For fans of director Wes Anderson, a new movie from the bespectacled auteur means the materialization of a quirky new soundtrack as well. While 1999's British Invasion-heavy audio companion to Rushmore remains the unofficial fan fave, each collection of music (Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) has been a glimpse into the Texas-bred Anderson's obviously deep record collection, a window he once again opens with the typically eclectic Darjeeling Limited. The quirk of 2004's Zissou was that it mined classic David Bowie songs as played by Brazilian samba revivalist and Life Aquatic cast member Seu Jorge. This time around,Anderson populates his tale with classic Indian art film music, from celebrated director/composer Satyajit Ray to violinist/singer/composer Shankar. Adapting these previously recorded scores to the director's model of "life with a near constant soundtrack" means peppering them with well-placed bursts of rock & roll, so the employment of tracks from Anderson stalwarts the Rolling Stones and the Kinks should come as no surprise, as they have long been the acts that Anderson uses to drive in the emotional nail. Toss in a little Debussy and Beethoven, "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" by the painfully earnest U.K. folkie Peter Sarstedt, and a dash of gospel, and then wrap it all up with 1969's international smash "Les Champs-Elysées" from American expatriate/French pop superstar Joe Dassin, and you've got what amounts to the usual Wes Anderson smorgasbord of hip, never will be hip, or soon to be hipper than hip.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger