The 11th HourNarrated by Leondardo DiCaprio, The 11th Hour, somewhat of a follow-up documentary to the successful and award-winning An Inconvenient Truth, took in a modest amount at the box office while making a limited appearance in theatres over the summer. Taking its title from the phrase used to refer to the last moment when change is possible, the film features numerous interviews with various scientists and leaders duscussing the issues currently facing the planet.

The heavy subject matter may seem a bit of a daunting task for soundtrack organizers, but producers Suzi Civita, Skip Williamson, and Brian McNelis have managed to put together some of the most moving and impressive musical selections in recent years. Drawing from the canons of such well-known groups as Mogwai and Sigur Ros, these folks know what sounds emotional, and they know how to use it.

While the entire soundtrack could be considered completely instrumental, a few of the songs (such as Arve Henriksen’s “Chiaro” and Sigur Ros’s “Svefn G. Englar”) feature flowing Enya-ish vocals that work more as a musical instrument than as anything lyrical. For the most part, though, it’s simply the musical instruments that are used (with great aplomb, I might add) to create the somber-yet-hopeful thematic mood showcased throughout the album. The violin alone in Dirty Three’s almost eight minute dirge “Lullaby For Christie” is enough to draw out emotions in any listener. As the volume slowly increases in the last few minutes of the song, it’s incredible crescendo leads perfectly into the first trilling piano keystrokes of Deaf Center’s equally elegiacal “White Lake.”

Sigur Ros contributes two tracks to the album: the gentle piano-driven “Sigur 3” and the sprawlingly immaculate “Svefn G. Englar.” Even on an album of lengthy tracks, Mogwai manages to take first prize for longest tune with the jamming and musically versatile “Mogwai Fear Satan.” Actor Lukas Haas tosses in the final song with the spiritedly light and blatantly optomistic slightly Jack Johnson-tinged “Kemp.” It’s hard to resist any of the songs on this album, and unless you’ve already got many of the tracks listed here, there’s really no reason to.                                                       

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Anyone looking for a solidly emotional mix-tape of impressive instrumental music
Stay Away if: You’re more in line with Carrie Underwood and The Pussycat Dolls

To purchase the soundtrack for The 11th Hour, visit Amazon
For more information on the film and the music, visit The 11th Hour‘s homepage

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