Nobel SonPremiering at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, Randall Miller’s indie flick (these days even a film with Danny DeVito, Bill Pullman, Eliza Dushku, Alan Rickman and Mary Steenburgen can be considered indie) Nobel Son received a warm critical welcome, and will be hitting theatres in December of this year. Nobel Son is essentially a story of family dysfunction, centering on the abduction of Barkley Michaelson (Bryan Greenberg) on the night before his father Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman) is set to receive $2,000,000 in prize money for winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The soundtrack for the film is a hip, techno-club collection of dance pieces that help give the film its cooler-than-life vibes.

The first half of the album is made up of a collection of varying dance pieces, from the titular track by Spitfire – unfortunately the least impressive of the album – to “So Clear” by Emjay and the Atari Babies. These seven tracks play out like a dj’s mix in a nightclub, just without the overlap. Most of the music is fairly repetitive and beat-driven – and in this case, that’s not a bad thing. The six-minute long “Hum” by Groove Armada captures the repetitive drive from the rest of the album and boils it down to its simplest incarnation, providing a mellow, familiar beat that is easy to get entranced by.

It’s the second half of the album, though, that truly drives the movie (and the soundtrack). These seven tracks are all by DJ and musical Renaissance man Paul Oakenfold, who has composed music for Swordfish, The Matrix Reloaded, The Bourne Identity, and Die Another Day, among others. Oakenfold’s work here is pretty impressive, aside from the brief track “Intro” which features a bit too many sound bites from the movie overlaid with a background musical track. Tracks like “Thumb Time” and “Screwing Around” showcase Oakenfold’s ability to capture emotion while simultaneously providing a danceable, driven score piece. In short, Oakenfold has the kind of musical sense to give hip life to any film scene.

Bottom line – The soundtrack for Nobel Son plays like a DJ’s mix in a club, which is appropriate since the main composer is a DJ himself. It may come off as a bit too hip for some, but it makes for some easy background listening at any party.

Zach’s Rating: B
Perfect For: Background music at a party
Stay Away if: You’re over 30
If you buy only one track, make it this one: “Hum”  by Groove Armada. The title sums it up pretty well – it’s a laid-back, beat-driven, repetitive dance piece

To purchase the soundtrack for Nobel Son, visit Amazon

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