Review Summary: Innocuous, wearisome, and really only for the most dedicated of fans.
The tragic passing of founding member and guitarist of 10,000 Maniacs, Rob Buck, and the numerous lineup changes the group has gone through in their fourteen year long absence from putting out new albums of original material, will only really make an impact on Music from the Motion Picture
to the trained ears of loyal fans alone. Aside from its members, not too much has changed musically for 10,000 Maniacs since the group’s formation in the ‘80s, so it’s hard to spot stylistic differences between their first album in fourteen years, and their last album fourteen years ago.
It’s not like this matters to longtime fans of the group, because this album is really all they could ask for: music that is a reminder of the same type these fans fell in love with this band for twenty - thirty years ago, and acts as a confirmation that the band is still staying that course even after all this time and so many losses. However, to anyone else who is not so forgiving of any and all flaws of an album for sentimental purposes alone, Music from the Motion Picture
will most likely present itself as a very laborious listen in just how plain dull it is.
Music from the Motion Picture
has the pace of elderly folk going out for a drive through the countryside. It’s in no rush to get anywhere, nor does it really doesn’t even have a particular destination in mind for that matter, so it just kind of trudges along, all the while oblivious to the people stuck behind it that are begging for it to pick up the speed. All the songs are acoustically-driven soft rock with the usual touches of folk music influence, and while these tracks are about as bland and thin as a naked cracker, and get quite banal without the slightest attempt to engage listeners, the album wouldn’t even need to concern itself with possessing a sense of urgency if the songs themselves were touching and attractive enough, which they are not.
It’s really just a draining bore for anybody without a prior personal connection to the band. The folk rock/jangle pop ideas presented here are nothing above humdrum, and even the college rock era ambience emitted from this unhurried easy-goer is too contrived and same-old to save Music from the Motion Picture
from keeping a consistently flat-lined pulse from start to finish.