audiotrack The Horse Whisperer

reviewed by Jill Hill

Published in Issue No. 14 ~ July, 1998

I have only ever bought two movie soundtracks. I find them grating and manipulative marketing tools. But that is just me. The other soundtrack I own, Dazed and Confused is great, but then all the songs were integrated into the movie as background music, or tunes form the radio, or other natural devices. The soundtrack to The Horse Whisperer is a group of traditional cowboy songs that for the most part are not in the movie and if you do not have a strong love of “Red River Valley,” you might be disappointed. A movie that is a paean to past prime passion should have a few love songs attached to it, but it doesn’t.

The soundtrack is an interesting mix of music if the listener loves cowboy songs. Dwight Yoakam has a chorus that reads like this, “do doo doo do doo doo doo” It sort of imitates the sound of a sick cow. Maybe that is way it is called “Cattle Call.” It does have lovely and interesting tracks from Iris DeMent, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore playing with the Flatlanders. Don Edward, who does appear in the film, is quite wonderful on his track “Cowboy Love Song,” but I have a feeling some people are going to feel tricked.

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Jill Hill lives with some kids, some dogs, writes, and manages a restaurant where she tries out her new CD's. She listens to a variety of music, from Classical to Blues, but tries to stay away from most rap. In her words: "I am always on the look out for a new band or singer/songwriter that I will like. I like a CD that does not grow old and weary sounding, which mean I don't want buy a CD that can be found on the used CD sale table a month later. One of my favorite CD's is Neal Young's Everyone Knows this is Nowhere. My favorite writer is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and my favorite novel of his Of Love and Other Demons. X-Files is about the only TV I watch. I do not watch sitcoms and do not like music inspired by sitcoms. I'd rather listen to a sampled rap version of the Jetsons theme song."