Home > Reviews > KNOCKED UP – Loudon Wainwright III

KNOCKED UP – Loudon Wainwright III

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the surprising comedy successes of 2007, director Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up starred Katherine Heigl as successful TV presenter Alison Scott, who has a one-night-stand with layabout, perennially high party animal Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) – and ends up pregnant. What follows is a hugely funny, surprisingly touching and romantic comedy about two clearly mis-matched parents-to-be learning to love each other despite their differences, for the good of their unborn child.

Knocked Up’s music was provided by sardonic singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, who wrote a handful of original songs for the film, as well as a small amount of transitional score music for guitars and a small string quartet. However, rather than release a traditional soundtrack album, Wainwright turned his contribution into a new solo album, entitled “Strange Weirdos”, which features material that Wainwright had written before the film score that the director wanted to use, other cuts that are instrumental snippets in the movie but are songs with lyrics on the album, and still others that take thematic inspiration from the film.

Wainwright’s songs occasionally have a touch of Randy Newman about them, especially the honkytonk “So Much To Do” and the bluesy “Doin’ the Math”, while still others riff on the soul-destroying ordinariness of life in suburban southern California, such as “Valley Morning”, and the introspective “Grey in L.A.”, which plays over one of the film’s more thoughtful montage sequences.

Two instrumentals – “Ypsilanti” and “Naomi” – were written by Wainwright in collaboration with guitarist Joe Henry. So, not your traditional soundtrack album by any means, but still a worthwhile effort for those into this sort of thing. It’s likely that the film would have been overwhelmed by a more traditional orchestral rom-com score anyway, so Wainwright’s efforts actually come as a little bit of a refreshing change of direction.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Grey in L.A. (3:15)
  • You Can’t Fail Me Now (3:45)
  • Daughter (3:32)
  • Ypsilanti (1:51)
  • So Much To Do (3:26)
  • Valley Morning (3:44)
  • X or Y (2:53)
  • Final Frontier (3:47)
  • Feel So Good (2:02)
  • Lullaby (3:10)
  • Naomi (4:02)
  • Doin’ the Math (5:30)
  • Strange Weirdos (4:06)
  • Passion Play (2:54)

Running Time: ## minutes ## seconds

Concord Records (2007)

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