Home Read Classic Album Review: Various Artists | Cold Mountain Soundtrack

Classic Album Review: Various Artists | Cold Mountain Soundtrack

Jack White's backwoods ballads keep this old-timey effort from falling flat.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


O brother, here we go again.

Anthony Minghella’s epic Civil War romance Cold Mountain may be new to the screen, but its soundtrack packs all the deja vu of a remake — or at least a sequel to O Brother, Where Art Thou? This 19-track Americana collection features the same producer (T-Bone Burnett), the same Appalachian approach and even a couple of the same performers and composers (Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley) as the acclaimed O Brother soundtrack. Though, to be honest, its cast of lesser-known artists (Tim Ericksen?) and ill-fitting superstars (Sting?) don’t create the same musical alchemy. With one notable exception: Jack White, who distinguishes himself with a handful of stark backwoods ballads, including oldies like Wayfaring Stranger and Sittin’ On Top Of The World, along with the yearning folk-blues of his own Never Far Away. Take away White, though, and Cold Mountain is fairly flat.