Soundtrack Review: IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
October 12th, 2010

Rating: 3/5

We all feel a little crazy sometimes. But, as the tagline for IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY suggests, “some times what’s in your head, isn’t as crazy as you think.” It’s hard to think about music in relation to those who are “crazy” and not think about how many of the world’s most brilliant and influential artists have usually been considered “crazy” to one degree or another. In most cases, “crazy” seems to really just mean a person who looks at the world in a different way.

Music, like all art, is subjective and can be interpreted differently depending on the person listening to it. The themes of any song could apply to someone struggling with their overall mental state to someone simply struggling through a particularly rough day. It can be both scary and comforting to think how thin that line is when it applies to music.

The film’s subject matter may deal with some of the darker sides of life (depression, abuse, suicide), but the music is mostly upbeat. Proving that upbeat can be heard in a variety of styles, the soundtrack ranges from punk rock ("Smash It Up (Parts 1 & 2)” by the Dammed) to soul (“Check Me Out” by Little Denise), alternative (“Where You Go” by Elden Calder), to Middle Eastern (“Habina” by Rachid Taha).

A handful of the song titles themselves such as “Happy Today” (The Wowz), “Tourist In Your Town” (The Pink Mountaintops), and “Where Is My Mind” (Maxence Cyrin) reflect the film’s story before a single note is sung or played. But again, even us “sane” people can identify with feeling like a tourist in a new environment or wonder where our mind seems to wander some days.

For a story about a group of people who believe themselves to be “broken," it makes sense that the soundtrack would include music from Broken Social Scene (“Not At My Best” and “Major Label Debut (Fast)”). The band’s name alone could be considered a metaphor for the residents living in the story’s main location, an adult mental ward. Although each person is there for different reasons, the group creates their own social “scene” amongst themselves, “broken” as they may be.

Admittedly, the only artist on the lineup I was familiar with before listening was Broken Social Scene (well, Method Man and Redman, too), but this is one of those soundtracks that introduces you to new artists you may not have heard of before. I found myself really enjoying The Middle East, even if their song, “Blood," had a slightly ominous title and White Hinterland’s “Icarus” caught my ear with catchy, yet slightly haunting, melodies.

Crazy to sane, piano interludes to rap, this soundtrack works to fit all molds. And I’m assuming the musical therapy this album provides would cost much less then a hospital stay.

This soundtrack is available on Rhino Records.

1. “Not At My Best” – Broken Social Scene
2. “Smash It Up (Part 1 & 2)” – The Dammed
3. “Happy Today” – The Wowz
4. “Icarus” – White Hinterland
5. “Where You Go” – Elden Calder
6. “The Ills” – Mayer Hawthorne
7. “Da Rockwilder” – Method Man & Redman
8. “Tourist In Your Town” – The Pink Mountaintops
9. “Where Is My Mind” – Maxence Cyrin
10. “Blood” – The Middle East
11. “Check Me Out” – Little Denise
12. “Habina” – Rachid Taha
13. “Major Label Debut (Fast)” – Broken Social Scene

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