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Soundtrack: I Am Sam (2002)

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Soundtrack: I Am Sam No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

If I Am Sam falters upon its recent release, it has something to fall back on: superb music. And a “sound” soundtrack is a bragging right that not every film can claim.

As if a collection of Beatles covers was not enough, the record features some of the most dynamic bands and singer-songwriters on the current scene. In this modern age of manufactured angst and pseudo-music that is any number of popular bands, pop acts with integrity are all too refreshing. And Sam no doubt spans the horizon, showcasing a plethora of talent from more radio-friendly bands like the Wallflowers to more esoteric acts like indie rocker Howie Day.

The album is laden with an array of tunes from the Fab Four—lesser knowns include “Across the Universe” (beautifully rendered by Rufus Wainwright) and “Mother Nature’s Son” (engagingly performed by Sheryl Crow). Then, of course, there is the obligatory “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (appropriately executed by the Black Crowes) and “Strawberry Fields Forever” (crooned by the lovely Ben Harper). Standouts include the catchy album opener, “Two Of Us,” a duet by husband and wife duo Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, Eddie Vedder’s near perfect “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” and an unadorned acoustic version of “Nowhere Man” a la Paul Westerberg.

If early draws are any indication of a film’s potential for success, then maybe it is fair to say that I Am Sam should bank on Billboard rather than on the Box Office. Perhaps in this case, the movie industry’s loss is the music industry’s gain.

Track Listing: 1. Two Of Us 2. Blackbird 3. Across The Universe 4. I'm Looking Through You 5. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away 6. Strawberry Fields Forever 7. Mother Nature's Son 8. Golden Slumbers 9. I'm Only Sleeping 10. Don't Let Me Down 11. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 12. Julia 13. We Can Work It Out 14. Help! 15. Nowhere Man 16. Revolution 17. Let It Be

Personnel: Sean Ashby : Guitar (Acoustic) Gilad Atzmon : Clarinet Alan Bezozi : Drums, Percussion, Ron Blake : Trumpet, Oren Bloedow : Bass, Guitar, Organ (Pump), Jackson Browne : Harmony Vocals, Mario Calire : Drums, Nick Cave : Vocals, Sheryl Crow : Guitar (Bass), Omnichord, Vocals, Howie Day : Guitar, Vocals, George Doering : Guitar, Jakob Dylan : Guitar, Vocals, Chris Feinstein : Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Tom Fills : Maraccas, Tambourine, Steve Gorman : Drums, Vocals (Background), Ben Harper : Guitar, Vocals, Eddie Harsch : Keyboards, Vibraphone, Dylan Howe : Drums, Rami Jaffee : Keyboards, Chas Jankel : Piano, Michelle Kinney : Cello, Conway Kuo : Viola, Greg Kurstin : Keyboards, Abraham Laboriel : Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Michael Lockwood : Autoharp, Bass Viol, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Baritone), Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Marxophone, Aimee Mann : Vocals, Pierre Marchand : Keyboards, Val McCallum : Guitar, Sarah McLachlan : Vocals, Leon Mobley : Percussion, Juan Nelson : Bass, Craig Nicholls : Guitar, Vocals, Heather Nova : Vocals, Shawn Pelton : Drums, Michael Penn : Drums (Snare), Guitar (Acoustic), Penny Whistle, Vocals, Lorenza Ponce : Violin, Marc Ribot : Banjo, Guitar (Acoustic), Greg Richling : Bass, Chris Robinson : Vocals, Rich Robinson : Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Rob Schnapf : Guitar, Sitar, Antoine Silverman : Violin, Ashwin Sood : Toy Piano, Vocals, Marc Anthony Thompson : Guitar (12 String), Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals, John Turnbull : Guitar, Eddie Vedder : Bass (Electric), Drums (Snare), Guitar (Acoustic), Harmonica, Shaker, Tambourine, Vocals, Rufus Wainwright : Vocals, Joey Waronker : Drums, Norman Watt Roy : Guitar (Bass), Emily Wright : Cello, Garo Yellin : Cello

Record Label: BMG

Style: Beyond Jazz


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