Various - Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Sounding not dissimilar to a story by Philip K Dick, albeit one that touches on romance instead of Dick's playful approach to humanity, technology and pulp culture, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind has Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) discovering that his one-time girlfriend, Clemetine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet), has used an experimental procedure to erase him from her memory.
Frustrated that he is still in love with a woman who has no memory of him, Joel attempts the same procedure but, due to an error in its application, falls into his own memories of being in love. As he relives each moment of his time with Clemetine, he becomes increasingly determined to hold on to these moments as he stands helpless, watching them being erased from his memory.
Despite not having seen Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, looking through the tracklisting gives the impression of a series of wonderful memories passing by until Joel is reduced to pleading from inside his own mind, "Let me keep this memory...just this one!" Throughout the soundtrack, the songs reinforce the idea of there being endless sunshine in Joel and Clemetine's life despite the fallings out that one assumes must always have been there, amongst the making up and the better times.
Around the glimpses of the themes written by Jon Brion, composer of the soundtracks for a pair of Paul Thomas Anderson movies, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love, there is the bright, shimmering pop of ELO's Mr Blue Sky and The Polyphonic Spree's Light And Day and It's The Sun. Regardless of how Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind fares, these three songs ought to be played behind a great, sun-streaked story about love that and although it may not last more than the length of these three songs, the story of how love passes and is reflected in the heat of the day would be well served by the blissful pop of these songs. Even taking Mr Blue Sky alone, the sweetness of the lyrics and the music, telling of how love has returned with the clouds rolling back, is just a wonderful song and quite the best thing - Beatles resurrections included - Jeff Lynne has ever seen his name attached to.
Elsewhere, Beck has recorded a cover of Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime, Lata Mangeshkar offers Wada Na Tod and a pair of shuffling jazz numbers from Don Nelson cover most of the songs on the album.
Making up sixteen of the remaining tracks on the album, Jon Brion has recorded music that, whilst it is no doubt perfectly suited to the action in the film, sounds like incidental music to link the songs on the album, similar to the sketches and seconds of music that connect the songs on early His Name Is Alive albums. And yet, despite the greatness of the songs by ELO and The Polyphonic Spree, the soundtrack to Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind falls away soon after the sixth track - It's The Sun by The Polyphonic Spree - which, on an album of twenty-six songs, is an early falling away. Whilst Jon Brion's music is fine, it's never integral to the songs on the album nor is it better than that early run of three songs, giving the album moments of genuine greatness but, as it plays past Don Nelson's Nola's Bounce, moments when it drifts by unnoticed.