» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Various Artists
Superbad Original Soundtrack

Rating: 6/10 ?

August 14, 2007
I would usually consider reviewing a summer comedy film's soundtrack a daunting task that would never cross my mind, but there are always exceptions to the rules. Two years ago, after watching the summer blockbuster The 40-Year Old Virgin, I found myself oddly intrigued by the film's original scoring. As it turned out, the mind behind the sounds was Lyle Workman, a name that readers of Guitar Player Magazine will recognize as that of an in-demand session player and one of Beck's guitar protégés from the late 90s and early 00s. For Todd Rundgren die-hards, Workman's riffs can be found on Nearly Human (1989) and Second Wind (1991).

For the summer of 2007 Workman has produced the score for Superbad, a film which doesn't stray far from the Virgin storyline. Superbad is centered on two high school seniors, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, and their quest to lose their virginity at a graduation party. Although the soundtrack to a summer comedy clearly pales in comparison to the rightful pioneers of the 70's soul-funk generation, Workman should be thoroughly credited for his accuracy in understanding the genre. Workman's straight-retro 70's funk impersonations are accompanied by tracks from the real masters - those worth noting are The Bar-Kays' "Too Hot to Stop," Curtis Mayfield's "P.S. I Love You," Rick James' "Bustin' Out (on Funk)," and Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66's "Roda."

With a constantly dying market for compact discs in which the industry's goal has been forced to shift from sales to content, the role of the film soundtrack has become an interesting one. For example, take the soundtrack to the original American Pie - you have a combination of Third Eye Blind, Tonic, Blink 182, Sugar Ray, and a group of bands that got their one and only moment of glory with a song in the film. Fast forward to 2007 and instead of shoving a bunch of ill-fitting, low-rate lite-rock radio tracks down the throats of hormone-addled teens and gullible college-age media consumers, Lyle Workman is laying down passable original score tracks alongside cuts by the likes of Curtis Mayfield and the Bar-Kays. It is a strange day when cheap-laugh films are giving youths a musical education that commercial radio isn't capable of providing. Honestly, would you rather hear the sexy-soul bass grooves of Rick James during a gut-busting scene, or the next American Hi-Fi single? I rest my case.

Even if I don't see the Superbad soundtrack being pulled off the shelf very often, it's a testament to the role reversal in soundtracks to comedy blockbusters. Lyle Workman and a handful of pioneers of the funk scene in the 70's and 80's involved in the soundtrack, expose a blockbuster movie-going audience to a generation of younger souls. Who knows, maybe this fall kids on the street will be humming "Bustin' Out" without the ubiquitous "Rick James, Bitch!" calls.

Reviewed by John Bohannon
An LAS contributing writer based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, John Bohannon is also a regular contributor to the pages of Prefixmag.com, Daytrotter.com, and Impose Magazine.

See other reviews by John Bohannon



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