You know when you find yourself listening to only one album during the day? When a headphone is always in, the same music pumping through your veins for 8 hours, off and on? When it becomes white noise that plays even when the music is off? Well, that was today for me, and what came through my ears was a soundtrack for anxiety and loneliness. This might not seem like the best music for a school day, but it soon coated everything I was hearing (even when I was not listening to it) and didn’t seem to intrude with my interactions. I bought the soundtrack to the movie The Social Network a few weeks back, but today I decided to overdose on it.
|Reznor and Ross|
The subdued and almost Minimalist score has a bit of everything while all staying in the same exclusive genre that Reznor and Ross have shaped to their liking. On the album there are dance tracks, pieces that are simplistic and resonating, and even a version of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” Although electronic sounds are primarily used, the soundtrack has an organic feeling to it, probably due to the resonating, deep hums that accompany almost all the pieces. All the songs on the album evoke a feeling of mourning for oneself and the decaying of one’s happiness; they may be upbeat and in major keys, but the muffled electronic synthesizers and dry snare beats convey falseness (the emotion, not the music); like the cursory sensations are lies. It’s as if a membrane of isolation stretches over the entire score, and even though the patterns to the club and metal-influenced songs say something else, the music itself still suggests the same emotions that the subdued and reflecting songs do.
|Scene to accompany club music|
“A Familiar Taste” is one of the only songs on the album that has a heavy and ridged beat, and also includes electric guitar riffs and chords. The almost parrot-like squawks that intrude every so often are the perfect touch to give the song a frantic emotion. “A Familiar Taste” obviously can call Nine Inch Nails an inspiration. The piece “Carbon Prevails” is probably one of the most purely-sounding electronic songs and includes a downward stepping, vibrating synth beat that acidly cuts through some of the other muffled pieces. Another one of the heaviest pieces is “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” which certainly is creative but doesn’t try too hard to stray from the original (in Reznor/Ross language, of course). “ITHOTMK” could have been more melodically and rhythmically varied than the original.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have undoubtedly succeeded in making a soundtrack parallel with the movie it accompanies, and with evoking emotions so clearly with one language. Even as I write this I listen to the album. Personally, I’m ok with it accompanying me, let’s just hope the emotions don’t make their way into my life anytime soon.