21 January 2010

Film: Best Music of the Decade


Eminem - "Lose Yourself"
8 Mile (2002)
Five minutes of pure, raw power. The first rap song to win the Oscar and for good reason. A devastating, brutally honest nightmare account about Detroit and the burning desire to get out of there as soon as possible.

Ryan Bingham - "The Weary Kind"
Crazy Heart (2009)
So apparently someone still does write good country music. We're talking Waylon, Willie, Johnny stuff here. An ode to a life lived hard and the toll it's taken.

Ewan Mcgregor & Nicole Kidman - "Come What May"
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
A big, sweeping romantic ballad. It may be covered in cheese, but it's the kind of tear-jerking sound of Hollywood they just don't make anymore.

Trey Parker & Matt Stone - "The End of an Act"
Team America: World Police (2004)
Unabashedly romantic in its own twisted little way. One of the funniest songs of the last decade.

Bruce Springsteen - "The Wrestler"
The Wrestler (2008)
As his comeback decade was coming to an end, Springsteen submitted this song--for free--to Darren Aronofsky's difficult sports drama, and perfectly embodied every emotion in the film. Bravo.


500 Days of Summer
Sire, 2009
Comes across as a hand-crafted mixtape that follows a relationship from its lovely beginnings to devastating ends, and then sets itself on shuffle.

I'm Not There
Sony, 2007
It took six actors to play Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' breathtaking biopic. It took five times as many artists to pay tribute to him on this mind-blowing covers album.

A Mighty Wind
Sony, 2003
A collection of folksy ('60s clean-cut folksy, not '00s beard-y folksy) ditties that would be lame if they weren't so accomplished. "There's a puppy in the parlor and a skillet on the stove and a smelly ol' blanket that a Navajo wove." I'm so there.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Lost Highway, 2000
The soundtrack-as-history lesson. Taught a new generation about the birth of popular and hillbilly music from the early 20th Century. Oh, and it became the first soundtrack since The Bodyguard to win the Grammy for Album of the Year.

Columbia, 2007
Take just two of the albums tracks: "Falling Slowly" and "Say it to Me Now." There's more passion in those few short minutes than in most band's entire discographies.


Jon Brion
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
It sounds as if it was recorded with an out-of-tune piano, which just adds to theme of brokenness that fills every frame of Michel Gondry's film.

Howard Shore
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
One of the many reasons, in my opinion, people kept returning to see the epic saga of Middle-earth, besides the lavish set design, above-par acting and meticulous direction, was the moving score by Howard Shore, who won an Oscar for this score, as well as the score and song from The Return of the King.

A.R. Rahman
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
A vibrant journey through the streets of Mumbai that brought Indian music to the U.S. (well, to the white part anyway). It's far more entertaining than American Top 40.

Jonny Greenwood
There Will Be Blood (2007)
A sense of dread fills every scene of P.T. Anderson's anti-everything period masterpiece, thanks in no small part to the Radiohead guitarist's score. Unsettling yet mesmerizing, it recalls horror films like Halloween and The Exorcist.

Michael Giacchino
Up (2009)
More adventurous than Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Harry Potter combined. Sorry, John Williams.

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