CD REVIEW: "180° South" Soundtrack

180 South Soundtrack
Brushfire Records definitely knows how to do soundtracks. They aren't the traditional "music from and inspired by" type mixes, but rather they are mood setting and image conjuring compilations. This latest, not for a surf film, is a collection of tunes consisting mostly of new Ugly Casanova songs. Ugly Casanova is a side project of Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock with a little help from James Mercer, lead singer of The Shins and Broken Bells. Mercer also lends two tracks to the soundtrack, one is a cover of a Neil Young song. The other, an original instrumental, is the best instrumental inclusion on the album. Far and away, the best song on the album is Mason Jennings' new tune "Machines." It combines his incredible lyricism with his new found love for the electric guitar, and should have been included on his most recent album. Jack Johnson's cover of "Spring Wind" is excellent, as he finally decided to get into the studio and put it down to tape for the first time ever. Ugly Casanova impresses with "Here's To Now," "Wave Goodbye," and "Lay Me Down." Although the variety of styles on the album is limited, it's an outstanding soundtrack, with a heavy emphasis on indie rock and folk. Considering that the film is one of the year's best documentaries, the music keeps the film's adventure right at our fingertips.