Once is quite an interesting film. It is one of need, desire, and help. However, Once is a film that is crafted around a great set of songs, wrapping plot around chords and lyrics. In all of that, Once is buoyed by the strength of the songs that make up its soundtrack, playing more like a documentary of progression than a love story, although it is that in a roundabout way. Call it a tied together string of videos for songs.
This brings us to the brilliant and beautiful set of songs that make up this soundtrack that features the talents of Irish rock singer, Glen Hansard (The Frames) and 19-year old Czech singer and instrumentalist, Marketa Irglova, both of whom are also the main character components of this film. Irglova has earlier collaborated with Hansard on his solo album, The Swell Season (2006).
The songs are, as a point of connection, similar to Coldplay’s style of songs. Of course, there are differences that separate them but you’ll recognize the similarities easy enough. Every song on the Once soundtrack have a repeat-listening charm to them and are worth their inclusion. I’m quite enamored of the soundtrack, so much so that I’d love to hear the throwaway songs that didn’t make this set. “Falling Slowly,” the opener cut and connective piece that poignantly draws the two characters in toward each other within the film’s story, really captures the essence of this album of music.
“Falling From the Sky brings in a new-wave (Casio keys does this trick) feel to the ballad using Hansard’s Irish band, The Frames as harmonies. “Trying to Pull Myself Away” is another great song. “If You Want Me,” the second song on this album, is a Marketa Irglova-sung song that builds into a memorable song; in the film, her character is given a CD of starter music in need of lyrics and she writes them in a near trance, creating a gem in the process.
Once is captivating. The film is so because of the songs that carry the stories; the soundtrack more so for the obvious reasons – 13 great songs.