Lend an ear to SPINEMA: a column exploring all movie music, music related to movies, and movies related to music. Be they film scores on vinyl, documentaries on legendary musicians, or albums of original songs by horror directors, all shall be reviewed here. Batten down your headphones, because shit’s about to sound cinematic.
Mondo, in partnership with Interscope Records, is proud to present the premiere physical release of The Coup’s brilliant original soundtrack album to the film SORRY TO BOTHER YOU.
Available in one of two different, random sleeves, both designed by famed Oakland artist J. Otto Seibold (who also designed the film’s iconic logo) re-mastered for vinyl. Both versions pressed on 180 Gram white vinyl.
Sorry to Bother You is one of the most brilliant films in recent history: a surreal, outrageously surprising, immensely stylish, wildly inventive, work of blistering satire.
It’s almost unbelievably the debut of director Boots Riley, whose double duty as a musician absolutely informs both the style and marketing of the picture, and further cements it as the work of a visionary auteur. The hip-hop/funk musician and founding member of The Coup is known for his political activism, and sense of purpose drives the film even as its funky presence lands on euphoric eyes and ears.
Mondo’s vinyl LP release of the soundtrack, available now, marks its physical media debut, with two cover designs, both of which feature a milky white LP. Purchasers who buy online get a random pull.
I received the brown version, which I’ll detail here.
The album’s design by artist J. Otto Seibold stays on brand with the established look of the movie, complementing, for example, the film’s Blu-ray release.
The sleeve features spot-gloss accents on the front cover lettering and back cover ribbon. It’s a nice detail — here are a few shots that demonstrate.
An LP-sized inset features the detailed track list and some liner notes.
Both versions of the sleeve art are actually represented on the record — here’s a closer look at the labels.
The cover album cover uses the term “band” which is an unusual one in association with the hip-hop genre, but it applies. The Coup is indeed a band in the full “they play instruments” sense of the term. The band’s funk-infused brand of rap defies genre conventions, and their impeccable musicianship crafts some memorable and groovy songs.
OYAHYTT — Right off the bat, the opening track is the rock-and-roll infused party that basically sold the movie to everyone who watched its incredible trailer and immediately put it on their watch list. The acronym abbreviates the super-catchy shouted refrain of “Oh Yeah, Alright! Hell Yeah, That’s Tight!”
The immensely enjoyable Hey Saturday Night keeps up the party rhythm with funky horns and a jaunty piano, featuring Tune-Yards.
The pace steps down for with Anitra’s Basement Tapes, a nostalgic and romantic hangout track. The title references Riley’s mother, whose collection of music serves as the background for a comfortable night in. This one didn’t grab me at first but after spending some time with the album, the earnest lyrics have pulled me in the more I listen. The outro in particular is just tremendous songwriting.
Janelle Monae jumps in for Whathegirlmuthafuckinwannadoo, a funk-frontal track about womanly independence.
Side B opens with Monsoon, with a harder-edged rap sound with salty lyrics over a dizzying electronic rhythm. Featuring Killer Mike! Next, Level It Up! picks up that harder musical vibe and carries it forward, one of the album’s heavier hitters; then Janelle returns for Out and Over / Sticky Sunrise, a slower and more melodic song.
We Need An Eruption cranks up the funk again bigtime. With the danceable jamming you might almost miss that it’s accompanied by some the album’s most socially-conscious/critical lyrics. That consciousness carries through to the closer, the Crawl Out of the Water, which has inventive rhymes that comparatively reference evolution against the larger backdrop of society.
The album’s content matches that of the already released digital release, including the sequence.
Full track list:
1. OYAHYTT [feat. LaKeith Stanfield] (4:13)
2. Hey Saturday Night [feat. tUnE-yArDs] (4:14)
3. Anitra’s Basement Tapes (5:49)
4. Whathegirlmuthafuckinwannadoo [feat. Janelle Monáe] (3:43)
5. Monsoon [feat. Killer Mike] (3:57)
6. Level It Up (3:55)
7. Out And Over/Sticky Sunrise [feat. Janelle Monáe] (3:20)
8. We Need An Eruption (2:49)
9. Crawl Out The Water [feat. E-40] (3:45)
I’m really enjoying this album. Smart, easy to listen to, beautifully packaged, and of course intrinsically tied to one of the best movies of the last couple years. Currently priced at $20, it’s also notably not as costly as most enthusiast-market oriented vinyl soundtracks. Highly recommended!
Get it at Mondo:
Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system. All package photography was taken by the reviewer.