New this week in music

January 10, 2008

Soundtrack, "Juno"

The soundtrack to a feel-good film about teenage pregnancy opens with "All I Want Is You," a silly love song by Barry Louis Polisar, who is known for writing children's books, poems and songs. It's an apt overture and a sly setup for what follows: A journey that bounces and sways from the heart of bedrock classic rock to the outskirts of oddball indie-folk.

The primary star of the music in "Juno" is Kimya Dawson, who appears here as a solo artist and as half of the avant-folk duo the Moldy Peaches. Hers is not a mainstream flavor.

Dawson's little-girl voice and her whimsical, play-school rhythms and melodies often masquerade the pathos and pain in some of her lyrics.

The music of "Juno" was assembled by the film's director, Jason Reitman, and two veteran and decorated music supervisors, Peter Afterman and Margaret Yen. They've certified their indie-relevance by including two songs from the fey Scottish folk-pop troupe Belle & Sebastian and Sonic Youth's subversive remake of the Carpenters' hit "Superstar."


"Juno" is bound to draw comparisons to the beloved "Garden State" soundtrack, but there's a difference. "Garden State" stands alone as a collection of worthy and well-organized songs; "Juno" is more attached to the movie and its love story. If you haven't seen the film, you might not empathize with the homemade sounds and whimsical sentiments expressed in its soundtrack.

- McClatchy Newspapers

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