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Shortbus - OST

Shortbus OST

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

FOR ardent arthouse cinema buffs, Shortbus represented one of the best indie hits of the year in 2006. Others merely dismissed it as arthouse porn.

We hated it. But the soundtrack is an altogether different affair. John Cameron Mitchell’s film follows a group of men and women as they attempt to find emotional liberation by pursuing their deepest sexual fantasies at a club of the same name in post-9/11 New York.

But while the movie became boring, repetitive and marked a complete waste of time, the soundtrack provided frequent highlights.

It’s a smartly assembled collection of laidback artists that could open your eyes to a number of new listening experiences.

We’re talking Scott Matthew (not to be confused with Matthews), Yo La Tengo and The Animal Collective, to name but three.

Matthew’s contributions (which number three) are nicely delivered one man and his guitar style affairs that wash over you nicely and put you in a good place.

While Yo La Tengo deliver a snazzy slice of Euro-influenced chillout jazz that continues the feelgood vibe.

Animal Collective’s acoustic workout, Winter’s Love, is a blissfull blend of Simon & Garfunkel and Jack Johnson acoustics that changes tempo nicely and keeps you on your toes, while the lush female vocals provide a swoonsome accompaniment to the deeply melodic If You Fall by Azure Ray (one of several artists who sound worth venturing out to find out more by).

And Jay Brannan’s simple but effective acoustic folk song Soda Shop provides another firm highlight.

The soundtrack isn’t just reserved for the acoustic fan brigade, however, and ventures into glamorous Scissor Sisters territory with chic dancefloor-friendly, falsetto-heavy offerings such as This House (by Jasper James & The Jetset) and This Piece Of Poetry Is Meant To Do Harm (by The Ark).

The occasional track provides a bum note and taps into the arty pretension of the film itself but, on the whole, this is a breezy, effortless listen that’s well worth taking the time to check out – even if you haven’t seen the movie.

Track listing:

  1. Upside Down – Scott Matthew
  2. If You Fall – Azure Ray
  3. Wizard’s Sleeve – Yo La Tengo
  4. Winter’s Love – Animal Collective
  5. Surgery – Scott Matthew
  6. Beautiful – Lee & LeBlanc
  7. It’s Not Safe – Gentleman Rug
  8. Kids – John LaMonica
  9. Language – Scott Matthew
  10. Soda Shop – Jay Brannan
  11. Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby? – Anita O’Day
  12. Kolla Kolla – The Ark
  13. This House – Jasper James & The Jetset
  14. This Piece of Poetry Is Meant to Do Harm – The Ark
  15. Boys of Melody – The Hidden Cameras
  16. Little Bird – Scott Matthew
  17. In the End – Justin Bond & The Hungry March Band