The soundtracks to movies adapted from comic books are often marketing free-for-alls; promoting bands takes precedence over choosing songs that make sense for the film. However, nothing could be further from the truth for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’s music. Since so much of the comic revolves around the bands that the characters play in, the film was already somewhat protected from having a bunch of random songs crammed into its soundtrack, but the film’s creative team ensured that the music was done right. Director Edgar Wright's other films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, etc.) boast soundtracks that brim with personality onscreen and play more like mixtapes than albums in their own right; that feeling continues here with picks like Beachwood Sparks' “By Your Side,” T. Rex's “Teenage Dream,” and Frank Black's “I Heard Ramona Sing.” The musicians who bring the comic’s bands to life are just as cleverly chosen. Beck revisited his slacker-punk roots with the songs he wrote for Scott's band Sex Bob-Omb; though they’re performed by Michael Cera and the other actors in the film, “Threshold,” “Summertime,” and “Garbage Truck” still have Beck's gloriously messy early-‘90s vibe to them. Later, he contributes “Ramona,” a dreamy ballad that sounds more like his 2000s work. Meanwhile, Broken Social Scene are Crash and the Boys, the rival band whose “I’m So Sad, So Very Very Sad” lasts a whopping five seconds. Every part of the soundtrack shows how much care went into it, from choosing artists like Broken Social Scene and Metric to nod to the story’s Canadian setting, to the 8-bit version of “Threshold” that reflects Pilgrim’s immersion in video games. The sweetest detail may be the song that started it all: “Scott Pilgrim,” by the Canadian all-female band Plumtree from their 1997 album Predicts the Future, holds within it all the breathless true love and crunchy guitar goodness that sparked the comic. Somehow, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's music remains true not just to the comic, but to the work of everyone involved in the story at every stage, with plenty of fun and heart to boot.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares