Spike Jonze’s half-hour-long I’m Here is a quiet, solemn little tale of two lonely robots who find love in each other’s displaced identity. The story asks how much a person (or robot) is willing to sacrifice in order to keep the ones he adores physically intact. Naturally the soundtrack to the film is primarily made up of dislocated but incredibly warm love songs, all fine examples of indie-pop heartsickness.
Anyone who’s been keeping up with the music scene recently has heard most of these tracks before. Girls’ through-the-heart ballad, “Hellhole Ratrace,” Of Montreal’s schizophrenic epic “The Past Is a Grotesque Animal,” Animal Collective’s dreamy adulation “Did You See The Words” are all included. Given the relative tone of all these songs, it’s easy to see why they’d fit together on a soundtrack.
Two versions of “There Are Many of Us,” by a project called ASKA, are included. In accordance with everything else, it’s a hushed, piano-led whisper, and it does a good job of summing up the entire teary-hug disposition of the film and soundtrack. The remix of the song doesn’t quite resonate with the peacefulness of the original take. It’s one of those songs that glows with the abstract feeling of being lost in the world but found in love, and it’s reason enough to give the collection a cursory browsing. ASKA has another song on track list, and the record keeps the “Lonesome Robot Theme” from the film, but that’s about it in terms of new material.
It’s a fine compilation, but even the deeper, more recent cuts, like Sleigh Bells’ “A/B Machines” and Gui Boratto’s “Beautiful Life,” have been pretty well-documented. It does throw a few curve balls — the version of “The Past Is a Grotesque Animal” is actually an alternate take, somehow here with even more intensity. But for the most part this is a soundtrack in the most traditional sense: the songs in the movie organized on a CD. That certainly serves a purpose, but it also makes this compilation a hard sell.