For his directorial debut, Sympathy for Delicious, actor Mark Ruffalo has called upon the Canadian band the Besnard Lakes to provide scoring, then augmented their efforts on the soundtrack album with some of the film's source music, including three tracks by a band called in the film "the Stain." On the album, the group is called Burnt the Dipthongs; it features actors Orlando Bloom and Juliette Lewis, joined by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler of the Mars Volta. These songs are goofy lo-fi rock, and they add liveliness to the Besnard Lakes tracks, which, at their calmest, are atmospheric and ambient, and, at their most assertive ("Dean Signs with Nina," "Dean Is Free"), midtempo pop/rock tunes with wordless vocals. Other source music includes a rock number by the Kills, "U.R.A. Fever," and "El Mago Cardona," a traditional Mexican song by Xocoyotzin Herrera. The music is appropriate to the quirky story of a wheelchair-bound former disc jockey who turns to faith healing on skid row, aided by a priest played by the director. Ruffalo underscores the ironies of the film's theme by closing with the Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke," but long before the song's abstract opposites ("I finally died/Which started the whole world living"), the music has helped set a mood of quirky contradictions.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann