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SONIC DEATH MONKEY Soundtrack Reviews - Juno

by Michael Collins

Sonic Death Monkey is back with a soundtrack that spends a lot of time looking back. It's time for the sleeper hit that is Juno where indie folk punk pop meets even more indie folk punk pop.

Juno has been causing a bit of a mild ripple turning into a big splash with it slowly, but surely making itís way to the top of the Billboard charts. When listening to the album itís understandable why. This album has taken an alternative route from the usual blast and rocket to the top to then disappear just as quickly. This one takes itís time and itís all the better for it.

This is an album that doesnít look that good on paper. Indeed it might normally be something you run away from, but it sneaks up on you while youíre not looking. You have to wait until the sixth track, Tire Swing, until you hear a song that reaches the marathon length of three minutes. This album is a collection of tiny acoustic pop gems that pop for a quick visit and then leave with little time for you to form any distaste.

Belle and Sebastian are masters of this kind of pop mining and itís when their song Piazza, New York Catcher, kicks in that you realize that something special is going on here.

The pace is kept going with Kimya Dawson, but then there is Sonic Youthís amazing cover of The Carpentersí Superstar. That is such a huge version and a real show stopper.

Recovering from that song is like the aftermath of sex. So itís amusingly fitting that the following song is Sleep. A short interlude until we get back into the hard core acoustic pop action where once again itís those fantastic Scots, Belle and Sebastian.

Mott The Hoople revive Ziggy era David Bowie with All The Young Dudes. A song penned by Bowie for the band and it really sounds like it. At the time Bowie was doing a lot behind the scenes for other artists - Not least being one Lou Reed. Bowie was at the top of his game here.

Could Sonic Youthís and Mott The Hoopleís versions of other peopleís songs be bettered? How could it? Well with another great cover of a classic, thatís how. Cat Power come out of nowhere, but sound perfectly in place with a beautiful version of, Sea of Love. Cat Powerís haunting voice takes that song in an entirely different direction - and what a great direction it is.

If music is meant to leave a smile on your face than the Juno soundtrack does just that with a couple of songs which demand smiling back at. Tree Hugger by Antsy Pants and then one of the lessor known classics Iím Sticking With You by The Velvet Underground taking centre stage with Moe Tucker singing most of the lead vocals. It sounds almost like a nursery rhyme.

Then things get kitschy and downright weird culminating with Antsy Pants back with Vampire. Then the sweet Anyone Else But You rounds off things.

Thereís lots of reasons to pick up this soundtrack - and hardly any of them are over three minutes. This is a great way to round off 2007 or start your 2008.

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originally posted: 02/07/08 20:30:09
last updated: 02/07/08 20:33:46
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