Nowhere to Look but Inside

Some of my friends and I share music with one another while we work. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us, and share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Billy Joel – The Nylon Curtain (1982)

We’ve had some Billy Joel in this game before; what makes this special is that of all the things he has recorded, this is what Billy Joel is most proud of.

People have said compared this album to The Beatles, and I feel like it’s most evident in Laura. I did like how Where’s the Orchestra quoted Allentown. When I think of bands that reference themselves in other songs, The Beatles are who I think of most often.

Pressure, however, seems very David Bowie-esque. And I think I like it more. It and Allentown are the only two from this album I think I’ve heard before (or at least, that I’ve heard more than once before and so remembered hearing). And they were my favorite.

This is a fine album, but it’s not my favorite of his. 3/5

Hans Zimmer – Rango soundtrack (2011)

Last weekend my wife and I drove up to her mom’s house and back. It was a 3.5 hour drive each way through a pretty heavy snowstorm. So when we finally got home, we both wanted to watch something funny, but also that had nothing to do with snow. We ended up watching Rango.

I shared the soundtrack because A) it’s pretty short and 2) the whole film, including the music, is both a pastiche and parody of Westerns in pop culture. Aside from mariachi and saloon piano music which are thematically appropriate, there are references to Sergio Leone’s films, The Magnificent Seven and others in the soundtrack.

Admittedly, I could do without the voice-overs from the film in the soundtrack. But only in Medley was I ever really reminded that the original compositions were by the same guy who gave us the Pirates of the Caribbean and Gladiator soundtracks, which are great but could really be interchangeable with one another.

Here’s what my friends had to say:

“I honestly felt like this was meh, and kind of cliche. In some ways it felt like a “we need a soundtrack so throw one together” than something meticulously considered to help tell the movie’s story (not having seen the movie this is just my impression). But still catchy at times, so a 3 out of 5 instead of a 2.” – Tim

“Rango soundtrack, list most soundtracks for, was just ok. Its really meant to augment the film rather than stand alone. It reminded me of the film which was similarly just ok to me. The mariachi band comments was probably the highlight of the show so it did well in the soundtrack too, but we’ll give it a 3.2/5” – Spencer

You can post your own (about Billy Joel, Rango, or almost anything else) down below.

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One thought on “Nowhere to Look but Inside

  1. Pingback: The Promise of a Brave New World | An American Audio-logue

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