Begin Again - Music From and Inspired By the Original Motion Picture (Deluxe)
The last time director John Carney and songwriter Glen Hansard got together for an understated film about love and music, the result was Once, which won an Oscar for Best Original Song, among other accolades. Begin Again stars Keira Knightley as Gretta, a singer who finds her voice with the help of Mark Ruffalo's down-and-out label exec. Knightley sings songs written mainly by Gregg Alexander, and her voice is sweetly assured, gelling with the tunes' comely indie pop. Cee-Lo stops by for a few soul-stirrers, while Adam Levine, who plays Knightley's ex, applies his reedy alto to the midtempo "Higher Place" and "Lost Stars," the film's musical centerpiece. Knightley's take on that track has an intimate coffeeshop feel that contrasts Levine's grander version, mirroring the pair's differing career arcs in this heartrending romantic drama.