JazzTimes - p.74
"Slowing the Beatles' 'Help' to a disheartened crawl to lay bare the lyric's desperation -- while again letting those bucolic underpinnings show -- is inspired."
Personnel: Linda Eder (vocals); Peter White , Ben Butler (guitar); Pamela Sixfin, David Davidson , David Angell (violin); Kristin Wilkinson (viola); John Catchings (cello); Sam Levine (flute, alto flute); Mickey Raphael (harmonica); Roger M. Weissmeyer (oboe, English horn); Jennifer Kummer (French horn); Barry Green, Kim Scharnberg (trombone); Billy Jay Stein (piano, keyboards); Jerry Marotta (drums); Gene Miller (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Trina Shoemaker.
Recording information: Dreamland Recording, West Hurley, NY; House Of Blues, Nashville, TN; Strange Cranium Studios.
Photographer: Caroline Knopf.
On The Other Side of Me, her first album for Verve, Linda Eder branched out from her show music environment to dabble in country. Soundtrack, her second Verve release, consists of movie songs, which might suggest she is returning to her familiar style. But the collection of 11 tracks is sufficiently unusual in terms of selection and musical arrangements to mark another step into unknown territory for the singer. She and producer Peter Collins appear to have decided to limit their choices to movies released during Eder's lifetime, which means that the 48-year-old looks back as far as the Elvis Presley standard "Can't Help Falling in Love" from 1961's Blue Hawaii and as near as the Oscar-winning "Falling Slowly" from 2007's Once. And Eder has not returned to string-filled traditional pop arrangements, preferring small band jazz and folk-pop treatments. So, for example, the lead-off song, "I Will Wait for You," is given a low-key, jazzy accompaniment, and "Charade" is treated as if it were being played by Django Reinhardt & the Hot Club of France, while "Everybody's Talking" is rendered as a samba. Many of the performances have a downcast or even mournful tone, as Eder sings plaintively, often either with her own overdubbed harmony voice or a background singer joining her on individual lines. When love is the subject, it is a little desperate ("Against All Odds," "If I Can't Have You"), and sometimes the subject is the singer's own psychological distress ("Help," "Valley of the Dolls"). Maybe that's reflective of where the movies have been at during her life, or maybe she's drawing a pessimistic tone out of her choices. Either way, Soundtrack is an album of moody music from the movies. ~ William Ruhlmann