Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Mid90s - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Mid90s

by James Weiskittel Rating:8 Release Date:2018-10-19
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Mid90s
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Mid90s

Soundtracks and scores can be a tricky thing to quantify, especially when removed from the context of their corresponding films. When executed properly, a well-composed score can elevate a ‘good’ movie to freaking great (just google ‘Star Wars sans score’ for evidence of how integral William’s iconic work was to Lucas’ original trilogy). But that being said, it takes a truly remarkable musical composition to warrant a stand-alone release.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have been composing together for over a decade now; and when compared to their past soundtrack work (The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl), the duo’s latest project (the score to Jonah Hill’s soon-to-be-released feature Mid90s) falls right in line with what you’d expect from this well-established, Oscar-winning duo.

Jonah Hill’s directorial debut is a quirky, coming-of-age story on the trials and tribulations of an aimless skater boi against the heavy-handed backdrop of, well, the mid 90’s. And while the film features loads of period-specific musical gems, it’s Reznor and Ross’s richly textured score that really provides the proverbial icing on the cake.

Released as a four-track E.P., Mid90s offers some of the duo’s most inspired work to date. While Reznor and Ross’s past work tended to dwell in dark, claustrophobic textures, the album-opening “The Start of Things” is a guitar and piano-led motif that borders on anthemic, while “Big Wide World” is as close to textbook Hanon as either of these two keyboard wizards will probably ever come.

The Ben Fold’s-esque “Finding a Place” instantly evokes shades of nostalgia while “Further Along” is the real gem of the collection; a droning, acid-tinged vamp that could easily find a home on any of Reznor’s Nine Inch Nail releases. The only fault to be found with Mid90s is with its spartan running time (just under thirteen minutes).

While an electronica-tinged, noir-inspired cinematic score is hardly a novel concept, Reznor and Ross’ decision to pair their efforts with increasingly commercial ventures is a move that continues to pay off. Whether or not this score will play an integral role in the success of the film remains to be seen, but at the very least, Mid90s is sure to satisfy fans of Reznor and Ross’ previous work.

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