The soundtrack for About Time, the 2013 British romantic comedy from Love Actually writer and director Richard Curtis, dutifully reflects its story's time travel premise with a 17-song set of (mostly) previously released selections from the likes of The Killers ("Mr. Brightside"), Groove Armada ("At the River"), Amy Winehouse ("Back to Black"), and Nick Cave ("Into My Arms"). Ben Folds offers up a new, heavily orchestrated version of his sentimental 2001 ballad "The Luckiest," while ex-Dream Academy mastermind Nick Laird Clowes offers up a pair of wistful piano pieces ("Golborne Road" and "The About Time Theme") from his evocative score.
This sequel to Saturday Night Fever lacked the box office clout of the original, and the soundtrack album was likewise a disappointing seller, but it actually contains some of the better Bee Gees work of the 80s, notably the sad ballad "Someone Belonging to Someone".
The Limited Deluxe Edition features 23 songs (an additional 7 songs) including all the original songs performed in the film by Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell, "The Weary Kind" performed by Ryan Bingham (the theme song heard in the film's trailer and closing credits) and music featured in the film by Waylon Jennings, Lucinda Williams, Buck Owens, Sam Phillips and many more. It is packaged with a 12 page booklet featuring liner notes, lyrics and photographs. The soundtrack was co-produced by 10-time Grammy Award winner T Bone Burnett.
Although I usually find the inclusion of dialogue on a soundtrack to be intrusive, that's not the case here. Luckily it is not too overdone. The compositions by Trevor Jones and the sax of Courtney Pine bring back all the haunting beauty and terror of the film. There are no throwaway screeching scare tracks. At under 40 minutes, it is a beautiful rendering of a sinister mood that can be listened to again and again. More than a decade later, one might say the film doesn't keep it's "mystery" very well hidden but the music has held up. It's a superior example of a composer's ability to make a good film great and for that reason, I can watch it again and again. Note however, I could not watch the film without its score but I can spin the disc constantly. Alan Parker was a genius for choosing to go with atmosphere rather than musical hysterics. Never have the blues been so unnervingly hypnotic.