Search - Various Artists :: Future Soundtrack for America

Future Soundtrack for America
Various Artists
Future Soundtrack for America
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1

There's nothing like the steady march of news these days to point out how much more focused on politics and world events Americans seem to be than at any time in recent memory. Musicians are no exception, and a group of so...  more »


CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Future Soundtrack for America
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: Barsuk
Release Date: 8/17/2004
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, Singer-Songwriters, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 655173103722


Album Description
There's nothing like the steady march of news these days to point out how much more focused on politics and world events Americans seem to be than at any time in recent memory. Musicians are no exception, and a group of some of the best American artists has come together to contribute to this joint project of Barsuk Records and the non-profit progressive organizations and Music for America, in association with McSweeney's Publishing. Conceived as a political fundraising CD by They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh and then assembled by a small group of music industry volunteers, Future Soundtrack for America features new, exclusive and rare recordings from over 20 of today's best recording artists. Clocking in at over 78 minutes but making you want to listen again as soon as it's over, this is an extraordinary compilation. The spectacular array of artists who appear on the Soundtrack are: Blink-182, Bright Eyes, David Byrne, Laura Cantrell, Clem Snide, Death Cab for Cutie, Mike Doughty, The Flaming Lips, Fountains of Wayne, Jimmy Eat World, Ben Kweller, The Long Winters, Nada Surf, OK Go, Old 97's, R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, They Might Be Giants, Tom Waits, of The Black Eyed Peas, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. In addition, the family of Elliott Smith contributed a mix of "A Distorted Reality Is Now A Necessity To Be Free" a song from Smith's as-yet-unreleased last record, and the first release of new material since his death in late 2003. 100% of Barsuk's profits from this CD will go to non-profit organizations working to involve more Americans in our political process, to advocate for ordinary people and traditional American values, and to help keep the United States a country all of us can be proud of.

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CD Reviews

A modern-day "No Alternative" ...
E. J. Sawdey | Galesburg, IL United States | 08/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the wake of countless anti-Bush books, albums, and playing cards comes yet another compilation that's anti-Bush (, but not as direct as others (the liner notes merely want you to "vote for what you want, whatever that may be"). Yet, it doesn't matter where your political standing lies, because there's something for just about everyone (particularly indie-rock fans) here, and, thankfully, most all of it is extraordinarily good.

All songs are domestically unreleased, some just for this compilation, some only available on import CD's or obscure B-sides. They range from funny to serious to light-hearted to dead serious. Thankfully, there is no "one major highlight" - there are several. Continuing a pop-single success streak, of the Black Eyed Peas delivers a bouncy, fun, and poignant jam called "Money" (wonderful use of strings), Ben Kweller has more fun with "Jerry Falwell Destroyed the Earth" than he did on his entire last album (while still making quite the political stance), R.E.M. delivers a powerful one that perfectly mixes their latter-day electro-experimentalism with their classic songwriting style circa-"Automatic for the People." Again, there is something for everyone.

There are some truly odd choices though - Clem Snide deliver the all-accapella "Ballad of David Icke," while the Yeah Yeah Yeahs give forth a live version of "Date With the Night" where Karen O's voice is screeching so much, she almost sounds like a man at the start of the song. Meanwhile, the Long Winters pulls off a truly unique Flaming Lips imitation, while Blink-182 deliver a remix of "I Miss You" that starts off even more emotional than the original mix but sounds almost exactly the same as the original around the 2nd chorus. Bright Eyes sounds as emotional as ever (though, one can argue, he does on every song) in a live take of "Going for the Gold," and Tom Waits delivers the most classic Tom Waits he knows how to give.

Then, there are highlights that define "highlights." The Flaming Lips offer a stripped-down version of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" that makes such a quirky song actually sound tragic, OK Go unleash a first-rate Zombies cover that (surprisingly) improves on the original, They Might Be Giants cover "Tippecanoe And Tyler Too" and make it sound both fun and serious at the same time (it's quite the feat), Death Cab for Cutie give one of their most haunting songs since "Styrofoam Plates," the late Elliott Smith proves that, even postmortem, he's still as vital as ever, and former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty delivers a solo highlight with "Move On," a fun, poignant, and catchy pop ditty that just might be the best guilty pleasure on the whole album.

Unlike most modern-day compilations, this set is designed for a fan of many forms of music - the more the merrier. You'll at least like SOMETHING on here, and, whatever your political stance may be, you'll probably have a good time with it too."
Not 'Future Soundtrack', but 'Todays Soundtrack'
C. Lenz | St. Paul, MN USA | 09/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Some of us are political, some of us are not; but if you let that get in the way of your decision to buy this album or not, your really going to lose out on some great music. This album plays like a who's who of great solid artists. The album was produced and published by a Seattle based record company so it is a little heavy on bands either from the Northwest or signed to Northwest labels. Regardless of that fact, they are all really good bands.

With songs from Death Cab for Cutie, R.E.M. Sleater-Kinney, The Long Winters, They Might be Giants, The Flaming Lips, Fountains of Wayne, Nada Surf, Old 97's, Tom Waits and Elliott Smith; how could you possibly not find something you like. Even if you've only heard of one of these bands, you'll like the whole thing.

Stuffed full of fantastic unreleased hits from some of today's best artists, this is a definite buy!"
After the dust settled, it became about music...
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 03/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Political issues aside, this is one great album, period. I had an opportunity to listen to it when the dust from the 2004 Presidential Election had settled, and was floored by the quality of the contributions of the diverse artists, many of which are alternate or live versions of other songs you may have heard before. When you think of the many acts that joined in to make the "Future Soundtrack..." a reality, it's tough to choose any favorites.

Whether you know the bands or not, my guess is you will enjoy most of the tracks. This is something rare in this type of recording (a typical case that comes to mind about how these tend to sound is a triple-CD album that was released to help Tibet, most of which was terrible). In the "Future Soundtrack for America" there's the veterans: R.E.M., Tom Waits, The Flaming Lips, David Byrne; as well as several younger acts coming up strong. All of them give themselves into this album "like there's no tomorrow" and the result is one solid album from end to end, with 20 great tracks bound to stick around.

You could have bought it for the cause it stood for, back in 2004. The truth is today it is still great music, and it will continue to be so for a good while. And if you think I am doing this for political reasons, let me share a little bit with you: I normally listen to the music in an album first, and only after many, many times, do I sit down to pay attention to the lyrics. That hasn't yet happened with this album, and I already love it."