‘Gone Girl’ Soundtrack Review: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross create a soundscape of beautiful decay.
Is Gone Girl, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s third soundtrack for director David Fincher their best yet? Well their score for his adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel is certainly worthy of that estimation, showing an evolution from earlier scores The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
I’m listening to the score sight unseen (I plan on catching the film in the weeks ahead), which proves a litmus test for how cinematic compositions hold up on their own. I can only imagine how effective it will be to capture the twists and turns of what promises to be a very dark picture.
Opening track What Have We Done To Each Other, acts like an Brian Eno homage: atmospheric, and textural: mining a vein between melancholy and menacing. This is echoed in other fractured pieces such as ‘Like Home.’
In a Wall Street Journal article, Reznor mentioned that Fincher’s notes for music were as follows: Think about the really terrible music you hear in massage parlors. The way that it artificially tries to make you feel like everything’s OK. And then imagine that sound starting to curdle and unravel.
Fincher would clarify that he meant spa music, but no matter. They clearly understood his intent. Most tracks begin peaceful and lulling, only to descend into fractured shards of sound and unease. Sugar Storm is a great example, as wind-chime samples and wistful strings eventually get invaded by the sounds of power drills and electronic interference.
Just Like You feels akin to the Twin Peaks theme. Serene, hypnotic synths and jazzy piano promise romance, but with a spiky edge.
Some tracks, like the beautiful instrumental Background Noise are cut from the same cloth as Downward Spiral era Nine Inch Nails, and that’s a good thing.
It’s also exciting to hear the duo reach out of their comfort zone, with tracks incorporating orchestral strings, and other exotic instrumentation.
Procedural is a particularly strong piece, its simmering synths akin to 80’s-era Tangerine Dream. But the standout is clearly Perpetual where the sounds of dial tones, synth squeaks and tonal scratches create a tapestry of paranoia, unease, and fear.
If the film is as effective as the score, Gone Girl could be one of 2014’s best. Reznor continues to reinvent himself in each new project he takes on, and his evolution as a composer (and props to Atticus Ross, who only plays second fiddle by lack of a household name ). One hopes their twisted alliance with Fincher continues. They seem to bring out the best in each other.
Want to own the Gone Girl soundtrack on Amazon or iTunes? Just click on the appropriate links below:
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