Soundtrack Review: THE DILEMMA

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
January 19th, 2011

Rating: 2/5

The first track on the soundtrack for THE DILEMMA begs, “Don’t do it / Don’t you break my heart.” Unfortunately, the titular dilemma in THE DILEMMA revolves around cheating and infidelity. Sounds like heartbreak may be on the horizon despite the funky pleading from The Band that kick off this collection. As Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) navigate the treacherous waters of what you do when you catch your best friend’s wife cheating on him, they do so to a rocking soundtrack packed with heavy hitters from Band of Skulls to KISS to Wolfmother.

Looking over the track titles, it seems the boys' journey will be a rough one with songs like “Bomb” (Band of Skulls), “She’s Long Gone” (The Black Keys), “Chelsea Dagger” (The Fratellis), “Ready, Aim, Fire” (The Unknown) and “One Week of Danger” (The Virgins) lining the soundtrack.

Although mainly rock, the soundtrack also throws in some R&B soul from Ray Charles with “Sticks and Stones” and folk from Damien Jurado with “Everything Trying.” Out of all the tracks on the album, I particularly enjoyed “Everything Trying,” but I was admittedly surprised to find it here, as it did not seem to quite fit in with the rest of the song choices.

Last year, The Black Keys seemed to show up on almost every soundtrack and that trend seems to have carried over to this year, as “She’s Long Gone” from their album Brothers is also included here. I was introduced to the band through one of the soundtracks I reviewed last year, so I do not note this observation dismissively and I hope their continued exposure allows those who may have not yet heard them to get a chance to be turned on to a group that is now one of my favorites.

It is easy to brush off soundtracks full of seemingly unrelated artists, but to its credit, THE DILEMMA pulls together a collection of songs that not only mix well together, their lyrics actually succeed in relating back to the story in the film. However, much like the actions of Nick’s wife Geneva (Winona Ryder) in the film, there are some missteps here as well, and a few tracks that probably helped to drive the pace of the film seem out of place outside of it.

This soundtrack is available through The Chop Shop/Atlantic.

1. “Don’t Do It” – The Band
2. “Bomb” – Band of Skulls
3. “She’s Long Gone” – The Black Keys
4. “Everything Trying” – Damien Jurado
5. “Chelsea Dagger” – The Fratellis
6. “Just Saying” – The Hold Steady
7. “Detroit Rock City” – KISS
8. “Neon Invasion” – Neon Plastix
9. “Sticks and Stones” – Ray Charles
10. “Ready, Aim, Fire” – The Unknown
11. “One Week of Danger” – The Virgins
12. “Cosmic Egg” – Wolfmother

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