For a movie based on the afterlife of suicide victims, it seems odd at first glance that the saddest songs featured on the Wristcutters: A Love Story soundtrack are the Artie Shaw version of "Gloomy Sunday" (a song purported by legend to drive people to suicide) and the Joy Division magnum opus "Love Will Tear Us Apart." The rest of the disc is comprised of the score from the film and several offerings from the self-described gypsy punks Gogol Bordello. It's not the first time that Eugene Hütz and his band have made their mark on a film soundtrack; the singer and guitarist acted in and contributed to the soundtrack of Everything Is Illuminated, and while he does not appear in Wristcutters: A Love Story, he is the inspiration behind one of its characters. Hütz seems to have developed a reputation as a "go to" person for enlivening films that could otherwise be tremendously bleak, though no one could argue that he does the job with flair. Gogol Bordello is not the only pop artist to appear here; in addition to those previously mentioned, Mikal Portnoi Lazarev, Del Shannon, Screaming Lord Sutch, Mushman, and Gram Parsons are all included, with Parsons' "A Song for You" bringing hopeful closure to the disc. As for the film's score, Bobby Johnston offers music that is simple and unadorned, sounding a bit like the backbone of Tom Waits' material from Rain Dogs or Swordfishtrombones. Always heartfelt and occasionally romantic without veering into melodrama, the score starts out gloomy and cold before gradually growing warmer and sweeter as it nears the album's end.
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AllMusic Review by Katherine Fulton