August Rush: Music From The Motion Picture
REVIEW BY: Elizabeth Crowder
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/17/2008
Music moves people in different ways. It can help, encourage, uplift or satiate. Music brings hope, which tends to be a theme in many musicals and sentimental movies.
One such case is August Rush, the recent movie telling of a boy whose only wish was to find the parents he never knew. The soundtrack to this film is beautifully written and performed, bringing more depth than the plot and allowing a strong connection between the music and the listener.
Without knowing it, the boy’s father is a singer and guitar player, while his mother is a Juilliard-trained cellist. The quest to find his parents stems from the innate sense of Evan Taylor, later renamed August Rush, has that the music in his heart is what will bring him to his parents. Some questioned, but as he says in the opening track voice over, "I believe in music the way some people believe in fairy tales."
Mostly instrumental with a focus on a unique guitar picking thanks to Kaki King (while during the movie it appears Freddie Highmore is doing the playing) and intense cello tones performed by Steve Erdody (though in the movie they are 'played' by Keri Russell). Vocals are heard from Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, whose Irish-speaking voice enhances his rock star voice.
Van Morrison's "Moondance" also has a place on this album, accompanied by harmonica and Rhys-Meyer's crooning voice. He brings a lonely pain to "This Time" which enhances the plot and soundtrack of August Rush. Other added cuts include Chris Botti singing another version of "Moondance" as well as a duet with Paula Cole on "God Bless The Child." John Legend makes an appearance singing the original track "Someday,"
Undoubtedly the best piece is called "Bach/Break" which teams the strong cello of Bach's Parita No. 3 along with the original song performed by Rhys-Meyers called "Break." The songs are symbiotic but demonstrate beautifully how kinds of music can be so different and still work together. Another such track is "Elgar/Something Inside," where vocals and instrumentals are equally as important.
So many soundtracks lose focus on the actual played music while focusing on the voices. Both are vital, and August Rush as a whole is completely mesmerizing in how it weaves a story of a boy with such gorgeous music.