The Brokedown Melody soundtrack includes 2 new tracks from Johnson as well as an alternate version of the track ''Breakdown''. The original version of this track was included on his multi-platinum release In Between Dreams and was written while traveling to Chile to surf with his childhood hero Gerry Lopez for the film. In addition to the unreleased material from Jack Johnson, an eclectic lineup of musicians was enlisted to provide a narrative for the visual journey that takes the viewer from Jamaica, to the outer Islands of Indonesia, to deep Mexico and all the way down to the bottom of Chile. Highlights include an unreleased song by Eddie Vedder, new music from Matt Costa and tracks from Kings of Convenience, The Beta Band, M. Ward, Doug Martsch and many others.
It's up to wave-riding moviegoers to determine whether A Broke Down Melody is its generation's Endless Summer; but as of the release of this soundtrack, one thing's for certain: nobody's making cooler, more chilled-out surf records than Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records. A Broke Down Melody tours the world's coasts and collects accessible tunes that could technically fit in a bunch of genres, whether folk, world, indie rock, or reggae. The thing is, they all adhere to a vibe: Johnson might as well be leading listeners by the hand into his own private village, one where friends make music all around and all it takes to get a sampling is a soft knock on the next grass-hut door. Standouts include the Johnson originals, but it's easy to fall leash-over-longboard in love with some of the lesser-known artists--Johnny Osbourne's "We Need Love" is Bob Marley bright, Matt Costa's two contributions call him out as a major talent, and "Know How," a jaunty little groove by Kings of Convenience, is enlivened by an appearance by the indie darling Feist. Fuzzy, vintage-style photos collected in the liner notes up the appeal; way to wear a wetsuit, Jack. --Tammy La Gorce