Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights Soundtrack
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Nov. 5, 2004
Friday Night LightsOriginal Motion Picture Soundtrack (Hip-O) Already it's impossible to imagine anyone other than Austin-from-Midland rock astronauts Explosions in the Sky scoring H.G. Bissinger's beloved West Texas football tome, Friday Night Lights. Or rather, actor Peter Berg's rousing, multiplexed panorama of it. And make no mistake, with 11 out of 14 cloud drifts racked by EITS, the Friday Night Lights soundtrack might as well be the beloved instrumental quartet's fourth LP. As such, it's the comet's tailend there's no mistaking it for last year's unparalleled snow drift, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place but even then, this is hardly incidental cinematic snooze. The album's midsection is, in fact, of minor consequence ("An Ugly Fact of Life," "Home," "Inside It All Feels the Same"), but even extraneous Explosions come off as extraordinarily cleansing nonetheless. Compared to David Torn's fortunately innocuous filler ("Do You Feel Cursed"), EITS are Academy Award contenders. If Friday Night Lights doesn't land the band more such work, Hollywood might as well be launched into deep space. The big sky glisten of opener "From West Texas," used to stirring effect in the film's title sequence, blushes into the string-kissed sunrise of "Your Hand in Mine," demonstrated in the clasp of brotherhood on the disc's cover. Rejoinder "Our Last Days as Children" is fleeting, airborne. Among the trio of non-EITS tracks, Daniel Lanois' searing, "Home on the Range"-like "Sonho Dourado" not only integrates perfectly, it's a high point. The heartbreak beat of "Your Hand in Mine (Goodbye)" is another standout, as are the sonic railroad spikes on "Lonely Train." Into this wordless West Texas sound and vision flies Bad Company's crusty "Seagull," FNL's only vocal, which somehow becomes shamanistic in this setting. Fading like an Explosions in the Sky disc should, "The Sky Above, the Field Below" and "A Slow Dance" tense and release one last time. Like being freed into the West Texas heavens.