If songs could be billed as actors in a film, then Wes Anderson may as well place their titles at the top of any of his colorfully captivating promo posters. Consider each of his quirky films a coveted mix tape of his rock ‘n’ roll fantasies; he many times must have claimed, “I will put this in a movie one day.” Aiding his ultimate cinema-music hybrids is also an innovative, catchy, yet decidedly un-sweeping musical score. Dreamed up only by the brilliant Mark Mothersbaugh, a longtime collaborator of Anderson, the score has no epic-journey feel, but rather a mixed variety of quirky and catchy orchestration.
The “Life Aquatic” soundtrack presents no change in the champion molding of the Wes Anderson fusion of absurdist film and aesthetically perfect music. The collection is composed of original eclectic jazz and folk orchestrations by Mothersbaugh and Sven Libaek, as well as classic offerings from David Bowie, The Zombies, Devo, Joan Baez and Iggy & The Stooges. The searing, ballsy early work of Iggy in “Search and Destroy,” off of 1973’s Raw Power, parallels the somberly sweet vocals of Baez’s “Here’s To You.” The disc flows seamlessly, yet simultaneously reflects the odd pacing of the film. The orchestrations and rock tunes are broken up wonderfully by a selection of solo acoustic Bowie covers by actor Seu Jorge, translated into Portuguese for a rare and fascinating treat. His version of “Starman,” sung with a hint of jazz influence, is undeniably catchy and sounds surprisingly fresh for such a glam classic.
Mothersbaugh conjures up some of the more quirky score material of any Anderson film thus far. “Let Me Tell You About My Boat,” the high-stepping celebration of Zissou’s ship, The Belafonte, soars with arpeggios and piano scales that can’t help but force a smile. Sven Libaek’s delightfully dream-sequence-like composition, “Open Sea Theme,” is strangely comparable to elevator music, but is nonetheless pleasing and fun. There is such a variety in the score material here that the theme of a Spanish guitar duel (“La Ni