Misfits soundtrack review

E4’s witty superhero comedy series, Misfits, has a great, eclectic soundtrack. Glen reviews its CD release…

After two acclaimed seasons and a Christmas special, the future of Misfits seems a little uncertain after the announcement that Robert Sheehan won’t be returning as Nathan. A third series has been announced, and it’s expected that an online short will deal with the departure of the character, whilst introducing a replacement. The news on this site garnered mixed opinions in the comments, with some feeling that the show will continue to be excellent, whereas others feel that it will be much weaker with his absence. I guess only time will tell.

As fans eagerly await the release of series three, Sony has released a soundtrack that collects the musical highlights from both series, as well as sections of Vince Pope’s excellent score.

Much of the material included here I own already, but it was nice to listen to the tracks as they’re arranged here, as well as being introduced to a few bands and artists that I wasn’t overly familiar with.

For the most part, it plays out like a great mix CD, but there are a few tracks that don’t complement one another very well. This is apparent early on, as the opening track of Echoes by The Rapture moves along at a brisk pace, and then, as it stops, Spanish Saharaby Foals starts, another excellent song in its own right. However, the beginning passage of the song plays at such a low volume, gradually building towards its climax, and the jump from the loud finale of the song that preceded it to the almost silent beginning is quite odd.

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Tracks such as Lullaby by The Cure, The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen, To the End by Blur and Dirge by Death in Vegas are classics, so need very little said about them. But I was pleasantly surprised by Swoon (Boys Noise Summer Remix) by The Chemical Brothers, in particular. I find them hit and miss, generally (although I eagerly anticipate their score for Hanna), but this is a great and layered number, full of interesting and incessantly catchy moments that justify having the track on repeat.

Another track that shines is the excellent I Don’t Know What Happened To The Kids by Labi Siffre, a wonderful narrative song from the perspective of a 50-something, despairing at the generation that followed his. The fact that the subject matter is so relatable makes the song timeless.

The inclusion of Creeping Up The Backstairs by The Fratellis is an interesting one, a song heavily influenced by the music heard in Bugsy Malone, with the main guitar riff borrowing liberally from a key musical number from the aforementioned film. Broad similarities could be drawn between both Misfits and Bugsy Malone, as both feature youths operating in roles that are typically associated with adults. The song itself is fine, if somewhat forgettable, and if it weren’t for the interesting comparison that can be drawn, its inclusion would have seemed somewhat superfluous. Also, the track contains an irritating hiss that runs throughout the majority of the song. As I don’t own an original recording, I can’t tell if this is supposed to be there or not.

The tracks that impressed me the most were Vince Pope’s score, which is, sadly, limited to three tracks. All three feel like they could comfortably accompany a big budget super hero blockbuster, such is their scale and effect. In these three tracks you get a sense of an emotional journey for the characters, a real sense of threat and danger as well as optimism. I’m not familiar with Pope’s work aside from what I’ve heard here, but will seek out more in the future, and hope that he makes the transition to the big screen shortly.

Overall, this is an excellent collection of material. I would have liked to have heard more from the score, but understand that, for most people, this won’t be the primary draw, and instead the majority would favour the collection of sourced material that dominates the soundtrack. Some tracks don’t complement each other overly well, and others didn’t do much for me, but it’s a great listen and I can see myself returning to it many times in the future.

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4 stars

Misfits: Original Soundtrack is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.

Rating:

4 out of 5