Thursday, February 21, 2008

Juno soundtrack- Kimya just being herself

It's relatively old news by now but... By now, Juno is the highest grossing film that's up for a best picture Oscar this year and now another indie breakthrough sensation like Little Miss Sunshine. And even after seeing the film a second time, I wasn't less enamored of it. I actually liked it better, picking up lines I didn't notice before and seeing the arches and changes that the characters go through.

And then there's the music, which as you know, helped make the film. And vice versa. It wasn't just that it helped to bolster the film's box office but also surprised many people by hitting the top of the album charts (a first for Rhino Records too).

To me, what was even more remarkable was that other than Ellen Page, the not-quite-unsung star of the film made it after being in the biz for several years and (this is important) not changing her tune. I've heard Kimya Dawson's music described as "lullabies for adults" and that's peachy with me- who doesn't need a lullaby now and then? The fact that Dawson could have her tunes (some of them a few years old) become a central part of the soundtrack (along with cult rock faves Mott and the Velvets and 90's indie heros Belle & Sebastian and Cat Power) AND not having to change her style to fit the film AND still be part of a hit album is a wonderful, inspiration thing. Any longtime fan of hers not only feels vindicated now but also hopefully feels a sense of pride that a larger slice of the pop world now appreciates KD also. She's touring now, wisely taking advantage of her larger, new found audience and it's hard to wish her anything but more good news, and hope that her popularity doesn't dissuade her from writing the charming songs that she does so well.

A quick tally of KD's songlist shows that the soundtrack provides a nice mini-mixtape of her solo career (wonder if Moldy Peaches will ever do a new album again though one of their tunes is included here, "Anyone Else But You"):

- "My Rollercoaster," "Loose Lips" and "Tire Swing" from Remember That I Love You (2006)
- "So Nice So Smart" from Knock Knock Who? (2004)
- "Sleep" from I'm Sorry That Sometimes I'm Mean (2002)
- "Tree Hugger," a new song
- sadly nothing from Hidden Vagenda (2004), her best album

As is usual in Hollywood, don't be surprised if you see the formula repeated and we're treated to other whipsmart teens who might be pregnant. If we have to suffer through these crappy imitations, let's at least hope that they pick someone as big-hearted and sweet as Dawson to help push along the celluloid.


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