The story of Smashed is of a young married couple who are bonded together over their excessive drinking; after a dramatic and embarrassing incident at work the wife decides to get sober and their relationship is put to the test.
The album is a mixed bag with original music composed by Andy Cabic and Eric D. Johnson. The original score makes up 6 out of the 13 tracks; the first 3 are very whimsical and quite lovely and all share a central theme. The final 3 are sadder in tone and the album itself seems to move towards a downbeat ending (whether this reflects the film I don’t know but it has been described as a comedy/drama).
“I want to see the bright lights tonight” is a great track from the 70s duo of Richard and Linda Thompson and is typical of that era with a great large 70s rock vibe. “Por Ti” is a bizarre addition and sounds like a Eurovision entry which for a junky of that yearly festival of bad euro folk pop like myself was more than acceptable if a little out of place. Cass McCombs’ “Dreams-come-true-girl” is another song which doesn’t quite fit the album with its 50s crooner vibe (and most interestingly additional vocals by noted actress Karen Black). “Planet of women” by Sonny and the Sunsets is a funny and unusual track with a Jonathan Richman-esque feel. The final song of the album “Our anniversary” by Smog is a very downbeat affair, a melancholy turn sung with a valium slowness which speaks of the night ending in “Some form of excess/Pants around ankles/Too weak to fully undress’ which seems appropriate considering the film’s subject matter.
This is an average offering with the original musical interludes being the highlight of the album; the other few gems cannot make up for the album’s disjointed feel.