There are film directors -- Woody Allen comes to mind -- who score their movies simply by rooting around in their record collections for some of their favorite tunes. It's what one might suspect of director Tim Hamilton upon listening to the soundtrack album for his movie Mama's Boy. The tracks here tend to either actually be British punk rock and new wave tracks of the late '70s and early '80s or songs in the same styles. The Jam get three selections to add to familiar tracks by Generation X and the English Beat, while Scanners' 2006 copyright "Low Life" has a distinct Cure/Waterboys feel. Billy Bragg's two songs sound exactly like Billy Bragg songs of the '80s, as he sings savagely critical politically charged lyrics in his cockney accent over his furiously strummed electric guitar accompaniment, but it turns out both are new songs written by Mark Mothersbaugh and the screenwriter, Hank Nelken. Mothersbaugh, the former Devo leader, is the actual film composer here, the album ending with nine minutes' worth of his eclectic, understated background music. That's one more tie to the sound that dominates the album.
Twenty outtakes recorded for Stax between 1960 and 1968, a number of which are gems. In fact, it is really surprising just how good the unreleased Stax stuff was in the '60s. "Loneliness," "Sweet Sensation," and "It Ain't No Easy Thing" all could have been superb singles.