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Various Artists: Crazy Heart: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 

New West Records

As with many country-music-themed movies, ranging from the great (Tender Mercies) to the mostly lame (Pure Country), the plot in Crazy Heart has been done to death. Jeff Bridges assumes the role of the down-and-out singer whose fading career is invigorated by a sweet, young thing. But what stands out in this film is the effective use of both old and new music to carry the story. The soundtrack is a collaborative effort between the late Stephen Bruton and T-Bone Burnett. Bruton's poignant original material and instrumental compositions provide a near-perfect platform for Bridges, who does an adequate job performing the songs. The theme song, "The Weary Kind" by Ryan Bingham, has already won a Golden Globe, and the inclusion of classics by Buck Owens and the Louvin Brothers add credibility. Bruton finished the project mere days before he passed away from cancer in 2009, leaving a fine legacy. 4 out of 5 stars.

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