By Karol Krok
Title: Man Up
Composer: Wendy Wang
The Film: Not to be confused with 2015 British comedy with Simon Pegg and Lake Bell, this Man Up is about a young slacker (played by director Justin Chon) who gets his girl pregnant and, thus, needs to learns a valuable lesson of life – how to be responsible. And stuff.
Distinguishing Features: Wendy Wang decided to offer something different from the typical coming-of-age sappy melodrama that those type of films are flooded with. Instead of melancholic piano solos, she opted to harken back to 1980’s teen films and pop music of the same era. The result is hilarious and really nostalgic in a non-clichéd way. On the whole, music relies heavily on synthesisers that seem to imitate that era (‘Best Friend Talk’, ‘The Challenge Video Game’). Occasionally, electric guitars spice up things a tiny bit (‘Martin Freakout’). The tracks themselves blend into one another and are extremely brief (often not exceeding 50 seconds). The soundtrack itself clocks in around only 18 minutes and that means it can never really outstay its welcome. Wang also composed and co-performed several songs for this film that fit in right into established nostalgic sound palette (‘I Can See The Change’, ‘New Challenger’ and ‘Summer Knees’).
Final Thoughts: Man Up is a cute little album that doesn’t really inspire a lot of listens but it’s an adorable throwback to the music of 1980’s generation. Inoffensive and genuinely adorable.
Man Up is out now from Lakeshore Records