First of all: check this link to Amazon for 30secs of each track, that is, some tracks don't even last that long.
2nd: watched the movie in Italian (yay for Dutch subtitling), it somehow sounded natural, but I might have missed a joke or two. Now and then I'll refer to scenes in the movie, of course you can listen to the music without seeing the movie, but it ís a soundtrack which just gives it a bit extra meaning now and then.
Tracks (artist first then tracktitle)
1. Mark Mothersbaugh - 111 Arthur Avenue
111 Arthur Avenue: the address of the Tenenbaums.
It starts with a magical fairy tale intro and changes into a kind of an happy interlude between scenes.
2. Nico - These days
She sings that she doesn't talk much these days because she's busy reminiscing about the past and missed opportunities, things he could or should have done. They play the track when Richie returns home and meets Margot again, maybe symbolizing the time that they could have spent seeing eachother. The track has a slow melodic sound to it, the scene is a bit in slowmotion.
Strange thing is, the track could also (if not better) fit the character of Royal because the movie is about how he's making up for the times he wasn't there for the family (well..in his own way).
3. Ysaye Quartet - String quartet in F Major (2nd movement) (Ravel)
It sounds like mice tripling over string instruments. Happy tripling music.
4. Paul Simon - Me and Julio down by the schoolyard
It's a song about how a boy get's caught doing things with Julio which are 'against the lahaaaw', but sounds like a memory of good times. In the movie it's used when Royal and his 2 grandsons are in town doing all sorts of mischief.
5. The Mutato Muzika Orchestra - Sonata for cello & piano in F Minor (Enescu) This piece speaks: somethings happening! It sounds like a classical jamsession, which is quite cool because now and then it is like a switch is pulled changing it entirely. But 7.16 minutes is just a bit too long for me.
6. Bob Dylan - Wigwam
Lyrics like 'ladida' always make for good tracks, without being sarcastic this track sounds just funny and makes me happy. For the ones who've seen the movie (of will see it) they play it during a conversation between Etheline and Henry, damn funny.
7. Mark Mothersbaugh - Look at that old grizzly bear
The old grizzly bear must be Royal Tenenbaum. A short and happy piece of music.
8. John Lennon - Look at me
An emotional guitar song about love and doubt. In the movie it might symbolize the love of Chas for his 2 sons (funnies thing is that they constantly wear the same training suites).
9. Emitt Rhodes - Lullabye
The link is not actually Emitt Rhodes, but the guy in the vid does a fairly good job.
Not much to say about this track then that it's a short but good lullaby, if you've got a crybaby..this should definitely work, not meaning that it's a boring track.
10. Mark Mothersbaugh - Mothersbaugh's canon
A peaceful background tune.
11. The Clash - Police And Thieves
Just like the track by the Ramones (see below) a punk song, but much more peaceful. It has a nice kind of reggae twist in it.
12. Mark Mothersbaugh - Scrapping & Yelling
A home video, but well it uses 'scrapping and yelling' as background music. A peaceful happy piece of music.
13. The Ramones - Judy Is A Punk
In the movie you see short scenes of Margot's life, kissing men on practically every corner of the planet. Really living a wild life. 'Judy is a punk' sounds like it was written for her. A very cool punk track! If you don't know the Ramones, this is a good first encounter (it was for me!).
14. Mark Mothersbaugh - Pagoda's Theme
Strangely this just sounds like it was not finished, 21 seconds is just very very short, if not too short.
15. Elliott Smith - Needle In The Hay
'He's acting dumb, that's what you've come..to expect'. Without spoiling the movie, Richie does something very stupid. The track is about how you sometimes do stupid things which no one understands even though they think they do.
16. Nick Drake - Fly
An emotional request for a second chance sung with an almost hoarse voice. Very beautiful.
17. Mark Mothersbaugh - I Always Wanted To Be A Tenenbaum
Ali Cash, always wanted to be a Tenenbaum, but he was just the kid next door. A kinda sad story with a somewhat sad tune.
18. Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here
Again..not a link to the actual track, but well next best thing (or go to the amazon link).
First reaction: it's not christmas yet!!, always hate those things out-of-season. But it's a very nice edition of this christmas song. You can almost see kids singing it outside a door with snow (and a piano hehe) in the background.
19. The Velvet Underground - Stephanie Says
This song sóunds like it's about freedom, questioning why other people want to hold you down. Good lyrics and a melodical sound.
20. Mark Mothersbaugh - Rachel Evans Tenenbaum (1965-2000)
Rachel is the late-wife of Chas and mother of Ari & Uzi. Sounds a bit like a funeral tune, not strange, because Rachel is dead and the Tenenbaums regulary visit her grave. But it also has a happy ring to it (good memories probably).
21. Mark Mothersbaugh - Sparkplug Minuet
The 'oohoohooohooo' in the background really makes me think of 'christmas taaaaaaiiime' which turns on the 'it's not christmas time alarm again' but next to that it's peaceful background music.
22. Nico - The Fairest Of The Seasons
The second song from Nico, with the same soft voice singing 'do I stay or should I go' it sounds like she's really thinking it trough by the slow and soft way of the song.
23. The Mutato Muzika Orchestra - Hey Jude
I knew the 'Hey Jude' version of the beatles (also the one linked) and liked it from the first time I had to sing it (middle school..being about 12 yrs old) but found the lyrics (take a sad song..to make it better) a real WTF, still do. The MM Orchestra do a very cool orchestral version of it.
As you've probably noticed, some songs got more words than others. I've had almost no musical education whatsoever when it comes to (classical) music. Can't read notes more than the most basic stuff and have only a very very basic idea of things like 'minor - major' let alone 'F major' etc. This means I can't say much about this, which is maybe a bit sad, but can't help it for the time being. Next to that I never was a big classical music fan, but slowly I begin to appreciate some stuff.
The music in The Royal Tenenbaums creates a melodramatic atmosphere with happy and sad moments. Tracks/pieces of music which light up the happy moments and music which point out to the sad/dramatic things or 'could have beens'. A very good soundtrack which fits the movie like a glove!
Mark Mothersbaugh who 'created' the instrumental pieces did a good job!
*fuck me..for losing half the review messing with my browser..had to do it again..from scratch..there I was, thinking blogger saves everything..NOT*