Yes ManWith its slapstick trailer and gimmicky concept, Yes Man, the latest Jim Carrey comedy vehicle, doesn’t seem like the kind of film that would have a soundtrack worth caring about (especially since the soundtrack for the trailer itself leaves much to be desired). But director Peyton Reed, also a producer of the soundtrack for the film (surprise), has an ace up his sleeve: he’s a longtime fan of EELS, the alt-rock band fronted by the mysterious genius Mark Oliver Everett (aka E). “When I thought of the musical sound of this movie, I thought of EELS,” Reed says in the soundtrack liner notes. And luckily for the film, E’s music fits perfectly here, especially because, as Reed notes “the characters in Yes Man inhabit the same parts of LA that E’s music treads: Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park.”

So, as unlikely as it may seem to some, the soundtrack for what looks like a light-hearted, feel-good comedy features nine tracks from EELS (including a completely original track entitled “Man Up” written for the film). The score for the film (not included on the soundtrack disc, unfortunately) is comprised of EELS instrumental tracks and other new music by E and Lyle Workman. Some may call this soundtrack a mere EELS compilation disc with a new track (and four songs by the fake band Munchausen By Proxy – more about that later) and they’d be right. These songs have been released before and most EELS fans probably already own them, but for fans of the EELS who don’t already have this music, and for those who see the movie and feel compelled to purchase the soundtrack, this album is a sweet surprise of musical goodness. 

“I like waking up after a bad dream / makes it feel like life ain’t bad” sings E in the 2003 tune “The Good Old Days.” It’s relatively simple lyrics like this that make EELS music as moving as it is. “And you may not think much of me / but I think so damn much of you” he slowly explains in the hit “Wooden Nickels.” If it’s not clear by now, the nine EELS track make this album more than worth a listen. So, now on to Munchausen By Proxy.

Munchausen By Proxy is a fake all-girl band that performs in the film, fronted by Zooey Deschanel (who uncoincidentally fronts a band in real life). The band has four tracks on the album, each a bit more ridiculous than the last. They’ve got the sound of an ’80s rock band… make that a 21st century rock band impersonating an ’80s rock band… down pat and some solid keytar musical effects that really set the mood. For a fake band, these girls lay down some real tracks.

Overall – Opening with nine EELS tracks, including a brand new track for the film, this soundtrack lays down an emotional path, before light-heartedly wrapping up with four tracks from a fake all-girl band fronted by Zooey Deschanel. What else do you want in a soundtrack?

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Indie rock fans
Stay Away if: You’re looking for a soundtrack that matches the vibe of the trailer
If you only buy one track, make it this one: “Sweet Ballad” – Munchausen By Proxy, with the backup lyrics “Whore, Whore Whore” overriding Zooey Deschanel’s sweet crooning, this track shouldn’t be missed

To purchase the soundtrack for Yes Man, visit Amazon

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