Gently strummed guitar, carefully picked out piano. A sense of waking up, of opening your eyes, of slowly smiling. I can see the main figure in the movie walking through city streets early in the morning, a warm autumn day. Quiet moment of epiphany. Very beautiful.
Another sumptuous piano-led instrumental. Subtle strings so very very quietly in the background. It feelslike transition somehow, like a bridging scene in a movie. A sense of uncertainty. It's so confident musically. Really impressive.
DIALOGUE: CONAN, EARLY
A counsellor asks a big question.
FUCK THIS SHIT
Ah, Stevie's weeping harmonica. The boy sure can play. Got a similar feeling to "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid". A kind of clippity-clop gentle swagger, a sense of bemusement and contentedness. God knows why it's got this title, but I suppose I can see the main character thinking "oh fuck this shit, I'm going to do things how I want". Ah, these harmonica notes are just wonderful.
Another instrumental, but when they're this fantastic you don't miss vocals. Not yet at least. For some reason, maybe because it follows the last song, I'm thinking of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" but slowed right right down. That's so wrong it hurts, but it's typed now. I can see a tunnel, an underpass maybe. And a lake. This isn't helping, is it? Nice vibes. As in the instrument.
DIALOGUE: JERSEY'S WHERE
A eulogy to school.
BLACK AND WHITE UNITE
Ah, Simon And Garfunkel, we were expecting you. Gorgeous harmonising. A shuffle and a wink. "I'm half in love with every girl I meet". Feels like a tribute to America somehow. To that sense of America that S&G took to the road to find.
Trumpet, piano. Standing on the ramparts of the city, looking out to sea. What sounds like a harp. Those Gabriel Garcia Marquez books where it takes people seventy years to fall in love. A brooding cello. Darker clouds now.
Enthusiasm, ambition, desperation.
One of those upbeat B&S piano organ led songs. Finger-clicking. Sounds like Sarah singing. Hard to tell. Not as breathy as Isobel can be. A real classic. Here comes Stuart. It sounds like the band telling Todd Solondz that he can't just employ a band to write a soundtrack and then not use half of it, that he should be thinking of their feelings. "If you're a storyteller you might think you're without responsibility"
DIALOGUE: CLASS RANK
Twas always thus.
I DON'T WANT TO PLAY FOOTBALL
Oh, the irony. As the boy's handy on the pitch. Just Stuart, his voice at its most vulnerable, a few piano chords. Not so much of a song as a statement. "I don't want to take orders from morons". You and us both, eh?
I haven't seen the film so don't know how this might relate. A reprise of the earlier passage. Feels like bittersweet, happy-sad, a resolution but if only it could have turned out differently. Now it's changed. Shifted gear. I can see Dustin Hoffman. Raindrops running down window pains. Car wheels going through puddles. This is turning out well.
Stevie's tex mex romantic crooning. You can just imagine him tipping his hat to the senoritas in the plaza as dusk falls. For some reason, I have an image of Clark Gable. Perhaps Stevie can grow one of those pencil moustaches for when they play this live next.
DIALOGUE: MANDINGO CIRCLE
No dialogue on my CD, but piano and Isobel la-la-la-ing in the background. A monologue in a female American accent. The kind of thing you'd hear from any riot grrl. But then what do I know?
What's this? Very fast. Oooo-oooos. Group harmonising. Like all the kids in the film getting together. Great, but bizarre. Like something out of "Hairspray" perhaps. Or the TV show that's on "Hairspray". It's the kids of neighbourhood ganging together for the final, we-can-do-anything-dancing-in-the-streets scene.
Can't believe it's nearly over. Track seventeen already and it's whizzed by. They're coming on as songwriters in leaps and bounds with the odd graceful pirouette here and there.
BIG JOHN SHAFT
Orange Juice. With vibes. About an ageing actor. "I'm ashamed of my profession/I would do the same again". If you work doing anything you love, you'll feel like this eventually, even if it's only for a moment. Nice trumpet. There. That's what it all boils down to really. Nice trumpet.