Amy Redford, daughter of famed actor/director and sundance founder Robert Redford, has created her feature film debut – a relatively small independent film about a young woman (Saffron Burrows) who discovers that the tumor in her throat is cancerous and that she is terminally ill. The ensuing story is a fanciful tale of self-indulgence and wish fulfillment – imagine the spirit of Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” transferred on to film – inspiring but also unavoidably cliche. The film’s soundtrack is on roughly the same level: there are moments of beauty, but for the most part we’ve heard this stuff before. Composer David Mansfield (Transamerica, The Apostle) provides most of the music here, though much of it is so subtle, it’s easy to overlook.

The first six tracks on the album are an eclecitc mix of artists (with two tracks supplied by The Everyothers) that stand a bit apart from the remaining 31 tracks of Mansfield’s composition. Jonny Savarino’s “Glancing Lovers” is an entrancing bit of muzak that’s over too soon, Phoebe Jean Dunne’s “Cold Hands” is a minute of quiet guitar picking, Alap Momin’s “Arch Angel” ups the ante a little bit, though it almost feels as if it belongs on a different album. The two songs by The Everyothers (a David Bowie cover and the garage rocking “Dive With You”) are fairly underwhelming. In short, these opening tracks aren’t much to listen to (even if “Arch Angel” is impressive).

Mansfield’s score tracks are relatively short (the track “Guitar Practice” is a terse 15 seconds) but they’re pleasant enough. For the most part, the music here doesn’t provide as much emotion as listeners might expect from a typical score. Aside from the melancholy notes of the despairing “Mel,” most of the music is gentle and quiet to the point of being forgettable. The attitude and upbeat mellowness of “Nice Dress” is a welcome addition here, as is “Hard Way” – recorded in a scratchy radio style. But the soundtrack for The Guitar mellows itself into boredom. By the time the 37th track is played, most listeners are likely to have tuned out.

Bottom line – The soundtrack for The Guitar  has a handful of truly catchy ditties, mostly provided by David Mansfield, but the quiet, subtelty of his work here doesn’t keep one’s attention as well as some might hope.

Zach’s Rating: C+
Perfect For: Falling asleep on an overcast day
Stay Away if: You’re looking for variety and excitement in a score
If you buy only one track, make it this one: “Arch Angel” – Alam Momin

To purchase the soundtrack for The Guitar, visit Amazon

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