Audio Mixers: Pat Sansone; Josh Shapera; Liam Hayes.
Director: Roman Coppola.
Arrangers: Paul Von Mertens; Tom Tom MMLXXXIV.
Liam Hayes' music has such a unique blend of stylishness and vulnerability that it's easy to hear why director Roman Coppola, whose work embraces gorgeous visuals as much as strong characters and emotional revelations, would need to have Hayes' music in one of his films. A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, which explores the vivid imagination and romantic entanglements of a graphic designer in the '70s, uses the meticulously crafted '60s and '70s pop and soul-loving sound Hayes developed over the years (under his own name as well as Plush) to craft a mood that's as playful as it is bittersweet. Like Grizzly Bear's Blue Valentine score, Hayes' music revisits and reworks previously recorded songs (including tracks from his then yet to be released 2013 album Korp Sole Roller) along with new material written expressly for the film. While it all flows together as a wryly romantic whole, there are standouts, including the winsome pop of "White Telescope," which straddles the line between knowing and innocence in a way that makes it all the more moving, and the symphonic soul-pop of the brassy opening track, "Brain Doctor." Elsewhere, "The Goose Is Out," "Fokus," and "Cried a Thousand Times" offer ample reminders that Hayes knows exactly how to embody the eras he loves without seeming too formal or too fawning. Best of all for longtime fans, newer tracks like "Rock and Roll" and "A Glimpse Inside" are in keeping with the rest of his work but also have a sweeter, more mature feel that's very promising. Jason Schwartzman's "Kirby's Song" and the cover of "Aguas de Marco" by Charlie Sheen and Katheryn Winnick add more of the film's flavor to the album; still, the real star here is Hayes, who creates a score that's equally true to the movie it's for and his larger body of work. ~ Heather Phares