Thiis album—Music Inspired by the Film Roma—is not the soundtrack. The actual original motion picture soundtrack, featuring not just Leo Dan and Berlioz but also mambo giant Pérez Prado and the coastal sound of Acapulco Tropical, is a fine complement to the film—an interactive volume of CliffsNotes, perhaps, a chance to duck inside Roma’s hidden corners. This album is an altogether different proposition. Overseen by Cuarón and music supervisor Lynn Fainchtein, it’s billed as Cuarón’s favorite artists making music inspired by his film. It would be an unusual grouping by virtually any standard, gathering together proto-punk royal Patti Smith, post-millennial icon Billie Eilish, British folk singer Laura Marling, and turntablist DJ Shadow, among others. To apply such an eclectic roster to Roma’s meticulous work of reconstruction is even more confounding.
Reviewed By: Philip Sherburne