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High Art (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

While their other motion picture soundtrack, First Love, Last Rites, contains more traditionally pop-structured songs, their soundtrack for the film High Art is much more of an authentic movie score. The compositions are mostly ambient, with gentle washes of synthesizers and laid-back hip-hop beats creating airy textures — in other words, a complete departure musically for Shudder to Think. Their goal was to create music that would baffle the listener into figuring out which instrument was playing what, and they've easily succeeded. "Battle Soaked (Amnesian Mix)" is a Prince-sounding funk workout, while "She Might Be Waking Up" is the only track on the soundtrack that contains vocals and lyrics. Two other bands contribute tracks similar in style — "The Gavial" by Reservoir and "That's Fat" by JeepJazz Project, which fit in perfectly with the Shudder material. Highly recommended to fans of ambient and Shudder to Think.

Customer Reviews

Tremolo Guitars – Sensual Instrumental Mindscape

First let me note that although I am familiar with the one song by Shudder to Think that got some radio rotation in the 90's (before the complete downfall of commercial radio) I'm not familiar with any of their other work. With that said, I do suspect that this soundtrack differs a little from their usual fare. The "High Art" soundtrack consists mainly of instrumental pieces laden with a combination of tremolo guitars, light percussion, some electronica and samples, occasional voices and sonic odds and ends like that of wine glass tones, bottles blowing and distorted harmonica. This recording will no doubt appeal to fans of indie rock, fans of electronica, fans of acid jazz and fans of world music. It's a lovely piece of work; full of emotive musical phrasing and the production is oozing with a sexy warmth that absolutely supports the emotional spectrum of the film. In fact I would dare to say that this soundtrack was crucial to the film's psychological texture. Obviously this is the job of a soundtrack but it's rare to find one so dead on! I love this record - it's gorgeous, well done and as a big fan of the film it brings to mind the same sleepy, sensual and provocative mindscape that the film did for me. I highly recommend this for fans of the film and for fans of artists like Massive Attack, William Orbit, The The, Jeff Buckley, and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Soundtrack for "The Golden Hour"

As a photographer, this album speaks to my favorite time of day---late afternoon light. (aka "the golden hour) Here is a soundscape that will make you want to daydream, take pictures, and drive up the coast. An absolute must for anyone who loves music that speaks to the unspoken parts of your head. I special ordered this album on CD about 9 years ago---and I still listen to it at least once a week. I bought some other Shudder to Think---thinking it would be like this and it was a huge letdown---this is a sonic masterpiece unequaled. (But if you love this album, check out Ghosts I-IV by Nine Inch Nails!) If you have to recycle cans to do it, buy this Greta would say, it's faaaaaabbbulous.


A brilliant soundtrack to a brilliant film. Shudder to Think does this movie an immense amount of justice with its usually haunting instrumentals, with the slight upbeat in Mom's Mercedes. She Might Be Waking Up is probably the best song on here, and the only one with words. Very powerful. A must have- and a must see movie!


Formed: 1986 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Shudder to Think's hardcore punk background (courtesy of their affiliation with the D.C.-based label Dischord Records, also the home of Fugazi) doesn't give the best indication of their sound, since the group embraced pop influences and a skewed sense of songwriting as well. Formed in 1986, the band's initial lineup -- vocalist/guitarist Craig Wedren, guitarist Chris Matthews, bassist Stuart Hill, and drummer Mike Russell -- released two singles and one 1989 album (Curse, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses)...
Full Bio

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