Soundtrack Review: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
October 2nd, 2009

-Where-The-Wild-Things-Are-Orginal-Soundtrack-Cover-Art-where-the-wild-things-are-7963612-475-475

Rating: 8.5/10

Spoiler alert: this is an all Karen O and the Kids album, so if you had your fingers crossed for the amazing Arcade Fire song “Wake Up” that had us all fall in love with the trailer – it, sadly, isn’t included here. (See – I’m not crazy when I say songs we love in trailers rarely end up on the soundtracks!)

Despite this absence, I must wholeheartedly say Karen O and the Kids have created a whimsical, thoughtful, emotional, and inspiring collection of new songs that capture everything I hope this movie ends up being. In breaking from my normal reviewing style, I am going to comment on each song because, honestly, each one deserves the individual attention.

“Igloo” sets up the story (literally) with a line from the movie of Max’s mom asking for just that. I really liked that the song began with a child humming, as it reminded me of being a kid and absentmindedly humming to myself while thinking of a good story to tell or act out. The music that accompanies does not overpower and creates a perfect blend of childlike abandon with real song structure.

“All Is Love” might be my favorite song on this album. I LOVE the screaming count off at the beginning and the lyrics are so catchy and yet so simple. This song just makes you feel good and puts a smile on your face. Period.

“Capsize” reinforces the idea that any of these tracks could be thought up and sung by kids. This time we come in not with humming or counting, but clapping. This song feels like it is bringing us into the magical world that is the Wild Things as we go from an upbeat tempo into an almost dreamlike mood as the music fades out.

“Worried Shoes” combines a dreamlike piano melody and Karen O (without the Kids). This ballad is enchanting and I love that it is juxtaposed against the lyrics about “worried shoes” and where they take you.

“Rumpus” is not just a fantastic word, it perfectly describes what a child would say when they are ready to get wild. This song will make you want to get up and dance right along with Max and the Wild Things. As a kid, getting wild didn’t involve drum beats and suggestive lyrics, just silliness and the idea of running around being free.

“Rumpus Reprise” is a slowed down version of “Rumpus” with no actual lyrics, just humming, tying the theme back to the first song on the album. The guitar interlude that ends the song was a definite highlight.

“Hideaway” gives us a solo Karen O at the helm again. I found this to be the most “grown up” song on the album with more mature lyrics accompanied by subtle, but always affective, instrumentation.

“Cliffs” brings us back to the magic with childlike humming and no need for actual lyrics. Another beautiful track that allows you to get lost in it and let your own mind and imagination wander as you listen to it.

“Animal” is a powerful song that shows Max exerting his power. It is a nice shakeup to the more mellow song that precedes it. It reminded me of how kids can be quiet one minute and loud the next with little transition between the two emotions.

“Lost Fur” slows us back down as the only instrumental track on the album. Carter Burwell (TWILIGHT, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) helped out on this one and is the master behind the beautiful piano playing.

“Heads Up” picks things up again with clapping and a more upbeat tempo. The Kids are back and this song does sound like a group of kids singing together as we go from lyrics to humming to yelling to the lyrics again.

“Building All Is Love” brings us back to my favorite track. This reprise doesn’t have the same break out energy of the first, but is a perfect balance between the all-out chaos of some of the songs and the mellowness of others.

“Food Is Still Hot” slows us down again and reminds me of a kid who becomes quiet simply because they become caught up in his or her own thoughts. I am assuming from the title of the song this is the point where Max decides he wants to go home and we transition from the world of make-believe back to reality.

“Sailing Home” mirrors the humming that starts this album, but much more upbeat. It is short, but sweet, and ties up Max’s adventure with the Wild Things as he heads back to his “real life” and leaves behind the world of imagination.

This collection is one of the two soundtracks I have been anxiously awaiting the release of (I’ll leave you to guess the other) and I know I was not alone in this sentiment. My fellow cohorts here at GATW have been eating up any and all WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE info and I have been playing any songs released on repeat in anticipation. This soundtrack is definitely a promising start to what the movie will hold.

This soundtrack is available through DGC/Interscope Records and is currently streaming live HERE.

1. “Igloo” – Karen O and the Kids
2. “All Is Love” – Karen O and the Kids
3. “Capsize” – Karen O and the Kids
4. “Worried Shoes” – Karen O and the Kids
5. “Rumpus” – Karen O and the Kids
6. “Rumpus Reprise” – Karen O and the Kids
7. “Hideaway” – Karen O and the Kids
8. “Cliffs” – Karen O and the Kids
9. “Animal” – Karen O and the Kids
10. “Lost Fur” – Karen O and the Kids
11. “Heads Up” – Karen O and the Kids
12. “Building All Is Love” – Karen O and the Kids
13. “Food Is Still Hot” – Karen O and the Kids
14. “Sailing Home” – Karen O and the Kids

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  • yis

    for me this soundtrack is like a 9.5/10

  • https://gordonandthewhale.com allisonloring

    I hedged low for this first pass as I have a feeling I'll be upgrading my score after I see the movie (additional comments will be added as well). But yes – definitely one of the best soundtracks of the year, hands down.

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  • Alana

    I have just bought this album. 30 seconds in it was love

  • Siladitya

    Love this soundtrack…i watched the movie…fell in love with it and just wanted the OST to keep reminding me of the movie which reminded me of all the wild things in my life :P This soundtrack is like a soundtrack to all our lives…of course if you've enjoyed the movie that is! :) A 9/10 from me…simply because, nothing is perfect!

  • Siladitya

    Love this soundtrack…i watched the movie…fell in love with it and just wanted the OST to keep reminding me of the movie which reminded me of all the wild things in my life :P This soundtrack is like a soundtrack to all our lives…of course if you've enjoyed the movie that is! :) A 9/10 from me…simply because, nothing is perfect!

  • Siladitya

    Love this soundtrack…i watched the movie…fell in love with it and just wanted the OST to keep reminding me of the movie which reminded me of all the wild things in my life :P This soundtrack is like a soundtrack to all our lives…of course if you've enjoyed the movie that is! :) A 9/10 from me…simply because, nothing is perfect!

  • Siladitya

    Love this soundtrack…i watched the movie…fell in love with it and just wanted the OST to keep reminding me of the movie which reminded me of all the wild things in my life :P This soundtrack is like a soundtrack to all our lives…of course if you've enjoyed the movie that is! :) A 9/10 from me…simply because, nothing is perfect!

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