The 10 Best Original Songs From 21st Century Films
Earlier today, the National released a video for the song "Think You Can Wait," from the "quirky" Paul Giamatti film Win Win. The video is a misguided combination of film dialogue transposed over a staged performance (the YouTube comments have already begun trashing it, and Matt Berninger's voice really isn't most effective with a highchair kid screaming over it), but it's another contribution to the ever-growing catalogue of good songs that've wafted off soundtracks since the turn of the century. Here are 10 even better ones.
Thom Yorke, "Hearing Damage" from The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Would have loved to be a fly on the wall when someone pitched a Twilight soundtrack to Thom Yorke. However, there's no denying that the Radiohead singer knocks this one out, coming across as both brooding and deeply honest. It's also the best music of any of Yorke's solo material, showing that he doesn't need Jonny Greenwood to write songs.
Jonny Greenwood, "Prospectors Arrive" from There Will Be Blood (2007)
Speaking of Greenwood, the Radiohead composer was commissioned to score this P.T. Anderson Oscar-nominated epic, the result of which is a stunningly beautiful album that underscores that film's harsh tone perfectly. "Prospectors Arrive" is the album's best track as it combines a soft piano with an haunting string section. A chilly contrast to the movie's brutal violence.
Sex Bob-Omb, "We Are Sex Bob-Omb" from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Written by Beck and performed by the Scott Pilgrim cast (with help from the multi-instrumentalist Scientologist), this track kicks off the film with an energy blast that the soundtrack never again seems to match. The lyrics--well, they're barely there, but "We Are Sex Bob-Omb" works best as a fun bit of punk-pop anyway.
Daft Punk, "TRON Legacy (End Credits)" from TRON: Legacy
We've all heard how much of a disappointment the TRON: Legacy soundtrack was, but within the muddled, electro-classical hybrid of an album lies this absolute banger of a track. Perhaps helped by its placement over the final credits, the instrumental moves away from any plot-related tone and just shows off Daft Punk at their most pure: electronic dance music with a robot-befitting attitude.
Yo La Tengo, "Farewell Adventureland" from Adventureland
You'd be hard pressed to find a song that better suits both Yo La Tengo and the movie for which it was written. Twinkly and poppy, the song sounds like a mix of classic rock and YLT's specific brand of indie pop, a perfect blend of old and new for those who wish to find their own Adventureland.