Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. If it is indubitably more soundtrack album than bigshot solo debut, this record certainly provides irrefutable, definitive, official proof of O’s talents as a songwriter in her own right.
  2. O does an excellent job accompanying the perpetual dawn and dusk of the film's photography with an organic, absolutely non-obtrusive series of interrelated songs.
  3. The Wild Things soundtrack boasts enough illuminating, atypical turns from Karen O that make it worth experiencing independent of its source.
  4. Sublime companion to kiddies’ book adaption from Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman.
  5. Neither a straightforward score nor a collection of kid-friendly indie rock songs, it lies somewhere intriguingly in between--and it's just as good, if not better, than the music these artists make with their main projects.
  6. O is like a baby sitter who plays kids Joy Division records before lights out: kinda scary, but they'll wake up cooler in the morning.
  7. 70
    She's made a fine, loud career out of channeling childlike abandon, and the rumbling acoustic guitars and schoolyard choruses (featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs guys, Deerhunter's Bradford Cox, and the Bird and the Bee's Greg Kurstin, among others) are both joyful and foreboding.
  8. This soundtrack is a successful exercise in painting pictures with music.
  9. If there are occasional missteps (even for a soundtrack to a children's film, one song that hinges on spelling is plenty), Where the Wild Things Are stands as the rare soundtrack that's an essential listen.
  10. Where the Wild Things Are, director Spike Jonze's surreal vision of childhood angst, has inspired an equally weird but altogether more joyous work from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman.
  11. The soundtrack strikes a balance between riotous clamor and rueful contemplation, enlisting a lot of mallet percussion and vigorously strummed acoustic guitars.
  12. No matter what music critics might say about the album, Karen O scores a direct hit in her most important demographic. That she was able to do it without pandering or obvious compromise is a tribute to her artistry.
  13. Where The Wild Things Are has much to offer fans of wide-eyed, unpretentious indie-pop, but I can’t help but wish that sentiment could be applied to the soundtrack as a whole.
  14. Not surprisingly, given its origin, not everything here works as well on record as it does in the movie, where a meandering tune-fragment like 'Cliffs' adds emotional flesh to the minimalist bones of Jonze's story. Even then, though, there's that voice.
  15. Though the tracks sound like they’re tied to another project, most could stand on their own.
  16. Uncut
    Not tunes for kids: simply some of Karen O's sweetest songs yet. [Nov 2009, p.100]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. DarnellS
    Oct 20, 2009
    I don't know what IT is but this puts me THERE, which is a small miracle these days.
  2. jf
    Oct 17, 2009
    This is a flawless soundtrack, and a damn near flawless standalone record. Everything works. And I wish Karen would do a solo project of just This is a flawless soundtrack, and a damn near flawless standalone record. Everything works. And I wish Karen would do a solo project of just acoustic instruments, mostly just guitar or piano. She has such a lovely voice that is so much more emotional in some of these songs than most of her YYYs songs. The showstopping numbers are the least children album-y, "Worried Shoes" and "Hideaway." The former is a cover of a Daniel Johnston song, but Karen does such a tender, beautiful rendition of it that it definitely becomes the best song here. Runner up is the other ballad, "Hideaway," which is actually quite sad lyrically ("My baby is gone..."), but is incredibly beautiful. She has done these crazy antics her whole career, calming down every now and then ("Maps," "Dudley," and "Little Shadow", so about once each record). But this is unprecedented beauty from Karen. The more upbeat less personal songs work great too ("Capsize," "Rumpus," "Animal," and the keening amazing single "All is Love.") The opening and closing "Igloo" and "Sailing Home" (respectively) have the same theme, set to different music, both with her sounding gentle and finally, undeniably inviting. I love this record, and it accompanies the film very well. Full Review »