Feature

Jonny Greenwood

Jonny GreenwoodThere Will Be Blood (soundtrack)(Nonesuch)

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“Movie soundtracks are curious things when considered apart from the films,” said David Wiegand in the San Francisco Chronicle. Inextricably linked to the visual images of the director, “they don’t always stand up without them.” The score Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood created for Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood is different. “This is not a pop score; it’s a richly haunting series of symphonic chamber poems that show their influence—Britten, Stravinsky—and cut their own paths as well.” Eclectic electronic orchestrations and Caroline Dale’s cello cast a yearning tone while percussion creates an ominous background. The score captures the madness and mania of the film’s main character, said Jeff Simon in The Buffalo News. But it “has a vigorous life of its own off-screen.” At various times, the intricately allusive score seems reminiscent of “every major dramatic film score of the past 50 years.” Its bleak soundscapes echo the classic work Leonard Rosenman did for East of Eden, while slashing strings bring to mind Bernard Herrmann’s bloody-minded Psycho score. Two compositions in particular, “Future Markets” and “Proven Lands,” sound “as if they belong in a lost Hitchcock picture,” said Tom Coombe in the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call. Some say that Anderson may win a directing Oscar for There Will Be Blood. “Greenwood certainly deserves one for his soundtrack.”

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