I Am Sam

I Am Sam

Music From and Inspired By the Motion Picture

V2

The soundtrack works because it offers 16 great songs by nearly 16 great artists (and that’s including the Steven and Elyse Keaton of singer/songwriters, Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, the latter of whom also happens to be the star’s brother) covering the two best songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The thing all these artists have in common is that they truly, obviously love and admire The Beatles and their canon of gems. Each artist gives their subject a sincere treatment and the pairings often are very appropriate. Such is the case with the Mann/Penn duo performing Let It Be‘s lead-off track, “Two Of Us,” The Black Crowes on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and the almost-too-ironic cover of “Nowhere Man” by Paul Westerberg (luckily, the former Replacements frontman resurfaces with Stereo/Mono this April).

With such a surefire combination of good songs and good artists, there is room to exploit the situation by potentially introducing new sounds to the uninitiated. This is achieved by having the radio-friendly Wallflowers fiddle with the less familiar “I’m Looking Through You,” plus newcomers Howie Day performing the instantly recognizable “Help!”

If the producer and the music supervisor had Linkin Park butchering “Strawberry Fields Forever,” it wouldn’t work. So they got Ben Harper, who did a nifty job on it. If they had The Baha Men let their dogs run loose on “Golden Slumbers,” it would be rubbish. Instead, they got Ben Folds, in a rare moment of not being a smart ass, to play piano at his most gentle and sing softly on this first piece of this Abbey Road medley. And they could’ve easily coerced Creed to cover “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” but they went to the root of Creed’s sound and hired the original, Eddie Vedder, to do the job.

I don’t take I Am Sam to be a blockbuster hit, so it’s good to see this project produced for the great music rather than just an obligatory chart-topper with an A-list movie star as the cover art. There’s no need for five-second sound clips from the movie, which is good, since now you don’t have to see the film. It makes this companion to the Sean Penn-as-a-mentally-deficient-father-flick a no-brainer. This is one of the few soundtracks that plays like a spectacular album.

V2 Music: http://www.v2music.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Summerland
    Summerland

    In rural England, a cranky woman bonds with and evacuee boy and uncovers a strange connection to her past.

  • Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
    Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

    These geniuses of early comedy finally get the presentation they are due in this Blu-ray edition.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam
    Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    Rock Bottom Rhapsody (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Landfall
    Landfall

    Cecilia Aldarondo takes a look at Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

From the Archives