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Into the Wild soundtrack


2007 saw the release of Into the Wild, the movie based on Jon Krakauer’s 1996 book chronicling Christopher McCandless’ journey into the unknown. Marking Sean Penn’s fourth directorial work, the soundtrack for the movie became Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder’s first solo album. He wrote most of the songs appearing in the film while Michael Brook provided original music.

Describing this soundtrack as “folky” is hardly a new discovery, but it is the first adjective that comes to mind after listening to the welling guitar sounds. At its worst the album reaches a monotonous quality only saved by Vedder’s magnificent, touching interpretations.  Although it was “Guaranteed” that won Vedder a Golden Globe for best original song and the celebratory, repetitive Indio cover “Hard Sun” was released as a single, it seems to be “Society”, a Jerry Hannan -penned piece that stands at the emotional core of the movie. It feels like an incursion to McCandless’s mind, like something torn out of his diary. At least, it sounds the way an outsider could best understand him and relate to him, a fresh university graduate who wanted an escape out of what he considered a materialistic society. The narrative in these original songs is so resilient and human; it seems to spring from the same kind of an educated, free-thinking realm McCandless must have inhabited.

into_the_wildAppearing on The Charlie Rose Show, Penn said he wanted Vedder to do the soundtrack because he knew Vedder would be able to identify with McCandless on some level. It seems that Penn hit the nail on the head, as that statement reverberates through this album.

Track list:

1. Setting Forth (
2. No Ceiling (
3. Far Behind (
4. Rise (
5. Long Nights (
6. Tuolumne (
7. Hard Sun (
8. Society (
9. The Wolf (
10. End of The Road (
11. Guaranteed (