The Never List movie soundtrack is the perfect mix of carefree rhythms, bursting tones, heartache, romantic measures and even some optimism. Featuring 17 tracks perfectly assembled to fit the tone and the vibe of a movie about a teenager’s life being turned around after the death of her friend, it mirrors the ups-and-downs of life’s challenges. Even if you’re not a teenager, these songs have strong meanings and important ties to the human experience. A fine mix of singer/songwriters from around the US and Canada, it’s also refreshing to hear some empowered female vocalists.
The male vocalists are nothing to ignore. Believe me. The movie itself has a female protagonist, and while it’s easy to assume that the songs should be all female-driven, what makes the songs on this extended playlist so exciting is that it balances out the feverish pop rock tracks with anthemic-like atmospheric synth. All of these tracks have tons of personality. Some of the songs that stood out the most include “I’m Ok”, “Salvador Dali”, “Revolution” and “Living The Life”.
“I’m Ok” is from the band Honest Men. What I liked most about the vocals are the way lead singer Seth Findley has a natural harmony, but he thrusts the ending words into the music bedrock. They don’t get lost in the guitar (Brooks Whitehurst on the axe) and drums/percussion (Zach Solomon behind the kit), but they are elevated by the pomp and circumstance of the dizzying array of light and synth. It’s the perfect mix of Austin-weird and Texas pop rock. Findley, taking a cue from The Neon Trees’ Tyler Glen and Wang Chung’s Jack Hues, sings with charisma and gregarious crooning, I’m in a good position to lose it again, the cards are dealt and my hand is in, the push and pull of my own chagrin, I’m alright. The music is just as bright, and crisp with bass grooves, moving the song in a forward motion.
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“Salvador Dali”, from actor/singer Nils Allen “Booboo” Stewart, Jr. /That Band Honey and brother to “Living The Life” singer Fivel Stewart, exudes fun. The crunchy guitar has a Chic-vibe. This one is a no-brainer earworm. I can just picture the beach, the sun, crowds of teenagers grooving to this one. Let’s go crazy, Booboo Stewart sings. His voice is perfect for pop rock and teen crushing.
J and the 9s song “Revolution” is just as fun and memorable. This track has a numbing, relentless guitar riff. I loved the punk tones and the rawness. “Revolution” oozes an unstoppable energy, something is brewing and it’s barely contained. It’s hard to hold this one in – and I dare you to not head bang to this one. Vocalist Jeanine (j9) and Beatz (Chris) deliver this moxie-filled song.
Fivel Stewart’s “Living The Life” stands out because her voice is sincere, authentic. Fivel Stewart’s confidence and her charm is bright. The pulse beneath her harmonies is solid, as is this anthemic rally cry. Making memories, one heart, one life – she sings the teenage experience in this track. She makes it sound easy and you just can’t help but want to dance.
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