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Yes Man – Soundtrack Review

yesmantrackOne of the components of Yes Man that worked for me, that I didn’t talk about in my review (here) was the music in the film. The soundtrack is devoid of score, and is really a CD that features two bands. Using music to overlay on top of the film is a Catch-22 in my book. Some directors now how to use a song at the right time to create that perfect mood or convey a certain emotion from the scene. Then there’s sometimes when a song is placed in certain parts of the film to make it seem cool, hip, or to push the soundtrack. I’m sure you all can think of incidents that both of these work and don’t work.

For Yes Man, Peyton Reed, the film’s director, chose to have the band Eels score the film using songs from their catalog. No stranger to having their songs on soundtracks (Henry Poole is Here, Hellboy II, and American Beauty), I think here they work best. Having songs that are translatable to Jim Carrey’s character, while being not abrasive work well. “Man Up” is a new recording and is an upbeat song which features perfectly into the film. The bands lead singer, E as he likes to be called, sings in a mournful tone but at times even this sounds upbeat. Songs like “Bus Stop Boxer”, “Flyswatter” and “To Lick Your Boots” offer the unique mix of rock and some experimental sounds. After the nine songs here, the Eels will be a band you want to check out.

Perhaps just having the Eels on this soundtrack would be enough, but remember in my review for the film, I stated the ace up Yes Man‘s sleeve was Zooey Deschanel, well her fictional band, Munchausen by Proxy contributes four songs here and they are a blast. “Sweet Ballad” and “Uh-huh” are the standouts and feature Zooey’s wonderful voice but also her wit. In “Sweet Ballad” she confesses that maybe she was a guy’s late night booty call once, maybe twice, maybe three times, but no more than seven times is hilarious but also in tune with her character. “Uh-huh” was, in my opinion, vastly under-appreciated by the Academy in the Best Original Song category, but luckily we can enjoy it all here. Fans of Zooey’s band, She & Him, will also want to check this CD out, even though the music is more New Wave than folk. Sorry, Journey (they have a song in the film not on the CD), with Eels and Munchausen by Proxy, we have one of the better non-score soundtrack’s from 2008.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Jon Peters

I love film. That is all.

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