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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

CD REVIEW - Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine
Music by Mychael Danna & Devotchka
Lakeshore LKS-338652 (U.S.)
14 Tracks 46:58 mins

The dynamics of this collaboration on the little comedy film that has received much critical praise, as well as riding high at the U.S. box office, are not very clear, but one can assume that Danna composed much of the score (6 tracks, some 13 minutes of which are presented here), though world music group Devotchka seem to have collaborated on composition as well. They certainly perform the music, with lead singer Nick Urata contributing his vocals on some tracks, whilst also displaying his considerable instrumental skills on such as guitar, theremin, bouzouki and trumpet.
As well as Devotchka's contributions, the album features a couple of tracks by Surfjan Stevens, one by Tony Tisdale and one by Rick James. With the instrumentals, it all adds up to a quirky, but quite enjoyable soundtrack with a particularly catchy main theme, first heard in "The Winner is" and reprised vocally in the concluding "How it Ends."
Along the way, some of the music gets a kind of Tex-Mex feel, with presumably Urata providing whistled contributions. Tuba is surprisingly to the fore in "Let's Go," and "No One Gets Left Behind" is a steady, guitars-driven mover. Some of the music achieves a certain airiness, a feel that combines magically with the main theme on "Do You Think There's A Heaven."
Danna has been trapped in the conventional score writing mode recently and it's nice that here he had the opportunity to break out and provide something that will be more to the liking of his fans.


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