Sunday, December 2, 2007

Into the Wild Soundtrack

Before this post in months passed, I showed my severe interest to the novel, Into the Wild. This book had been on my to-read list, but it got shoved to the top when I read in Rolling Stone that a movie was coming out starring Emile Hersch and a soundtrack was additionally coming out with music by none other than Mr. Eddie Vedder.

Being a Pearl Jam fan, this highly excited me. Eddie Vedder has contributed to other bands and projects before this, like Temple of the Dog, but he has never completed his own solo album. Into the Wild is his first attempt, and it is sure worth listening to.

What's cool to me about this soundtrack is far beyond the fact that Vedder created these eleven tracks. He had to put himself in the shoes of this deceased person/character (Chis McCandless) and create music. Since I already adore Vedder's artistic creativity, I was so excited to see how he perceived the protagonist and his adventures through music. Comparitavely, the songs vary in mood and tone based on different themes he expresses from the novel and journey, from "Setting Forth" to "Hard Sun" to "End of the World," they each express different moods; you can even tell just by the titles themselves.

The tracks are simplistic, some seemingly only involving Vedder and his guitar, but I love that acoustic sound to music. It seems so raw and real to me. The tracks are all very short, most consuming only shy a few seconds under two minutes or two minutes and change, but some do surpass the three minute block. The eleven tracks only consummate around thirty minutes, but it's thirty minutes of great music.

Vedder creating a soundtrack based on a character's experience (in this case a real person) reminds me of The Goo Goo Dolls with Johnny Resnick. Resnick had a severe writing block, but allowing him to write a song through the eyes of a character in City of Angels consequently produced "Iris," which was a smash hit and projected him back into the rock and roll game. This single launched a CD that would mark the height of his career and his most well-known CD Dizzy Up the Girl. Vedder did not need this boost, but to me, I love to see how artists perceive literature or film and translate that to music. I think it's breath-taking.

Vedder nailed the feelings of McCandless in my opinion, from reading the novel avidly in a few short days. Just read the lyrics to "Long Nights:"

Have no fear
For when I'm alone
I'll be better off than I was before

I've got this light
I'll be around to grow
Who I was before
I cannot recall

Long nights allow me to feel...
I'm falling...I am falling
The lights go out
Let me feel
I'm falling
I am falling safely to the ground

I'll take this soul that's inside me now
Like a brand new friend
I'll forever know

I've got this light
And the will to show
I will always be better than before

Long nights allow me to feel...
I'm falling...I am falling
The lights go out
Let me feel
I'm falling
I am falling safely to the ground

OR, look at "Society." McCandless was an existential thinker, adoring the theories and essays of Emerson and Thoreau. He believed that we had too much "stuff" and to be truly "free" of society and to know yourself and the world, less is more. Less is more means that you can realize true meanings of life when you don't have many material possessions. You must experience nature, and be a minimalist to come to these revelations. I think Vedder nailed it in "Society:"

Oh it's a mystery to me.
We have a greed, with which we have agreed...
and you think you have to want more than you need...
until you have it all, you won't be free.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.

When you want more than you have, you think you need...
and when you think more then you want, your thoughts begin to bleed.
I think I need to find a bigger place...
cause when you have more than you think, you need more space.


There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more,
but if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops.
Kinda like you're startin' from the top...
and you can't do that.

I think the release single from the album is "Hard Sun," due to its catchy tunes and excellent lyrics. Please do check it out; I can't get it out of my head on most days!

Have you listened to the soundtrack? What feedback do you offer? Do you like the CD? Does it interest you? What do you like/dislike?

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