The first time we saw the teaser trailer to Ben Stiller’s latest film, we couldn’t shake that tune off out heads. Icelandic indie folk indie pop band blew Of Monsters and Men blew us away with the soaring “Dirty Paws”, and from that moment on, all we wanted was to own a copy of the soundtrack to Stiller’s adaptation of James Thurber’s 1939 short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
And were we, dare we say it, desperately hoping to be inspired like the titular character with the music from the film? You bet.
That desire to own the CD was 2013. Fast forward a month and here we are in January 2014, spinning the album in our player – on repeat. Yes, the 49 minute soundtrack doesn’t disappoint one bit. Kicking off the compilation of music from and inspired by the motion picture (which unfortunately, received mixed reviews from the cynical critics) is Swedish indie folk singer songwriter Jose Gonzales’ “Step Out”. This is the song featured in the second trailer to the film, and thanks to the widespread exposure, this is one inspirational tune easy to like.
Elsewhere, Gonzales croons “Stay Alive”, a low key but equally affecting tune that somehow made us all melancholic about life. The talented musician is also part of Junip, a folk rock psychedelic rock band with fellow Swedish Tobias Winterkorn. The duo performs “Far Away” and “Don’t Let It Pass”, two rhythmic cues which get the energy going on the soundtrack.
The ever so cool American folk rock singer songwriter Jack Johnson (you know he’s cool when he headlines the soundtrack to the animated film Curious George based on the popular book series) covers “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”, and leaves us wanting to leave the burden that is life behind to chill out with a bottle of beer by the beach.
Things get a little sultry with the cover “Don’t You Want Me” performed by Canadian musicians Bahamasand The Weather Station, before it becomes breezily tranquil with The Wolves & The Ravens’ “RogueValley”. One track to highlight in this collection of folk tunes is “Space Oddity (Mitty Mix)” by David Bowie. Lead actress Kristen Wiig’s voice is infused into the well loved classic and we’re loving this innovative duet.
The soundtrack has been, and we hope, will always be on loop to remind us the lengths we are capable of going to live life to the fullest.
Recommended Track: (1) Step Out – Jose Gonzales
Review by John Li