The soundtrack for Sordid Lives is a must-have for die-hard Olivia Newton-John fans, assuming there are any left. The film was released some 20 years after the singer passed her peak as a pop star, but writer/director Del Shore, a fan and friend, cast Newton-John as an aspiring country singer in the film version of his play. The role allowed the singer to return to her roots in country music; only one of the eight Newton-John tracks on the CD is a pop song (the closer, "Trust Yourself"). The others are all as twangy as the rest of the soundtrack, which features several whimsically depressed country songs, including Kacey Jones' "No Fault Love" and "Someone to Grown Young With," Bobbie Eakes' "Better a Painful Ending Than an Endless Pain," and J. Scott Jones' "Get off the Cross, We Need the Wood." The wry tone of the songs is consistent with the eight clips of white trash Southern dialogue from the movie that are spread throughout the soundtrack, displaying a Steel Magnolias-by-way-of-John Waters combination of wicked oddball comedy and earnest, heart-to-heart conversations. George S. Clinton provides the appropriately twangy original score, filling out a soundtrack album that is occasionally grating -- the clips are too long and some of the songs are a little cutesy (particularly Sharron Alexis' obnoxious and tuneless "Please Don't Be Gay"), but overall it's very stylistically consistent.
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AllMusic Review by Evan Cater