Filled with the type of traditional country nuggets (from the likes of George Jones and Waylon Jennings) that would be tape-deck fixtures in the rusty pickup trucks of the backwater Georgia town where The Gift takes place, this soundtrack also includes old-school-sounding up-and-comers, such as Neko Case and The Souvenirs. In addition to matching the film's setting, these tunes perform the relatively difficult task of subtly communicating its plotlines. Loretta Lynn's "Mama, Why?" during which Lynn provides futile counseling to a golden-voiced child who persistently inquires Mama, why did God take my daddy? mirrors the frustration felt by the movie's single mother, who refuses to discuss with her three sons her husband's death in an accidental explosion. And "In Case We Die," written and performed by Willie Nelson's daughter Amy, translates the movie's suffocating sense of profound dread into a delicately morbid expression of pessimism. Kiss me once more, dear/In case we die, Nelson sings, her sweet delivery masking the grim nature of her words. The Gift, with its scathing portrayal of a racist wife-beating redneck and inescapably evil image of a manic fiddler, takes a disturbing look at country life's worst features. But the record that accompanies it offers a fine sampling of country music's best: tuneful vocals and gritty lyrics that artfully illustrate angst without a trace of self-pity.