Although the Showtime comedy-drama series “House of Lies” may not have a musical repertoire as noteworthy and moving as shows like “The OC,” “Friday Night Lights” or “Gossip Girl,” its first soundtrack does present a consistent sound that will have listeners bopping their heads in no time. The twelve-track album is comprised of mostly slow, jazzy songs, although each tune adds a unique touch to the overall sound. Even if you have never seen (or heard of) “House of Lies,” the soundtrack is worth checking out and listening to a few times over.
For the curious minds out there, “House of Lies” follows the professional and private lives of a group of business-hungry management consultants. Academy Award winning actor Don Cheadle, who appears to be the most unscrupulous of all the consultants, leads the cast. However, Cheadle is not the only notable member of the show’s ensemble and production team: the show’s Music Supervisor is Chris Douridas, a two-time Grammy-nominee (American Beauty, Shrek 2),who worked hand in hand with Grammy-winning producer Larry Klein to release this soundtrack.
I must warn the listener: do not give up on the soundtrack after listening to it just once. After hearing the soundtrack in its entirety for the first time, I was less than impressed; there was just one song that stood out, and the rest seemed lifeless and dry. That one song that caught my attention from the very first time was “Brains Out” by Kim Cesarion. This is one of the only upbeat, pop-y songs on the album, which may explain why it made such an impression. The beat is perfect for dancing and the lyrics are pretty sassy if you listen closely; you’ll be swaying your hips as Kim belts out the line, “Now that you got in my head, why don’t you get in my bed.”
After listening to the album a few more times through, I started to appreciate the collective sound that Douridas had created. Almost every other song besides “Brains Out,” has a slow, mellow beat, which I initially wrote off as the equivalent of elevator music to be played as one of the show’s characters struts off into the distance or confidently pulls away in his sports-car. However, songs like “This Love is Here to Stay” and “Clean the House” changed my opinion and proved they deserved greater respect than a track you would hear in a waiting room.
Each of these songs has a great, jazzy rhythm, but they differ in their vocal styles. “This Love is Here to Stay” is performed by Thomas Dybdahl, who brings a soft, but strained voice to the lyrics; the romantic guitar and keyboard that accompany his passionate singing make it perfect for a slow-jam on the dance-floor. “Clean the House” has a more pulsating beat that couples perfectly with Dallas Tamaira’s sultry and smooth vocals. While these two songs exemplify the jazzy, smooth sounds from the soundtrack, listeners should also expect to hear songs with a bit more synth and pluck.
“Midnight Sun” by Isaac Delusion is the synthiest of all the tracks, but if you are looking for something a bit less developed, I would suggest “Smoke Filled Lungs” by Basecamp. The song has a dream-like quality to it and although it does break into a more technical tune around the 3:10 mark, it is most noteworthy for the throaty, Young The Giant-esque vocals of its lead singer.
This first soundtrack from “House of Lies” is a compilation of the music used from seasons 1-3, and is a cohesive one at that. While there are still one or two songs on the album that have failed to excite me (Bright Lights by Gary Clark Jr., Take Me Back by Aloe Blacc) the other 10 tracks on the album are impressive enough to keep the soundtrack in my music library. Whether you are a fan of the show or not, the inaugural “House of Lies” soundtrack is worth a listen.