Clearly hoping for a repeat of Rhino's success with the Juno soundtrack, which went gold in the U.S., Atlantic's compilation accompanying Michael Cera's romcom follow-up Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist uses Juno's indie-rock-heavy strategy as a model but adds a twist. Instead of mixing lesser-known contemporary tunes with older, immediately recognizable songs by the Kinks, Velvet Underground, Mott the Hoople and Buddy Holly, the film's director, Peter Sollett, a closet music geek, shares his favourite finds, as he did when he worked as a record store clerk.
That could explain why the disc opens with Speed Of Sound, a lesser-known solo track by Big Star's Chris Bell and continues with more recent offbeat selections from Devendra Banhart, Bishop Allen, Band of Horses, We Are Scientists, the Submarines and the Shout Out Louds. If the goal was to create the impression of a homemade cassette comp, it succeeds. Sadly, neither Sollett nor his music supervisor, Linda Cohen, has the ears required to spot overlooked gems, so most of their track choices fail to click. I'd still take this over the usual shlock pop, novelty numbers and well-worn oldies (Green Onions anyone?) that typically serves as filler for Hollywood soundtracks.