Across the Universe [Original Soundtrack]

Across the Universe [Original Soundtrack]

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As soundtracks to misguided Beatles-inspired movies go, Across the Universe -- the companion piece to Julie Taymor's pseudo-psychedelic fantasmagoria extravaganza, telling the story of the '60s through the tunes of the Fab Four -- isn't too embarrassing. Certainly, it lacks the appalling tackiness of Sgt. Pepper and it's not as stuffy as All This and

Overview

As soundtracks to misguided Beatles-inspired movies go, Across the Universe -- the companion piece to Julie Taymor's pseudo-psychedelic fantasmagoria extravaganza, telling the story of the '60s through the tunes of the Fab Four -- isn't too embarrassing. Certainly, it lacks the appalling tackiness of Sgt. Pepper and it's not as stuffy as All This and World War II, but avoiding these two traps isn't a very high bar to meet, and Across the Universe winds up having its own bewildering gaudy moments. Taymor's overly designed fantasia is at once too tasteful and too garish, which is an odd combination for an odd movie -- and something that may be more gripping on screen than it is on record, where the flaws of the casting tend to be harder to ignore, at least in musical terms. Curiously enough, that's as true of the actors as it is the pro singers. It may be expected that Evan Rachel Wood is as charmless on record as she is on screen, but it's hard to ignore how Dana Fuchs furiously channels Melissa Etheridge (especially on "Helter Skelter") to no avail when her performance is isolated as music, but the biggest surprise is that Bono not only looks like a dead ringer for Robin Williams in the film, but he sounds a bit like him too, as he gracelessly slaughters "I Am the Walrus" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" with his dogged, overly earnest readings. Bono may have no ear for whimsy, but his brave literalism in the face of nonsense fits Taymor's literal interpretations of the Beatles catalog yet it provides the soundtrack with its only fleeting moments of camp -- although TV Carpio's lesbian longing on "I Want to Hold Your Hand" comes close, due to its hazy, soft symphonic makeover -- as most of this slides by agreeably enough. Jim Sturgess has the same plainspoken delivery as Ewan MacGregor in Moulin Rouge, which helps in love songs from "All My Loving" to "Something" -- and he does a credible job on the rockabilly revamp of "I've Just Seen a Face" -- and Joe Cocker steals the show with his slinky, funky, spacey version of "Come Together." And, apart from Bono and Fuchs' too-strong soulful belting, nothing is distracting -- but nothing is particularly memorable as music, either, which is odd because the movie itself is certainly memorable, whether you like it or not. But that just means that Across the Universe falls prey to the curse of jukebox musicals on Broadway -- no matter how good or how bad the music is, it ultimately only whets the appetite for the original recordings, which is certainly the case here.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As soundtracks to Beatles-inspired movies go, Across the Universe -- the companion piece to Julie Taymor's pseudo-psychedelic fantasmagoria extravaganza that tells the story of the '60s through the tunes of the Fab Four -- has bewilderingly gaudy moments, but it's not as appallingly tacky as Sgt. Pepper or as stuffy as All This and World War II. Still, Taymor's overly designed fantasia is at once too tasteful and too garish, which is an odd combination for an odd movie -- and something that may be more gripping onscreen than it is on record. Dana Fuchs furiously channels Melissa Etheridge (especially on "Helter Skelter") when her performance is isolated as music, although the biggest surprise is that Bono not only looks like a dead ringer for Robin Williams in the film, but he sounds a bit like him too, with overly earnest readings of "I Am the Walrus" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Much of the rest slides by agreeably enough. Jim Sturgess has the same plainspoken delivery as Ewan MacGregor in Moulin Rouge, which helps in love songs from "All My Loving" to "Something" -- and he does a credible job on the rockabilly revamp of "I've Just Seen a Face" -- while Joe Cocker steals the show with his slinky, funky, spacy version of "Come Together." And, apart from Bono and Fuchs' too-strong soulful belting, nothing is distracting -- but the biggest strength of Across the Universe may be that, when considered in its entirety, it mainly whets the appetite for the original recordings.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2007
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0602517449749
catalogNumber:
000980102
Rank:
44524

