In his liner notes to this soundtrack album, film producer/director Jonathan Demme writes that he and his director of photography, Declan Quinn, "decided to take as documentary-like an approach as we could to" Rachel Getting Married, even though it was a fictional movie about the marriage of a young upper-class American woman at her father's home in Stamford, CT, and the disruption caused by her sister, temporarily discharged from rehab for the event. Despite the cinéma vérité approach, one of the less realistic aspects of the film is that the house seems at all hours to be filled with musicians of wildly different sorts playing in the background, but usually onscreen, to the extent that, at one point, the actors even have to ask them to take a break so that they can hear themselves arguing in one of the many knock-down, drag-out family fights that occur throughout. One has to assume that the father has hired this round-the-clock United Nations of musicians and that, somehow, they are being boarded and fed for the duration. But maybe it's better not to complain, when those musicians include the likes of Robyn Hitchcock and Donald Harrison, Jr. (Wonder how much they would cost?) Demme has a considerable reputation for putting interesting music into his films (think of Philadelphia) when not actually making music documentaries like Stop Making Sense and Heart of Gold. His taste is eclectic and ethnic, and here it includes musicians from the Middle East (Zafer Tawil, who is co-credited with Harrison for writing the "score," such as it is), New Orleans, Jamaica, India, and, well, Nyack, NY (home of Demme and his son Brooklyn Demme, who does some guitar noodling in a perfect example of the pitfalls of nepotism). It may not make a lot of sense in the movie Rachel Getting Married, but it makes for a varied and entertaining soundtrack album.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann