Magnolia is a character study of the lives of a diverse cast of characters. When it was released, it received a lot of critical praise. The script for the movie was written around songs by Aimee Mann, which makes even more of a cinematic standout. However, there are other notable additions to the soundtrack not performed by Mann. The dichotomy of the additional songs is what gave the movie more depth. This is a ranking of all the songs on the Magnolia Soundtrack.
13. Deathly – Aimee Mann
When we meet someone, we have this decision we can fix them. Thankfully, this song draws attention to what a huge liability that can be. The first lyric in the song is, “now that I’ve met you, would you object to never seeing each other again.” Many people don’t have that sort of bravery, and it’s a fantastic thing to see a singer exhibit that strength and presence.
12. Goodbye Stranger – Supertramp
Before this song was on the Magnolia Soundtrack, it was on the group’s sixth album, Breakfast In America, released in 1979. Billboard gave the song high reviews. Yet, it only made it to #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Aside from the movie, you will also hear it in the movie I Tonya and the trailer for the tv show The Morning Show.
11. Magnolia – Jon Brion
Most of the songs on this album are sung by Aimee Mann. However, the score was composed by Jon Brion. Aside from this one, which was the only one that appeared on the original soundtrack, many other songs help create the beautiful flow of the movie.
10. The Logical Song – Supertramp
The songs in this soundtrack are recorded mainly by Aimee Mann. Yet, Supertramp also has quite a few other additions to the soundtrack. According to Roger Hodgson, in 1979, a reporter asked The Beatles member Paul McCartney what his favorite song of the year was, and he named this one. It was a massive compliment because much of Hodgson’s inspiration was drawn from The Beatles catalog.
9. Build That Wall – Aimee Mann
Sometimes, when we find someone we want to be with, we think that if we push hard enough, we can crack through whatever walls and barriers they have around their heart. These mechanisms are there to shield ourselves from being hurt in a relationship and giving ourselves over completely. The lyrics of this song reflect the conflict of when to keep pushing through them and when to realize they are there for a good reason.
8. Nothing Is Good Enough – Aimee Mann
When artists work on an album, they are confident one of the longs will kick it off and be a radio success. However, according to American Songwriter, that wasn’t the case in Mann’s third album. Hearing this, Mann wrote this song channeling her sadness and anger into art. In what became a snub to her record company, this song appeared on a self-released album several years after Geffen tried to discount the artist’s work.
7. Momentum – Aimee Mann
One of the most challenging things to do is get out of a negative pattern. Staying stuck for long periods makes even the most minute daily things seem impossible. The lyrics in this song deal with the despair we all feel when we want something different for our life but can’t find the inner strength to go for it.
6. One – Aimee Mann
Mann’s catalog is full of original compositions that shoot straight to listeners’ souls. However, she delivers on this Harry Nilsson cover. Although she doesn’t stray far from the original, the way she maintains the soulfulness of the song and uses her voice to bring a female perspective to the heartwrenching lyrics.
5. Driving Sideways – Aimee Mann
This song can be taken at its literal meaning and put on a road trip soundtrack. It is also a profoundly introspective tune about how you can think you’re moving towards a greater purpose in your life, but instead, you are just spinning your wheels and not getting things accomplished.
4. Dreams – Gabrielle
This song almost had a cameo in the Tracy Chapman song Fast Car. Yet, copyright issues prevented this from happening. Dreams ended up being Gabrielle’s most memorable hit.
3. Save Me – Aimee Mann
This song was nominated for Academy Award in 1999 for Best Original Song but lost to Phil Collin’s song; You’ll Be In My Heart. After that happened, when Mann performed the song, she often dedicated it to Collins. Unlike many videos that use compilation photos already shot, this song was recorded live on the set. After the days of filming wrapped, the actors stayed on location, so the footage is specifically for the music. The song had several other appearances, including The Edge of Seventeen and The Jane Austen Book Club.
2. Wise Up – Aimee Mann
Listening to Mann’s collection of songs on The Magnolia Soundtrack, one can’t help but notice that Paul Anderson’s movie seems to center around the singer’s lyrics. Initially, this song was supposed to be in another Tom Cruise Movie, Jerry McGuire. The movie’s writer and director Cameron Crow regretted his choice. However, it certainly made a great addition to this soundtrack.
1. You Do – Aimee Mann
Mann is a consummate singer and songwriter. Throughout her catalog, she continues to write songs that address the deepest levels of human emotions. The lyrics are a story of someone who sees a bad relationship from an outsider’s opinion. It’s tough to see our friend suffer. However, so often, they don’t listen for a myriad of reasons, including the faulty logic that abuse is love. Another topic in the song is changing drastically to maintain calm and keep a relationship from falling apart.