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mark Stewart   Musician
Bernie Worrell   Musician
Ronnie Cuber   Musician
Gil Goldstein   Musician
Jim Keltner   Musician
Edge   Background Vocals
Carla Azar   Musician
Stephen Bruton   Musician
T Bone Burnett   Musician
Peter Calo   Musician
Robert Carlisle   Musician
Keith Ciancia   Musician
Caroline Dale   Musician
Charley Drayton   Musician
Teese Gohl   Musician
Page Hamilton   Musician
Dan Higgins   Musician
Richard King   Musician
Howard Levy   Musician
Olivia McClurkin   Choir Conductor
Marcus Rojas   Musician
Jonathan Sheffer   Conductor
Patrick Warren   Musician
Bruce Williamson   Musician
Elliot Goldenthal   Musician
Jay Bellerose   Musician
Antoine Silverman   Musician
Marc Mann   Musician
Mike Elizondo   Musician
Michael Roth   Musician
Pancho Navarro   Musician
Rick Martinez   Musician
Josh Garza   Musician
Brandon Curtis   Musician
Brian John Mitchell   Musician
T-Bone Wolk   Musician
Anja Wood   Musician
Martin Luther "M.L." McCoy   Musician
Benjamin Curtis   Musician

Technical Credits

Louis Bellafatto   Vocal Supervision
T Bone Burnett   Producer
Frank Filipetti   Engineer
Teese Gohl   Producer
Jimmy Iovine   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Joel Iwataki   Engineer
Stephen McLaughlin   Engineer
Elliot Goldenthal   Producer,Orchestration
Mike Piersante   Engineer
Paul Bogaev   Vocal Supervision
Robert Elhai   Orchestration
Lawrence Manchester   Engineer
Liam Ward   Creative Assistance
Julie Taymor   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Brandon Mason   Engineer
Josh Garza   Producer
Brandon Curtis   Producer
Halsey Quemere   Engineer
Jason Wormer   Engineer
Ghian Wright   Engineer
Stacy Parrish   Engineer
Yohei Goto   Engineer
Emile Kelman   Engineer
Sheldon Yellowhair   Engineer
Missy Webb   Engineer
Vanessa Parr   Engineer
Tony Seyler   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Adam Haggar   Engineer
Bryan Pugh   Engineer
Benjamin Curtis   Producer
Steve Sherr   Marketing

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Across the Universe [Original Soundtrack] 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was pure perfection. I've never seen such an amazing film. They re-did the beatles music so well they must be proud. It left me wanting more I plan on seeing it 100 more times!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the music is a great new modern spin on the still wonderful originals and the movie is just as aesthetically pleasing as the the soundtrack.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All of the artists on this CD are great...however, I'm not a BONO fan at all. Joe Cocker is legendary! I've seen him in concert. I've seen Paul McCartney in concert...his show is certainly the next best thing to the Beatles live. I was skeptical of this movie and CD, but when Jim sings "Girl" at the beginning of the movie, I knew I was in for a treat! And, Joe Cocker singing "Come Together" gives me goosebumps! This CD will find a place with my Beatles CDs!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie and immediately went out to buy the soundtrack! I hated the Beatles before I saw this movie, and now I love this soundtrack! It's amazing!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My sister saw this movie and purchased the soundtrack and I had the misfortune of sampling the first few songs....the music seemed very flat and dull to me and the artists didn't sound very talented in the vocal department. Save your money!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just watched the movie and i loved it especialy the songs. I would recommend it to anyone that likes the Beatles. The vocal are in my opinion amazing. Who ever made movie really outdid there self!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my ultimate favorite CD! These artists are so talented and, well, it's the Beatles, so it's awesome!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie and thought it was ok. But the music was so wonderful, I ordered the soundtrack as soon as I got home. I'm not a Beatles fan - well, I wasn't a Beatles fan- but the sound directors of 'Across the Universe' did such an incredible job arranging the music in the 32 songs used in the movie - I think I may be a convert now. My only disappointment with this CD is that they didn't record all of the songs. I'm looking forward to a CD with all 32 songs on it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read a lot of the reviews of "Across the Universe" and I've noticed something : Either people absolutely love it or they loathe it. I on the other hand like this soundtrack. I haven't seen the movie yet but the music isn't half bad. So far I think my favorite track is "Blackbird" , it's melodic and sweet. I know the original songs arw just as good but I think this album makes a pretty good attempt to recreate the magic the Fab four did so many years ago.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The way they captured the essence of The Beatles is phenomenal. The songs are heart-warming and passionate. Beautifully done. I highly recommend the movie which was stunning, captivating, moving, and imaginative.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm sixty three and this movie was recommended to me by my fifteen year old granddaughter who loved it. I liked the Beatles music in the past but never owned an album. But, I really liked the way the movie incorporated the songs into the screen play and so, I bought the CD version. I have a new appreciation for the songs and how talented this group really was. I recommend both the DVD and the CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the best things I have heard in a while. It's a new twist on the old without altering it to much. It refreshing.
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