Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Evocative and beautiful soundtrack music from Atticus Ross

I saw The Book of Eli a few weeks ago. I didn’t have high hopes. I’m not a huge Denzel Washington fan and although I like the idea of post-apocalyptic films, a lot of them have sucked. It was actually pretty good. The cast was all great (I didn’t realize Gary Oldman was in it and he is always watchable) the cinematography was beautiful and effective, the story was cool, and the action was exciting. Good stuff. The reason I mention it here, though, is that throughout the movie, I consistently noticed the music.

I like movie soundtracks, but usually I like the ones that are a collection of songs by different artists.

Noticing the music in a move is rare for me, particularly when it is just a score that backs up the action and doesn’t figure prominently in the story. “The Book Of Eli Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”  is varied, richly textured, and evocative throughout. Beyond just setting a mood and achieving a consistent feel, the soundtrack ranged from beautiful to ominous and featured an interesting mix of instruments, though I suspect most if not all of them were synthesized. I suppose this release would be shelved in the new age section of your local record store because of the use of electronic instruments and the ethereal quality of much of the music. New age or not, the music is cool.

Atticus Ross is a British musician who has worked a lot with Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) as a producer and programmer and with other folks like Perry Farrell, Korn, and Coheed & Cambria. Given the heavy nature of a lot of those artists, you may be surprised at the richness and patience of this work. Listen to these, particularly the first one.

  • Panoramic – The title track is at once ominous and hopeful. Synthesized strings, electric guitar, occasional piano, and periodic industrial percussion set the stage for the film. You can see the windswept wasteland when you listen.
  • The Journey – Vibrating ambient synthesizers give way to tribal drums and a wandering piano melody. Eventually, wailing harmonica and more synthesized strings come in and the song gets pretty big.
  • Amen – This is a short piece, but the heavy brass of the beginning sounds like angry whale song before anxious percussion fades in and finishes up the song.
  • Safe – The eerie opening swells to a pensive chord progression, but this is a transitional piece from the movie and is only a minute and a half long.
  • The Passenger – Synthesizer, piano, and a little Middle Eastern flavor mark this dreamy two-minute piece. I could actually hear this piano line as the backbone of a Nine Inch Nails song.

There are other good tracks on the soundtrack, but some of them I probably like because they remind me of a movie I enjoyed. Check out the film and you will likely want the soundtrack too.

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November 1, 2010 - Posted by | Electronica, New Age

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