Where the Wild Things Are Soundtrack

“Hey”
“Hi”
“I could use a story”

This is the fitting opening to the music of Where the Wild Things Are done by Karen O and the Kids. These first lines perfectly encapsulate the soul of this album as a very story-telling oriented chronicle of the pleasures and pains of growing up; the love, the fear, the wild emotions, and the challenge (but mostly the love).

The opening song, “Igloo,” sets the stage for this child-like and introverted adventure starting with a whimsical tune hummed out by Karen then slowly joined in by acoustic guitar, keys, and the jingling of a tambourine. It builds until I feel like it has to go into a chorus, but simmers down as easily as it built up, leaving me hungry for the next track, which doesn’t fail to deliver.

Following “Igloo” is the album’s single, “All is Love”, which is easily my favorite song on the album. This song represents all the reasons why Karen O was chosen to do this soundtrack. Her voice carries that sort of low-confidence warble that lets you know that she is genuine. She also gets the help of an amateur children’s choir on this one which only heightens the delightful childhood feeling.

The next songs, “Capsize” and “Worried Shoes”, are emotional roller coasters going from defiant and thrill seeking to helpless anxiety. Transitioning from a driving beat and shouted lyrics to an acoustic, slow, tear jerker is certainly a jolt, but O pulls it off well making each song more powerful by comparison to the other.

“Rumpus” is just like the title says: a rumpus. This is by far the danciest tune on this record and you would have to work hard to not have fun while listening to it. I only wish it was longer…  Fortunately, it is followed by “Rumpus Reprise”! The reprise is a down tempo, hummed out version of the original and it adds a nice, relaxed conclusion to the force of “Rumpus”.

“Hideaway” and the rest of the album are a nice change from the first half. It brings the tone down to something more thoughtful and introverted. This song is both haunting and beautiful; it tastes like the quiet moments of regret we all know. Put it on your sad songs playlist.

Overall, this album is a complete success. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful it is with simply emoting concepts, not to mention aiding in telling a marvelous story. Karen O pulled off the whole thing while maintaining that childhood feeling of hesitant beauty. She can do the soundtrack to my whole life if she wants.

Harrison Gabe

hgabe01@hamline.edu

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