Karen O and the Kids – Where the Wild Things Are

WTWTA

Rating: ★★★½ ·

I must admit: I am definitely biased towards anything based on or has anything to do with Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, as, I am sure, most people in my generation are. The story of Max resonated in my young and precocious heart, so when I heard of the cinematic adaptation a few years ago I was both excited and fearful. That is until the names Spike Jonez, Dave Eggers, and Karen O became attached to it.

The motion picture soundtrack for ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ while not perfect as an independent release, fits perfectly with the story of Max and the Wild Things.  It is fragile and joyful and dangerous all at the same time.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect performer to bring this story to life through sound. Karen O, of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is herself a wild thing.  She conveys this on the single ‘All is Love’ through ecstatic yelps along side an untrained children’s choir.  This craziness carries through other tracks like ‘Capsize’ with it’s frantic hand claps and screams, and the overall joyousness of ‘Rumpus’.  But there is a softer side to these wild things.  On the somber ‘Hideaway’ and ‘Food is Still Hot’ Karen O and the Kids recall the emptiness Max felt being away from home.

Something must be said about Karen O’s backing band ‘The Kids’, because they are just as much responsible for the magic of this soundtrack as O is.  ‘The Kids’ consist of a who’s who of indie rock musicians: Brian Chase and Nick Zinner (The Yeah Yeah to Karen O’s Yeah), Bradford Cox (Deerhunter and Atlas Sound), Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence (The Dead Weather & Raconteurs), and others, including that omnipresent children’s choir. 

This is an incredibly fun release whose magic probably won’t be fully realized until a complete viewing of the film, but if you have kids in your life you will want to keep this on hand, because it is an infectious listen.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/karen-o-_-the-kids-all-is-love.mp3]

Download: Karen O & The Kids – All is Love [MP3]

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