Allison Anders' film Grace of My Heart told the story of a female songwriter whose career closely resembled that of Carole King's. The film followed her as she worked her way through the Brill Building before going out west to fall in love with a tortured leader of a surf-rock band (a thinly veiled Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys), and then establishing herself as a solo artist with an album that recalled Tapestry. In order to make the film work, Anders need a collection of new songs that not only recalled classic '60s pop, but also were convincing as hit singles. She assembled an astonishing roster of professional songwriters -- including Burt Bacharach, Gerry Goffin, Elvis Costello, David Baerwald, and J. Mascis -- that managed to fulfill her goal. The majority of Grace of My Heart is astonishing, capturing the feel and sound of classic '60s pop from Phil Spector to the Beach Boys. Occasionally, the lyrics are a little too knowing ("Unwanted Number"), but the songs themselves are wonderful, particularly the Lesley Gore knockoff "My Secret Love" (which was co-written by Gore and sung by Combustible Edison's Diane Dane), Costello and Bacharach's collaboration "God Give Me Strength" and J. Mascis' bright "Take a Run at the Sun." It's a surprisingly successful and fresh collection, one of the rare soundtracks as cohesive as the film itself. And, even more importantly, it's filled with songs that sound like forgotten classics.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine