January 15, 2021

Various Artists – Big Little Lies Season 2 – ABKCO

By Kristi Kates | Nov. 2, 2019

A big-time roster of actresses leads this Emmy-winning HBO series — Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern — and the series’ accompanying soundtrack is equally impressive. Here, you’ll find tracks deftly themed to the show’s edgy storylines, from Christina Vierra’s pleading take on “Piece of My Heart” to Jim James’ “Why Can’t We Live Together.” Also included are bonus tunes from Elle King, The Spinners, Cassandra Wilson, and more, plus the show’s adopted theme song, Michael Kiwanuka’s “Cold Little Heart.” ** ½

Various Artists – Tone Science Module N. 3 Cosines and Tangents – DiN Records
Bringing together the likes of Robert Rich (ambient music guru), Caspar Hesselager, Radek Rudnicki, d’Voxx, Jogging House, and Little Ambient Machine, this exploration of modular synth tracks is an absorbing listen, with nine tracks in all showcasing just how broad these sounds can get within their own field. It’ll take several listens to fully absorb all of the textures and layers crafted here, from the space-grit of “The Divided Apparatus” to the more streetwise “En-Edge.” ** ½

Renee Zellweger – Judy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Republic
The new movie Judy catches up with the legendary Judy Garland (The Wizard of Oz) in late 1968, after she’s been in show business for over 40 years and is heading to London to perform on stage. Renee Zellweger portrays Garland in an expert take on the role, and also lends her voice to the songs here, confidently executing some of Garland’s most popular songs (“Over the Rainbow,” “By Myself,” “Get Happy” (on which she duets with Sam Smith), to make this an impressive and authentic listen. ***

Various Artists – Booksmart (Music from the Motion Picture) – Interscope
The movie Booksmart, a look at the current teen girl generation through a singular night of hijinks, might be something of a pander to said generation, but, well … the music is decent. Opening with Jurassic 5’s churning “What’s Golden,” the trendy setlist careens through timely tunes by Cautious Clay, Perfume Genius, Edward Sharpe, Lykke Li, and a standout from Spiegel, featuring CeeLo Green. ***


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