The bulk of the CD consists of instrumental music from Jeff Gibbs, which is mood-setting synth music. "The Un-President" was used in the opening of the movie, when Gore had justly won the 2000 election, only to have victory snatched from him. The stark grim piano track, "Bush Waits...and Waits" was used where the unpresident merely sat in his chair after getting news of the second plane hitting the WTC, and pondering who did this? There is some Philip Glass-style synth music in both "Weapons of Deceit" and "Deserter." Both have the same sound, except for the more techno electronica flavour of the latter.
There are two other instrumentals aside from Gibbs'. One is Paarvo Jarvi's funereal and emotional rendition of Estonian composer Arvo Part's "Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten" used during the 11 September segment, the sight of ash and debris floating down like gray snowflakes from the sky. The other is Elmer Bernstein's theme to the Magnificent Seven, used to depict Afghanistan as an example of U.S. cowboy diplomacy, starring Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Tony Blair.
"All They Ask" is taken during the final segments of the movie, where Moore praises the young men serving in the military. "All they ask is that we don't put them in harm's way," he says in the voice-over. "Will they ever trust us again?"
Now for the pop/rock songs. The Go-Go's' "Vacation," the title from their second album, was used to show what Dubya did after his poll numbers went down. Cue scenes at the ranch. Eric Burdon's "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" from the 1960's was used in the scene describing how the Bin Laden family were the only ones allowed to leave by plane during 12-13 September 2001 while millions of Americans were stranded.
The relationship between the Bushes and the rich Saudi oilmen shows them to be "Shiny Happy People," sung by R.E.M. and Katie Pierson of the B-52's. This was played where Poppie is shaking hands with the Saudis and saying how it's a happy reunion with good friends. The point being how the rich are shiny and happy, but what about the rest of us?
I wonder how Jimmy Pop feels about young American soldiers using his group the Bloodhound Gang's song "Fire Water Burn" while they are destroying Baghdad. The part the young soldier quotes is "we don't need no water, let the MF burn. Burn MF Burn." Later in the movie, this song is used when the Iraqis take to the streets, dragging and later displaying the mutilated corpses of US soldiers.
J.J. Cale's "Cocaine" only got used for a few seconds, but that was during the segment where Moore discusses Dubya's altered air force records. "If you wanna get down on the ground" can have connotations of how Bush was grounded along with James R. Bath for not reporting for their physicals while in the Texas Air National Guard. However, I cannot recall when Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" was used.
Using Joey Scarbury's bubbly pop of "Believe It Or Not," during the scene of Bush proclaiming victory over Iraq aboard the aircraft carrier is clearly meant to evoke anger among those of us lefties. This is the theme song to the short-lived TV series The Greatest American Hero. The Greatest American Hero? Him? A joke surely, yes? I thought so.
Played over the credits is Neil Young's jamming rocker "Rockin' In The Free World." A great song yes, but given the finale, using the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" would've been more appropriate, but Pete Townshend's refusal made that impossible.
Not a complete soundtrack as the themes from Dragnet and Peter Gunn aren't included, but it's for a worthy cause and movie. This CD should have been reviewed before Election Day, for which I apologize, but maybe this will serve as a reminder of the importance of voter participation.