The We Bought a Zoo soundtrack, composed by Sigur Ros’ front man, Jon Thor Birgisson, other wise known as Jonsi, was released last month. Sigur Ros’ is a post rock band from Iceland, experimenting with many different instrumental mixes and use of vocals. They are often described as elemental, known for their ethereal sound, and over the past few years this band has thrived. The producers of the recent film We Bought a Zoo, (featuring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson), asked Jonsi if he could create a soundtrack that would describe the plot and contribute to the evolving theme of the film, and that is exactly what Jonsi did.
This soundtrack is made up of 15 songs, one of which is an original Sigur Ros’ song entitled, “Hoppipolla”. Often times, Jonsi does not sing in any specific language. Instead, he speaks in what is said to be “emotive gibberish”, which fits with the music. He calls it “Vonlenska”, which translates into “Hopelandic.” Also, a lot of Sigur Ros’ older work uses Icelandic vocals.
On this soundtrack, Jonsi also uses English dialect in a song called “Go Do”. The song starts off very whimsical and turns into this triumphant climax-esque song. This song constantly evolves into an atmospheric adventure with the layered vocals and the high-pitched fluttering sounds in the background.
Sometimes soundtracks for films can turn out to be pretty cheesy and can seem to be composed of a bunch of songs that do not really go together. This album, however, breaks that mold. With songs that Jonsi wrote specifically to fit the movie, this soundtrack is beautiful, orchestral and award worthy, which I am sure will be acknowledged this year. Check out the movie We Bought a Zoo which is in theatres now and listen for the experimental sound of Jonsi and Sigur Ros.
– Mazie Bishop
You can find the original version of this review in a copy of this weeks Brock Press.