CD Review of Behind the Music by The Soundtrack Of Our Lives
The Soundtrack Of Our Lives: Communion
Label
Umvd
The Soundtrack Of Our Lives:
Behind the Music

Reviewed by David Medsker

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T
his Swedish sextet made many a Top-10 list last year with their odd blend of 1960s garage and psychedelia. Comparisons were made to everything from Pink Floyd and the Kinks to Echo & The Bunnymen, talented bands all. And while the Soundtrack are competent songwriters, they’re not yet great ones, which ultimately causes Behind the Music to succumb under the weight of its influences.

Leadoff track “Infra Riot” is one of the more forward-looking songs here, with a rhythm section that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Foo Fighters album. But it’s an aberration: their strength and their passion is in the ‘60s, not the present. “In Someone Else’s Mind” floats directly in between a lawsuit from Roger Waters (“Brain Damage”) and the estate of John Lennon (“Dear Prudence”). “Keep the Line Movin’” surely arose from repeat listens of “Come Together.” “Ten Years Ahead” is from the Belle & Sebastian school of fey hippie folk, though thankfully with a little more masculinity.

Luckily, a few songs transcend their inspirations. “Tonight” is a dead perfect piano ballad, and “In Your Veins” is only slightly less gorgeous, with a fab string section outro. “Broken Imaginary Time” is another gem, a spooky mid-tempo piece that is a proud descendant of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

But Album of the Year? That may be overstepping it a bit. Those Swedes certainly aren’t lacking in confidence -- The Hives have practically cornered the market on chutzpah -- and perhaps that confidence has infected some of the press as well. Behind The Music is a good album, sometimes a brilliant one. But it’s not OK Computer, Odelay or even The Man Who. Once they funnel their influences into something that they can truly call their own, they may actually become the soundtrack of someone’s life. Until then, a more accurate name would be The Tribute Album of Our Lives.

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