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UP IN THE AIR – Rolfe Kent

December 4, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Up in the Air is the latest film from writer/director Jason Reitman, whose previous films included Thank You For Smoking and Juno. It’s a comedy-drama starring George Clooney as a business executive who spends half his life travelling around the country; he lives out of a suitcase, eating at airport cafeterias, allowing him the freedom to never make a commitment. However, just as a corporate re-shuffling threatens to end his nomadic lifestyle and tie him to a desk, he meets and falls in love with a fellow frequent traveler in the shape of the comely Vera Farmiga.

In addition to boasting Awards-caliber performances from Clooney, Farmiga, and supporting actors Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman and Sam Elliott, the film has an eclectic soundtrack which makes use of many contemporary pop and rock songs alongside an original score by Rolfe Kent. Kent’s contribution to the album is limited to just two tracks: “Security Ballet” and “Lost in Detroit”, amounting to just 3 minutes of score. The music is quite rhythmic and funky. “Security Ballet” has all manner of shakers and percussion items, and bubbly/gurgly, almost tribal effects, alluding to the fact that making your way through airport security these days is akin to making your way through hostile territory; “Lost in Detroit” replaces percussion with an acoustic guitar, plucked bass, cello and synth drones, again in more rhythmic than thematic style.

It’s all very inconsequential, with no real meat on its bones, and although the film itself is likely to contain more music, score fans will find little to appeal to their musical sensibilities on the album. The songs are all decent enough, and generally tend to be in the guitar-driven folk rock and soft rock idiom; anything by Crosby Stills & Nash is always a decent listen, and the soft, moody instrumentals by San Francisco-based musician Charles Atlas are also pretty good in an easy-listening sort of way.

Rating: **

Track Listing:

  • This Land Is Your Land (performed by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings) (4:28)
  • Security Ballet (1:31)
  • Goin’ Home (performed by Dan Auerbach) (4:54)
  • Taken At All (performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) (2:56)
  • Angel in the Show (performed by Elliott Smith) (2:36)
  • Help Yourself Sad (performed by Brad Smith) (3:23)
  • Genova (performed by Charles Atlas) (7:36)
  • Lost in Detroit (1:36)
  • Thank You Lord (performed by Roy Buchanan) (2:26)
  • Be Yourself (performed by Graham Nash) (2:58)
  • The Snow Before Us (performed by Charles Atlas) (3:13)
  • Up in the Air (performed by Kevin Renick) (5:29)

Running Time: 46 minutes 49 seconds

Warner Bros/Rhino 53455 (2009)

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