Committed (Chapter III)

Committed (Chapter III)

Record Reviews

Committed

(Chapter III)

Like Rushmore's consummate example of the form, the soundtrack for the new Heather Graham vehicle Committed is part music from the motion picture, part score by Tucson's Calexico, both of which fit the film's desert quest/smart romantic comedy bill as perfectly as British-invasion-era songs and a Mark Mothersbaugh score boostered Rushmore. The pairing of soul legend Don Covay's "Mercy Mercy" and Glen Campbell's wonderfully schlocky "Wichita Lineman" is so wrong, but so right. Including soul diva Esther Phillips' rendition of "Release Me" is also inspired, likewise the Spanish version of "Ring of Fire" by Vaqueros del Oeste. Johnny Cash's ubiquitous live version of "Folsom Prison Blues" derails the flow of the otherwise slicker, riskier lineup, and with only seven songs front-loaded before the half-hour of score, it's as if someone started making a great mix tape but ran out of inspiration and just put on a Calexico album. Which, of course, is not such a bad thing for fans of the band; for a group often described as "cinematic" and "spaghetti Western," it's fitting that these modern-day Ennio Morricones are finally used to that end. Mostly renamed, quiet remixes of old material from 1997's Spoke and 1998's The Black Light, the score also weaves in instrumentals off the rare tour-only EP Road Map as well as new compositions. Between Calexico's vibraphone and bass-drum-heavy atmospherics, and the handful of lonesome souls that introduce them, this is a soundtrack that rises above most tossed-off movie schwag, and is definitely worth having whether or not the film shape-shifts into something worth seeing.

***

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