By SJ Neri
House of Lies Soundtrack
Strange Cargo\ Manhattan Records
Release Date: March 5, 2014
For those of you who have not heard of the show House of Lies, let me just say that it is definitely worth catching. Already in season 3, House of Lies revolves around Marty Kaan (played by Don Cheadle), a management consultant who cannot be bothered with morals or ethics in the business world. His management team, which consists of a talented bunch of misfits (Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson and Kristen Bell) are also a delight in this fast-paced, cynical, and hilarious show. Grammy® winning producer, Larry Klein, and Grammy® nominated Music Supervisor, Chris Douridas have brought together an eclectic mix of music from a pool of gifted artists.
The soundtrack is a collection of the very best music featured in season 1, 2 & 3. While many of the songs have a Blues or Jazz feel, the overall vibe of the album is smooth, and easy to digest. After listening to this album many times all week, I can easily say my two favorite tracks are; Midnight Sun by Isaac Delusion and It Always Comes Back Around by Michael Kiwanuka. Midnight Sun offers mesmerizing male vocals, and for some reason reminds me of driving (or maybe of being in motion), I can (and have) listen to this over and over again. It Always Comes Back Around has great, strong vocal and guitar work, and is a plentiful feast for the ears. Mixing things up a bit are the tracks Brains Out by Kim Cesarion and Illusions of Time by Kiko King & Creativemaze. Brains Out has a great club scene vibe to it, and is just fun and energetic. Illusions of Time reminds me of a dream, and includes a beautiful ensemble of violin and (or) cello accompaniment.
The album track list also consists of Grammy® winners and a Grammy® nominee. Bright Lights by Grammy® winner Gary Clark Jr. has a Bluesy feel, and amazing vocals. This track also has impressive guitar and drum work. Belly Roll by Grammy® winner Count Basie has a Big Band swing to it, and blasts some awesome horn work. Let’s not forget to mention the crazy-good drums, and piano sounds. In 1958, Count Basie became the first African-American to win a Grammy® Award, and went on to win eight more during his life. A few of Basie’s songs have been inducted into the Grammy® Hall of Fame. Heartbreak by Grammy® nominated The James Hunter Six will have you toe-tapping and fighting the urge to get up and dance. I think you will enjoy the great vocals and sax riff in this number.
House of Lies – Track List
1) Bright Lights – Gary Clark Jr.
2) Midnight Sun – Isaac Delusion
3) Brains Out – Kim Cesarion
4) Love Is Here To Stay – Thomas Dybdahl
5) Take Me Back – Aloe Blacc
6) Clean The House – Fat Freddy’s Drop
7) Smoke Filled Lungs – Basecamp
8) Heartbreak – The James Hunter Six
9) Belly Roll – Count Basie
10) Illusions Of Time – Kiko King & Creativemaze
11) Shift to Reverse – N*Grandjean
12) It Always Comes Back Around – Michael Kiwanuka
The other five tracks (all tracks are listed in order below) are just as impressive, and noteworthy. The songs on this soundtrack complement each other very well in a harmonious balance of Blues, Techno, Swing and Soul. Very rarely can I listen to a whole album, usually I have one or two tracks I like, and skip over the rest. That is not the case with this album. I highly recommend you give it a listen.