove Album Review)
December 27, 2011 by Dennis Amith
SHAME: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack captures the elegance of New York City but also the fragility of the mindset of the film’s protagonist. Featuring a good number of tracks from Glenn Gould and also classics from John Coltrane, Chet Baker and Howlin’ Wolf, the film also incorporates a few early ’80s music as well.
TITLE: SHAME: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
LABEL: Fox Music
RELEASE DATE: December 13, 2011
- Brandon (Harry Escott)
- “Aria” – Goldberg Variations – Glenn Gould
- Genius of Love – Tom Tom Club
- I Want Your Love – Chic
- My Favorite Things – John Coltrane
- New York, New York “Theme” – Carey Mulligan
- Let’s Get Lost – Chet Baker
- Prelude & Fugue No. 10 in E Minor – Glenn Gould
- “Variation 15 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quinta” – Goldberg variations – Glenn Gould
- Unravelling – Harry Escott
- You Can’t Be Beat – Howlin’ Wall
- The Problem – Mark Loque
- Prelude & Fugue No. 16 in G Minor – Glenn Gould
- End Credits (Harry Escott)
From award winning director Steve McQueen (“Hunger”, “Fela”) comes a new daring and audacious film titled “Shame”.
Having been nominated for a good number of awards since it’s premiere, McQueen’s film stars actor Michael Fassbender (“Inglorious Basterds”, “X-Men: First Class”, “300″) and actress Carey Mulligan (“Never Let Me Go”, “Drive”, “An Education”, “Pride and Prejudice”).
The film revolves around Brandon (Fassbender), a lonely 30-year-old New Yorker who is addicted to sex.
Whenever he is alone, he is consumed by a world of pornography, sex and masturbation and his whole world is turned upside down when his sister Sissy (Mulligan) comes out of nowhere and barges into his home to live temporarily.
And from that moment on, his life becomes to spiral out of control as he worries that she may find out about his sexual addictions and also he grows impatient as he wants to participate in sexual acts in his condo but wants to hide his dark sexual secrets from his sister.
As for its music, Brandon is a man who prefers to listen to his music via vinyl and because director Steve McQueen is quite fond with the musician Glenn Gould, Gould’s fantastic music is fully featured in the soundtrack.
The “Shame” soundtrack also features a few ’80s hits such as Blondie’s “Rapture”, Chic’s “I Want Your Love”, Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” and also classics such as John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things”, you get Chet Baker’s jazzy “Let’s Get Lost” (Album Version), the electric blues of Howlin Wolf’s “You Can’t Be Beat”, plus Mulligan’s solo rendition of “New York, New York”. As well as the electronic synth track “The Problem” by Mark Loque.
Also featured are three tracks by composer Harry Escott (“A Mighty Heart”, “Hard Candy”, “The Road to Guantanamo”For Escott’s music, featuring a 50-piece orchestra and recording the music at Abbey Road, the music by Escott is a bit more somber and dangerous as can be heard with the opening track “Brandon”, “Unravelling” and the ending credits.
While the ’80s music featured in the soundtrack is great for those who are nostalgic of the music, from the jazzy tracks which I enjoyed, it worked well on this soundtrack especially with the enigmatic music poet, Glenn Gould’s piano music featured throughout the soundtrack.
I can listen to “Goldberg Variations; BWV 988: Aria”, “Prelude & Fugue No. 10 in E minor, BWV 855: Prelude”, “Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variation 15 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quinta. Andante [1981 Version]” and “Prelude & Fugue No. 16 in G minor, BWV 885: Praeludium” over and over again!
But the soundtrack for “SHAME” is one of those soundtracks that people either like the inconsistency of the tracks or they like only certain songs. While Gould’s music, Coltrane, Baker, Howlin’ Wolf and Mulligan’s “New York, New York” theme works quite well for the overall soundtrack, as well as the inclusion of Harry Escott’s compositions, the ’80s pop tracks and Mark Loque’s electronic track, do stick out.
But it works, especially for the context of the movie. To capture the feeling of New York, its elegance but also to capture his fragility and his deviant mindset.
So, “SHAME: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is one of those mixed-track compilations of music that I found myself listening to quite a bit for Gould, Baker and Coltrane and also Mulligan’s rendition of “New York, New York”.
The soundtrack comes with production credits and a single-pager of filmmaker Steve McQueen discussing the music of the film.
Overall, if you enjoyed the music from “SHAME”, the soundtrack does provide quite a bit of easy listening and enjoyable music. As well as some classic ’80s hits. While, it would have been nice to have more compositions by Harry Escott and even more Gould, for a soundtrack featuring diverse styles of music, it’s a good soundtrack, a bit inconsistent, but it works!
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