Spike Jonze commissioned Karen O, frontwoman of Yeah Yeah Yeahs to put together the original score for his big-screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, and she soon set about recruiting an army of helpers: fellow YYY members Brian Chase and Nick Zinner are on board, as is Deerhunter/Atlas Sound fellow Bradford Cox, plus Jack Lawrence and Dean Fertita of Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, Liars’ Aaron Hemphill and Greg Kurstin of The Bird And The Bee and Lily Allen production fame. Not to mention several others and a whole children’s choir to boot.
The general character of the record is probably best characterised as a fun, folksy, communal romp; the tracklist combines anthemic goodtime jaunts like the whistle-along ‘All Is Love’ with more unassuming instrumentals like ‘Lost Fur’, contributed by Jonze’s regular film scorer, Carter Burwell.
The record exudes charm from every pore, hitting high points on the rowdy, kid-fuelled ‘Rumpus’, and the campfire-jamming Arcade Fire stylings of ‘Sailing Home’. Warm and good natured throughout, Ms O’s first foray into soundtracking has a feel that would seem to riff on the warmth and handmade quality of the film’s visual style, and a most amiable listen it is too.