Original Soundtrack


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The soundtrack to Autofocus, Paul Schraeder's film about the rise and fall of Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane, features '60s and '70s pop and rock and excerpts of Angelo Badalamenti's score. The album works as a musical reflection of the split between the star's peachy-keen public image and his rather sordid private life, which included filming his sexual exploits and, ultimately, his brutal murder. Sweet, innocent '60s pop and Motown cuts like Barbara Mason's "Yes I'm Ready" and the Four Tops' "Helpless" are pitted against the garagey proto-punk of the Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" and the Sonics' "Psycho" and the disco decadence of Brass Construction's "Movin'" and B.T. Express' "Give It What You Got." To the soundtrack producers' credit, they didn't take the easy approach and simply load the album with songs about sex and obsession, though King Cotton & the Cane Cutters' "It's Not the Meat (It's the Motion)" and Reverend Horton Heat's "Real Gone Lover" are certainly raunchy and the O'Kaysions' cute "I'm a Girl Watcher" takes on a somewhat creepy cast given its context in the soundtrack. Interestingly, the music most directly related to the film doesn't work quite as well as the vintage selections; Buster Poindexter's "Snap" is a faithful yet skewed homage to early-'60s lounge pop, and while it's amusing, its knowing edge tends to undercut the intensity of the film's subject matter. The excerpts of Badalamenti's score don't fare much better -- "Jazz Club" sounds like a simpler, more straightforward version of the brassy pieces he did for the Mulholland Drive soundtrack, and while the flute-driven "Feelin' Down" is pretty, it's not especially distinctive. In this setting, the twangy indie country of Clem Snide's "A Song for Bob Crane" comes off as more smirky than quirky, but it does fit the soundtrack's slightly ironic vibe. Overall, Autofocus is a collection of moderately entertaining music that applies to the movie; ironically enough, its lack of focus keeps it from being a truly interesting album on its own terms.

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