Remember how I said I really liked the soundtrack to Love Actually? Yeah, well, I bought it off eBay and received it in the mail yesterday. The problem with soundtracks more often than not is that the really good music you liked from the movie is never on the soundtrack. The disc is compiled of music playing during the closing credits that you didn't hear because you already had left the theater. This soundtrack doesn't belong in that category. It belongs with the great soundtracks of Forrest Gump or Boys on the Side.
There's maybe four or five songs I don't remember but even the Wyclef John song ("Take Me As I Am") is very catchy. Eva Cassidy's cover of Christine McVie's "Songbird" is indistinguishable from the original so that's very cool. (I'm sure I've said this before, but, McVie was the best songwriter of Fleetwood Mac.) I also love the piece of Craig Armstrong's score included here. I can actually picture the scene.
One of my quibbles is the inclusion of Maroon Five. I just don't like them. My second quibble will take a bit of explaining. In the DVD special features, writer/director Richard Curtis explains that he originally wanted to use The Beatles' "All You Need is Love" for the film's final scene but "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys which is my favorite song of theirs so am glad is here on the soundtrack. No, my quibble is the cover of "All You Need Is Love" found here. It pales in comparison to the original. I find it hard to believe they couldn't get the rights...
I close with a question. Did you know Mariah Carey co-wrote "All I Want For Christmas Is You?" Actually, scratch that. Did you know she wrote anything?