Varios VariosScott Pilgrim Vs. The World
The series of comics starring Scott Pilgrim, from which we get the film and the soundtrack we’ll discuss here, drawn by Bryan Lee O’Malley, has the virtue of appearing to be (pre- and post-) adolescent. That is to say, its story of vile ex-boyfriends who urinate on street corners to mark their territory and who face off against a Peter Parker-style star, the typical trite but effective plot, is accompanied by straight, wide lines of ink and the poses of mangas. The movie in question has a lot of video game and pulp (if you don’t know anything about it, check out the trailer), but nevertheless, it never slips into stereotypical jokes or trash like “Just Married” and other ten a penny film productions aimed at audiences with pimples on their face and a love story in hand (or between their legs). Part of the responsibility for this achievement goes to the House Guarantee, lately also the Offer of the Season (at least since 2007), Michael Cera (the guy from “Juno” and future net-thrower in “Spiderman IV”). That is to say, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is a purely indie product, and therefore its soundtrack is more reliable than TMZ’s exclusives.
Among the artists who contribute to the album, the starring role goes to Beck, who sings the songs of Sex Bob-omb, Scott’s band in the comic, with a fake amateur production quite precise in it’s fake poor inspiration (later he’ll fix it with the charmed and charming “Ramona”); Broken Social Scene plays the rival group, Crash And The Boys, with the necessary humour required by a story that is almost crazy, with “We Hate You Please Die” and the (extremely) fleeting “I'm So Sad, So Very, Very Sad”, as well as another of their own, with a title that is practically custom-made for the occasion, “Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl”. Add to this the appearance-homage of girl band Plumtree with the song that inspired the origins of the whole thing, “Scott Pilgrim” and the rhetoric exclamation “Oh, Katrina!” by Black Lips (the more believable flesh and blood version of Sex Bob-omb), and we will have a truly right-on slight smell of garage rock. And we still have some old relics to appreciate, like the glam of “Teenage Dream” by Marc Bolan, or “I Heard Ramona Sing” by Frank Black.
The sentimental, sweet Sade cover by Beachwood Sparks ( “By Your Side”) and the gentle but painful “Sleazy Bed Track” by The Bluetones, stand out, both cuts with a pleasurable-romantic, anti-garage aesthetic; we could say that they give colour to a collection of songs that, even though they call on old classics –The Rolling Stones, Metric, Blood Red Shoes and the inevitable man with the connection, Brian LeBarton (thanks, Beck)– still seems like a group of B-sides without enough presence to convince anyone beyond fans of the genre and the film/comic. If they had added here the works by Goldrich, Cornelius and Dan The Automator that are on the original soundtrack (the classic, old one), maybe things would have been different (or not).