I saw Eat, Pray, Love this past weekend without skimming the soundtrack even once beforehand and I have to say my first impression leading the theatre was not – in the words of Larisa Oleynik – whelmed. Neil Young somehow seems an obvious choice for a soul-searching 40-something. M.I.A “Boyz” is a great song, but now three years old. And the collaboration between Eddie Vedder and Nursat Fateh Ali Khan (“The Long Road”) while lovely is off of ANOTHER soundtrack released in 1996. The only original song on the album is “Better Days” by Vedder.
Now that I’ve listened to the soundtrack over and over again a few times – I still hold true to my above criticisms, but at the same time definitely appreciate how good of a job music supervisor P.J. Bloom did choosing music that supports the film. And the film is really what is whelming.
I pretty much can’t describe it better than the review posted by The Playlist (“Like “Playboy” for “Gourmet” and “National Geographic” subscribers, “Eat Pray Love” features some of the most sensuous food-porn money shots this side of “Like Water for Chocolate.”) but I do have to disagree with them in the fact that I loved the book and thought the screen adaptation was pretty bland – sorely lacking the depth found in the written word.
Released on July 20th, the soundtrack fits the mushy, warm tone of the film quite well. Although I’m only on my quarter-life crisis, this is what I imagine I’ll be listening to when I encounter the next one at mid-life and decide I need to quit my job and travel all the world’s exotic beaches. From Neil Young to Marvin Gaye to Sly and the Family Stone I’m pretty sure my dad would fall in love with this. And to be perfectly honest I’ll be rocking at least the Brazilian Joao and Bebel Gilberto tunes as mood music at my next sunset cocktail party.
The Vedder track “Better Days” is clearly the standout track of the album. The song captures the depth of the book better than the entire movie. Vedder’s gruff voice is full of worldly wisdom and the percussion / accordion combo adds an exotic touch that helps it soar.
Give “Better Days” a second listen, but overall the album is pleasant, enjoyable and going to be a stocking stuffer for my mom this Christmas. Though I did find it rather funny that Liz (Julia Roberts) so frequently teases Javier Bardem‘s character, Felipe, about his love of artists like Genesis and Sting and then the soundtrack features mostly old school rock icons on the soundtrack. I’ll go with it though. In the same way I can only laugh when my dad points out how cool he is for liking Guster and then professes undying love for the Steve Miller Band.
You can check out the tracklist below and buy it here. My favorites are in RED.
1. Flight Attendant – Josh Rouse
2. Last Tango In Paris (Suite Pt. 2) – Gato Barbieri
3. Thank You (Fallettin Me Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly & The Family Stone
4. Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen from “Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute)”
5. Heart of Gold – Neil Young
6. Kaliyugavaradana – U. Srinivas
7. The Long Road – Eddie Vedder, with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
8. Harvest Moon – Neil Young
9. Samba Da Bençáo – Bebél Gilberto
10. Wave – João Gilberto
11. Got To Give It Up (Part 1) – Marvin Gaye
12. ‘S Wonderful – João Gilberto
13. Better Days – Eddie Vedder
14. Attraversiamo – Dario Marianelli
Neil Young “Heart Of Gold”
Joao Gilberto “‘S Wonderful”
Eddie Vedder “Better Days”