Original Soundtrack

Transamerica

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AllMusic Review by

The Transamerica soundtrack offers a hodgepodge of dialog along with gospel and roots music to create a loose, freewheeling memento of the film. A number of well-known names are involved, including the Old Crow Medicine Show and Lucinda Williams. Perhaps the track that's gathered the most attention is Dolly Parton's Oscar-nominated "Travelin' Thru," and it will be reason enough for her fans to pick up the album. A number of familiar performers from yesteryear also contribute to the collection, including Larry Sparks ("There's a New Moon Over My Shoulder") and the pairing of Jim Lauderdale with Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys ("Lost in the Lonesome Pines"), while the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band deliver "Fish Song" and "Find Jesus." As these songs -- bluegrass, country, and gospel -- ebb and flow, it becomes evident that they form a cross section of American roots music and the continued interpretation of traditional music. There's a surprisingly mellow take of "I Am a Pilgrim" by Duncan Sheik, for instance, and Wylie & the Wild West's yodeling offers a new twist on the West's most forlorn vocal style. The dialog and snippets along the way mean that Transamerica never flows like an album. And the selections, while drawing from similar sources, are too divergent to give the effort much cohesion. But taken as a soundtrack, Transamerica is a great place to sample a large number of fine roots performers in the same place.

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