The soundtrack of the most hyped kids movie of the year is Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O's first foray into film scoring - and you can tell. It's a sweet enough collection, but most of these songs sound a little too thrown-together to make sense without the visuals.
Karen Lee Orzolek, or Karen O to you and I, rose quickly through the ranks of Modern Rock Divas during the noughties to become the ultimate Queen of Indie Cool. It's unusual, then, how the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman has discarded her spiky personality and turned her hand to soundtracks. Her first foray into the world of cinematic compositions isn't just any old B-movie, though; the New Yorker has fashioned a score for one of the mostly highly-anticipated childrens' movies of the year, Where the Wild Things Are - a film directed by her former beau Spike Jonze.
Those who have already seen the film will be aware that the incidental music works fine within each scene, but to those without an ear for such details, it's hardly a hugely important factor. The same is true of the score when listened to without the accompanying visuals; it's a nice listen, but a largely forgettable one.
Perhaps the main problem is that Karen O's voice is more suited to heavy rock numbers with electric guitars and thumping drum beats. There's none of that here; these songs are minimalist endeavours, with the majority composed on acoustic guitar and piano and many featuring a children's choir. True, there are moments of utter sweetness (the sprightly 'Heads Up') and flashes of brilliance (the grimy new wave-esque 'Capsize', the slow-moving, stark lullaby feel of 'Hideaway'), but overall, O's high-pitched humming and apparently-made-up-on-the-spot compositions are as underwhelming as they are rudimentary. We'll wait for the next Yeah Yeah Yeahs album instead, thanks.