ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The folk-country style of the songs on this soundtrack attempt to recreate
the world of this American Civil War film, but the results vary widely.
Jack White of the White Stripes experiments with folk-blues on several covers
as well as the wistful, self-penned “Never Far Away.”
Fans of Alison Krauss will be delighted to see her music exposed to a wider
audience, although her songs here, which feature Sting on background vocals,
are not as strong as her work with Union Station.
Cassie Franklin’s ballad, “Lady Margaret,” features her
beautiful voice accompanied by silence — and it works. The real highlight
of the album is the Sacred Harp Singers, who demonstrate their fine technique
in sharpnote singing on the rousing “I’m Going Home” and
the solemn “Idumea.”
However, Gabriel Yared’s score for the film is out of place on this
folksy collection with long, drawn-out violin solos and grand orchestral accompaniment — enough
of the sentimentalism already. Luckily, his tracks are side-by-side on the
CD and easier to skip through.