Four words to describe this review: Better late than never. Imagine our pleasant surprise when we received this soundtrack from the music distributor. We have heard lots of good things about the music for Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s neo noir crime thriller starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. Now, to blast the tracks on our player – it had better not disappoint.
French electronic musician Kavinsky’s hypnotic “Nightfall” opens the 70 minute disc. The song played during the film’s opening credits sequence also sets the tone for the rest of the soundtrack.
The following four songs are atmospheric in their own ways. Desire, a musical act from Montreal, Canada and Portland, Oregon performs “Under Your Spell”, a synthpop tune dripping with coolness. College, a musical project by French electronica musician David Grellier plays the alluring “A Real Hero” featuring Electronic Youth.
Italian composer Riz Ortolani’s dramatic “Oh My Love” featuring Katyna Ranieri and American electronic music band Chromatics’ rhythmic “Tick of the Clock” round up the song section of the soundtrack.
Cliff Martinez, former drummer known for his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Captain Beefheart contributes the score for this cult film. Having composed music for Contagion (2011) and Drive (2000) before this, the New York born musician is evidently more comfortable with his style for ambient electronic music.
The opening score cue “Rubber Head” illustrates this point – the mesmerizing beautiful has no clear melody to it, but it is therapeutic just listening to the track resonating in the air. Same goes for the tracks that follow, which include the moodily beautiful “I Drive”, the melancholically enchanting “He Had A Good Time” and the morosely lingering “They Broke His Pelvis”.
Elsewhere, you’ll want to soak yourself in the mood of things with cues like “Wrong Floor”, “My Name on a Car” and the finale “Bride of Deluxe”. This is no ordinary soundtrack album. It is one that is too cool to be true, and one that you’ll want to experience yourself to understand what we mean.
Recommended Track: (6) Rubber Head - Cliff Martinez
Review by John Li