The category for Best Original Song is always a bit of a mess. The songs are rarely judged on how they sound; the importance is, of course, how the song fits into the film for which it was written. This year’s nominees are representative of the usual fare. There’s the popular choice (Adele’s "Skyfall," which will likely win, as it should), the new song for the big-budget musical adaptation (the unnecessary "Suddenly" from Les Misérables), and then there are the forgettable tunes (I didn’t even know what Chasing Ice was before today, much less the song from it). It’s a shame, really, because there were plenty of good tracks included in the list of 75 eligible songs. Here are a few that probably will have a longer shelf life than "Pi’s Lullaby."
Karen O – "Strange Love" (from Frankenweenie)
Fiona Apple – "Dull Tool" (from This is 40)
Rick Ross – "100 Black Coffins" (from Django Unchained)
John Legend – "Who Did That To You" (from Django Unchained)
Sunny Levine – "No Other Plans" (from Celeste and Jesse Forever)
Arcade Fire – "Abraham’s Daughter" (from The Hunger Games)
The Bootleggers feat. Emmylou Harris – "Cosmonaut" (from Lawless)
Florence + The Machine – "Breath of Life" (from Snow White and the Huntsman)
Katy Perry – "Wide Awake" (from Katy Perry: Part of Me)
The Black Keys / RZA – "The Baddest Man Alive" (from The Man With the Iron Fists)
Tim Burton’s upcoming Frankenweenie is an animated remake of his live-action heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog. His living-dead dog that was revived through a crazy electrical apparatus. The black-and-white film, set to hit theatres this October, features some classic B-movie aesthetics and tropes, so it makes sense that the soundtrack would also have a retro feel. Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who also helmed the kid-friendly soundtrack to the kids-and-adults-with-lots-of-feelings-friendly adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, penned the closing credits song, "Strange Love," with a bit of that retro, surf-film charm. The track, a sweet, shuffling but slightly eerie tropical ode to the kind of love that could only manifest between a boy and his undead dog, premiered on BBC’s Radio 6 today. There’s even some howling and barking thrown in for good measure.
"My music inspiration came out of the same era of B-movie fright film references sprinkled throughout the film," Karen O told Rolling Stone. "I went in the direction of exotica and calypso stylistically because it’s quirky, good vibes music of that era, and when you throw in a Theremin solo, it’s a marriage made in heaven."
The Frankenweenie soundtrack, Frankenweenie Unleashed!, out September 25th, also features new tracks from Robert Smith, Passion Pit, Grace Potter featuring the Flaming Lips, Grouplove and Skylar Grey. Listen to the new Karen O track, from the BBC Radio 6 premiere, over at Fake Walls.