CD Review: Various Artists – “The Lone Ranger: Wanted – Music Inspired By The Film”
There is always a danger when it comes to film soundtracks that what stirs your musical juices on screen turns out to be a disappointment back home – a few good songs, mixed with some pablum and the odd forgettable orchestral bit. So thanks to Disney for getting around the problem with a “film” album that has the makings of an Americana classic.
“The Lone Ranger: Wanted” is not the soundtrack to the Johnny Depp film now at, or soon to be at, your local Multiplex, depending on where you live. It is an album of songs inspired by the film, featuring 14 artists such as John Grant , Iggy Pop (!), Ben Kweller and The White Buffalo.
The result is a delicious mix that fits somewhere between the “Oh Brother, Where Art Though?”-inspired “Down From The Mountain” and Bob Dylan’s Western paen “Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid”. It almost makes me want to get in the car for a journey, just to head on down the road listening to it.
For a start, it opens with a bang. Kweller’s “Holy Water” is a wonderfully plaintive call for escape from pain and fear that drags you straight into the dusty West. You travel on through with the more traditionalist “Devils’ Train” by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals , a bluesy “So Long Gone” by UK singer -songwriter (and Springsteen-endorsed) Pete Molinari, and a Morricone-esque “Cowboy” by The Rubens.
It is peppered with some “names”. Grant does a croony “Saddle In The Wind” as a finale (not my cup of tea) and Shane MacGowan knocks out a suitably boozy pub-like “Poor Paddy Works On The Railway”.
As for proto-punker Iggy, you can almost imagine him sitting around a campfire singing his “Sweet Betsy From Pike”. Not sure what John Wayne would make of it.
This is one really entertaining compilation.