I am dying — dying! — to see Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. But, alas, no private screenings for music reviewers — I have to wait until October 16 like regular folk. (Associate Editor and all-around nice guy Jeremy Martin saw it early, though — read that lucky bastard’s review on page 34). But I did manage to get my paws on the soundtrack, and it’s no consolation prize. Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O has delivered a spirited, emotional score with the help of “the Kids” — fellow YYY-members, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, and other indie-rockers (that’s one more kids’ book adaptation safe from Smash Mouth and Counting Crows, thank god). Known for being a bit of a wild thing herself, O ditches the Yeahs’ sexed-up art-rock in favor of stripped-down sing-alongs (acoustic guitars, hand claps, and an actual kids’ choir) expressing the pint-sized feelings of the book’s central troublemaker, Max. “All Is Love” is a warm, 2-minute, 49-second hug; a fragile cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Worried Shoes” is melancholy but never emo; and the paranoid percussion of “Capsize” makes me want to put on a wolf-eared onesie and rumpus around my apartment. Freaky and folky in all the right ways, Wild Things feels less like a movie tie-in and more like a kiddie concept album. Eat it up, hipsters. (You, too, little hipsters-in-training).
— Chuck Kerr