Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Young Adult Soundtrack

First there was the Young Adult Novel, then came the never-ending saga of  movie adaptations of these books. Like the books they stem from, the movies have almost become a genre in their own right. But what about the soundtracks? Maybe it is because I am part music nerd/junkie, but I eagerly await the soundtrack of a book adaption, as much, if not more then the movie itself. It is partly because, while reading the books, I make my own playlists, and I want to see how the professional versions compare. I also want to see how popular musicians, and unknown artists alike are inspired by these books, and what songs they can create.

Maybe it helps that the audience for the books/movies/soundtracks is an angsty group of teenagers, who love alternative music as much as they love a book. These adaptations have become a breeding ground for the alternative, Indy rock music scene. Artists like Lykke Li, and M83 have been discovered through the soundtracks they have been featured in. On the flip side, already established artists such as Birdy, Christina Perri, Snow Patrol and various other groups have the power to really shape the way a soundtrack sounds. Birdy for example, had 3 songs on The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. While personally I think the two are a perfect match, what would have happened if that had been a different artist? How different would the soundtrack be? Would it have gotten the same warm reception? Would it have changed the way we viewed the whole movie? I think that the soundtrack is an underrated factor in the way we view a movie adaptation of a book. If we don’t like the music we hear, while our favorite characters are reciting our favorite piece of dialogue, it is going to affect our outlook on the entire scene if not the entire movie.

One critique I have of the “Young Adult Novel Movie Adaptation Soundtrack” genre, is that all the soundtracks I am hearing as of lately are very similar. Whether this speaks to the books they are based on, and the similarity of Young Adult Novels in general, or just to the people who produce the soundtracks is up to you. But really, there are many songs on one soundtrack that could easily fit in on another. Rarely will you find a country or rap song on a soundtrack. But it is also very possible that this change as the area develops.

Okay, I am going to leave you with a few links to some of my favorite soundtracks. If I didn’t mention your favorite, let me know in the comments. I would love to listen to it. Alyssa will be back next Thursday! Until then.

The Fault in Our Stars
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Great Gatsby


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