When I was a kid, I was diagnosed with ADD. Let’s be real, it’s practically a generational trait at this point. But what does this have to do with my musical tastes? Well, tons.
Besides the fact I can’t seem to consume entertainment on a single-screen basis anymore, (TV? You bet I’ve got my laptop open to Gilt.com. Movie theater? You mean you want me to spend 90+ minutes without checking my cell phone? You’re nuts!) it also means that I consume entertainment- in this case, music, differently.
As much as I adore my favorite artists and bands, too innumerable to list out here, my musical ADD often means that the bulk of the music I consume are mixtapes, playlists, soundtracks, compilations. In the mood for pop? I can’t just listen to an entire Rihanna album; by song #4, my mind has melted into a synth-induced goop and it serves as nothing but (very upbeat!) background music. Craft the perfect mix, though, and I’m all ears.
Music supervisors and directors were doing it for years … and even classic 1980’s hunks of film knew the best way to a gals heart was a finely made mixtape, on cassette of course. Some of my finest music memories are not albums, but rather movie soundtracks that were blended by those far more in the know than I. Cameron Crowe, for one, boy-music-journalist turned adult-filmmaker is known for his exquisitely created soundtracks. In the mood for folksy country twang? Check out the Elizabethtown soundtrack. Dreaming of the rock glory days? Pine away with the Almost Famous soundtrack.
Here are those film soundtracks, and some other favorites, in no particular order, to peruse at your leisure. Because after all, just making it to the end of this post without double-checking for any new Facebook ‘likes’ was a conquest you should be proud of, right? [Clicking the links will take you to the album, free-streaming on Spotify]
- Garden State – Of course. C’mon. If you were any kind of suburban kid in the early ’00s, this was the defining soundtrack of a very particular moment in your life. Granted, this statement is probably 100x more accurate for those of us that were, in fact, from the Garden State.
- Big Fish – Whimsical, retro, light-hearted, and with a solid dose of Danny Elfman, this soundtrack is perfect for a summer day … or just daydreaming.
- Elizabethtown – Roadtrip much? You know those perfect mid-driving hours where the road seems peacefully endless – and so do the hours? This is the music for that time.
- Juno – Quirky, sentimental, and unapologetic. These words can describe both the soundtrack and the film they represent. Multiple Kimya Dawson tracks do not disappoint.
- Cruel Intentions – Just try to convince me you haven’t driven home late at night with ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ blasting through your speaks. Try it. (As in: convince me, OR play it at nights-end. So worth it.)
- Almost Famous – have you dreamed of living in the ‘good old days’? You know, Woodstock, free love, all that? Here’s your chance to pretend.
- Warm Bodies* – A delightful blend of classic rock meets angsty hipster … zombie?
- Marie Antoinette – If the French Revolution resembled a rock’n’roll, cotton candy version of the 1980’s, it would have sounded like this. Brian Reitzell is a man who knows what he’s doing.
- Celeste & Jesse Forever – A good break-up mix requires songs that can be sung along to, passionately, perhaps drunkenly. This appropriate playlist fits the bill, and with all songs personally guaranteed the Rashida Jones seal of approval? Done.
- Of course, last but not least, the mix(es) that got me through high school: Music from the OC: Mix 1 … etc … etc
*Warm Bodies soundtrack is entirely unofficial, created off of songs from the film.
By Liza Nedelman