Monday, 29 September 2014

Soundtrack Love: Begin Again

I've been wanting to write about movies with awesome soundtracks for ages, so this will most likely become a series of some kind- we will see. I've watched Begin Again (2013) recently- for some reason, it has only found it's ways to Austrian cinemas two months ago or so- and I instantly fell in love with the soundtrack.

The film stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine- while I'm a huge fan of Ruffalo, I am usually not that thrilled with Keira Knightley and I remember myself wondering since when Adam Levine was in the acting business, but I digress. When there's a film out that in some way revolves around music, I'm pretty much inclined to be interested in it and probably end up liking it, so I thought I'd give Begin Again a chance.

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The movie follows a young songwriter (Knightley) who went to New York with her boyfriend (Levine) who signed a contract with a label which puts a strain on their relationship pretty soon; she then one night meets a pretty much wasted and down on his luck record company executive (Ruffalo) who heard her sing at an open mic night, and he insists on producing an album with her. From there on out, we follow the two of them creating an album inspired by the city of New York itself.



After I finished watching the movie, I pretty much immediately started listening to the soundtrack again and again- and even though I previously wasn't too keen on either Knightley or Levine, I must admit they both did a marvellous job with the songs.

The featured single "Lost Stars" comes in a number of different arrangements, and I have to say- I like all of them. I like Adam Levine's version which sounds very mainstream and radio-friendly, I like Keira Knightley's more acoustic, ballady version of the song, and I even like the remix of it that they put into the soundtrack for good measure as it seems.

Keira Knightley's voice actually really suits the whole singer-songwriter thing, it sounds very sweet which fits all the songs that are being recorded for the album in the movie pretty perfectly. To me, these songs ("Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home", "Like A Fool", "Coming Up Roses") are very relaxing to listen to and feel very harmonious.

Apart from that, there's some CeeLo Green (who also makes an appearance in the movie as a popular rap musician) songs mixed in between- and even though his music is nothing I would normally listen to because it's just not my cup of tea, they're actually really catchy and fit perfectly into the soundtrack.

Lastly, it has to be mentioned that pretty much all of the songs (except for "Coming Up Roses") were co-penned by Gregg Alexander, who also performed a songs on the soundtrack under the name of Cessyl Orchestra ("Into The Trance", "The Roof Is Broke", "Intimidated By You"). I feel like I should look up some of his other music, because I really like the atmospheric sound of these songs...


TO SUM UP:

I was very positively surprised by the movie itself, which I actually really liked and rewatched soon after initially watching it. Since it is described as a musical drama film, the soundtrack obviously stands out the most- and somehow, it really hit a nerve with me and I've been listening to it a lot, despite the fact that I never really cared for Adam Levine's music for example. But within the confines of the movie, it worked so well that I'm also very much enjoying listening to songs like "Lost Stars" on their own now. All in all, if you like the whole singer-songwriter kind of thing- watch the movie or listen to the soundtrack (or both), and I think you won't be disappointed.

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