Various Artists, "This Is 40 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Capitol Records)
It doesn't matter if you're 40 or a fan of Judd Apatow, the soundtrack for the writer-director's latest film, "This Is 40," is worth checking out.
Among its 16 tracks are new and original songs from Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, Graham Parker and Lindsey Buckingham, plus new takes on old songs by Wilco and Ryan Adams.
It's a folksy blend of indie tunes, and as the film deals with the challenges of marriage and midlife, there are some heart-wrenching ones in the mix.
Jones' track is a standout, with a happy, dancing piano that contradicts its stark refrain: "Always judging, never loving." Another highlight is among three new songs Buckingham contributes: "Sick of You" is a showcase for his signature guitar melodies.
There's bright love on the album, too, most cheerfully on Wilco's "I Got You," a new version of the band's 1996 song with Jones on backing vocals, and Yoko Ono's fairytale love song, "Yes, I'm Your Angel."
Songs by composer-producer Jon Brion, Paul McCartney, Loudon Wainwright III, the Avett Brothers and Paul Simon round out the album.
Check this out: Apple is dramatic and demanding on the string-tinged "Dull Tool."