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NEW Walk The Line - Soundtrack (CD)
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The soundtrack to Walk The Line boasts trademark Johnny Cash gems including 'I Walk The Line', 'Ring of Fire', 'Folsom Prison Blues', and 'Cry Cry Cry' performed by Joaquin Phoenix and Resse Witherspoon as Johnny Cash and June Cash respectively. Additionally, the soundtrack features performances by notable musicians including country/rock artist Shooter Jennings (who portrays his father, legend Waylon Jennings, in the film); alternative rock and folk artist Johnathan Rice (as Roy Orbison); and singer/songwriter Tyler Hilton (as Elvis Presley). Wind Up. 2005.
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Now, with that sermon preached, let's give this soundtrack the disgustingly positive review it deserves. Phoenix's voice is nothing short of astounding. Not only does he sound remarkably like Cash, he pours enough emotion into the tunes to make them believable. There's the opening "Get Rhythm," a toe-tapping ode to rock-n-roll. Better still is "I Walk the Line," where's Phoenix's voice doesn't miss a single note (listen to his impressively low register). He shines on uptempo numbers like "Cry Cry Cry," "Ring of Fire"--perhaps his finest performance--and the swaggering "Cocaine Blues."
And don't forget Reese Witherspoon. There's no denying her talent; she's got a nicely-twangy voice she's obviously been keeping under wraps. "Wildwood Flower" lacks some of the original's emotion, but Witherspoon is new and does a decent job. She mimics Carter's firecracker spirit on "Juke Box Blues," a twang-tinged delight, and "Jackson," a first-rate duet with Phoenix. Her back-up vocals on "It Ain't Me, Babe" also are impressive.
Tunes from other players are commendable if slightly less heartfelt. Tyler Hilton ably covers "That's All Right" and "Milk Cow Blues Boogie," and Waylon Malloy Payne scores a hit with the rollicking "Lewis Boogie." Shooter Jennings offers a fine country performance of "I'm A Long Way from Home."
Is this an album of cover tunes? In one way, the answer's a resounding yes. But every performer does well with the difficult task of interpreting the tunes to make them sound fresh.
And The Man in Black was nothing if not fearless when it came to his music.
However, having listened to cuts from this VERSION of the movie soundtrack & found them to be hollow--not nearly as rich as the audio in the movie. This was blatently obvious in every cut I listened too, glaringly so in the "I've got Rhythm" and "Jackson" selections, but true among so many others. VERY disappointing, to say the least.
And, I THOUGHT a "movie soundtrack CD" meant that it was the ENTIRE musical soundtrack. Where in fact this is only a SAMPLE of the songs by the lead characters w/a smidgen of some others. And the fact that they omitted "Times A Wastin'" is a GROSS oversight!
One can only hope the producers will see the err of their ways and release a properly produced and mixed and COMPLETE soundtrack soon. One that does justice to the fine job of replicating the works of the original artists as portrayed by the actors in the movie-because this CD falls WAY short on that note(no pun intended)
Side note: while Phoenix was the stronger in the replication of the 2 leads,I thought Witherspoon did a commendable job & I actually prefer her deeper rendition of the songs to June's. [But I admit, I have long been a fan of Witherspoon's work, & admire her guts and success in doing this (non-traditional- Reese) role. Although her characters & previous movies, are generally simply light entertaining movies,I have always found them enjoyable viewing.]
While this CD does have a couple of my top favorites--for now, I think I'll wait for a true full soundtrack version (maybe NOT purchasing this one will do more to induce them??)
It's really a shame that they allowed this release(they must've been in a real hurry to capitalize on the success of the movie) and an insult to the actors/performers on it. Maybe these are cuts of the the songs that were the actors first attempts, recorded originally as a "test" or something BEFORE the final (more practiced and polished) production versions used in the movie, and were not originally intended to be released in an "album" type version?? Whatever the reason, they--SHOULD-- RIGHT this WRONG and release a proper SOUNDTRACK. Although enough time has passed since the release of the movie that I can now hold out only a slim hope of this.
But, if you are thinking to purchasing this to enjoy the same renditions you heard in the movie-BEWARE-- shamefully, not all songs are included, and the quality of sound is noticeably inferior to that on the DVD of the movie (which is unfortunate for retailers of this product(thru no fault of their own) and fans of the performances in the movie).