Karen O and the Kids: Where The Wild Things Are

RIYL: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Deerhunter, The Kills

“Where The Wild Things Are”is a classic for multiple generations, and many (present company included) frequently site it as their favorite book from childhood. So most likely the upcoming film adaptation will mean a lot to kids of all ages, unless it sucks. However, if the soundtrack is any indication to the broad appeal of the film, we probably have nothing to worry about.

The soundtrack is credited to Karen O. and the Kids, but “the kids” are more than just the child singers on back up; they are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bradford Cox from Deerhunter, Dean Fertita from The Dead Weather, Raconteur Jack Lawrence and the Liars’ Aaron Hemphill. That’s a lot of indie rocking, but there’s nary an ounce of pretension to be found here. Instead, there’s something for everyone.

Kids will enjoy the tribal beats and easy-to-sing along choruses of tracks like “All Is Love” and “Capsize,” while hipster 20- and 30-somethings will enjoy the complex and layered instrumentation that is present throughout, and everyone will be in awe once again of Karen O’s remarkable voice, which shows more variety growth here than on any Yeah Yeah Yeahs record. Sure, she may have been quiet before on classics like “Maps,” but she’s never done it as effectively as she does here on haunting, dreamy tracks like “Worried Shoes” (a surprising Daniel Johnston cover) and “Hideaway.” And while Karen’s always wailed with the best of them, she really lets it out on “Animal,” a banging acoustic stomper that serves as one of the few loud points of the album. This is a soundtrack though, and some parts are very score-like, with a good chunk of the second half being mostly instrumental and incidental. Still, it’s very pretty instrumental and incidental music, but those expecting the pop music of the single “All Is Love” should be forewarned.

But that’s a small complaint. This album rocks for all ages. Hipsters and pre-schoolers unite! (DGC/Interscope 2009)

Click to buy Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack from Amazon