LENGTH: 201 words
HEADLINE: MANN'S SOULFUL TUNES MAKE 'MAGNOLIA' SWEET.
BYLINE: Chris Nashawaty
MANN'S SOULFUL TUNES MAKE 'MAGNOLIA' SWEET.
Music From the Motion Picture Magnolia Reprise
Most movie soundtracks feel a bit like buckshot sprayed from a shotgun. After all, why bother with careful aim when you can just squeeze off a radio-friendly mishmash of thumping Puff Daddy tracks and soaring Celine Dion ballads? That's why Aimee Mann's collection of fractured lonelyheart gems for the bleak new film Magnolia seems like such a quaint throwback to the days of Simon and Garfunkel and The Graduate.
You may remember Mann as the scrawny blonde from the '80s synth-pop band 'Til Tuesday. If not, don't bother searching through your old cassette bin. In the past decade, instead of turning up on a sad-sack episode of VH1's Where Are They Now?, Mann has become a critics' darling, blossoming into a more sophisticated Tori Amos. On the love-gone-wrong-song "Wise Up," her fragile voice starts off quivering with vulnerability, then shifts into booming defiance. And on "Build That Wall," Mann disguises her fear behind a giddy beat infused with oboes and piccolos. She even turns out a fresh remake of Three Dog Night's awful hit "One." Still, Mann's ultimate triumph is her ability to write songs that follow the film's emotional crescendos, yet manage to stand on their own outside the multiplex.