Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - Gone Girl (Soundtrack From The Motion Picture) - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - Gone Girl (Soundtrack From The Motion Picture)

by paul_guyet Rating:8 Release Date:2014-09-30

It's clear that someone is lying... 

From the first mistrustful, tentative, unsure waves of 'What Have We Done to Each Other?', all the way through to the final, grinding, menacing throbs of 'At Risk', the one thing we know for certain is that something is wrong, something is being hidden... Someone is lying. About what and to what end, we can't be sure, it's just... a feeling; gooseflesh on the back of your neck and arms, a faint, almost imperceptible noise you can only hear when you aren't listening for it.

This is Reznor and Ross' third foray into scoring the films of David Fincher, and Gone Girl is their most subtle work to date. The main themes of the music perfectly reflect those of the relationship between the two main characters in the film, Nick and Amy Dunne; specifically those of suspicion, distrust and a bright, brittle veneer obscuring a darker, perhaps deadly, truth. While the Dragon Tattoo score worked wonderfully at lowering the temperature of the film and the Social Network score was excellent but as incongruous as, well, a Nine Inch Nails album at a Jewish fraternity party, the score for Gone Girl actually informs us of the characters and their hidden motives.

Rather than break down every single track, as I did with Reznor and Ross' score for Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo*, I'll just focus on some of the standout pieces, which consist of about a third of the 24-track, 80-minute album. 'Clue Two' is steeped in sinister mystery with some excellent strings emerging from the crunching thump about three quarters of the way through. The soft, feverish warmth of 'Something Disposable' is utterly horrifying, especially once the choking, gasping noises kick in.

The feel of 'Technically, Missing', with its chugging yet subdued guitars rising and falling in crescendo could fit in on The Fragile. 'Background Noise' is a straight-up piano-piece with a whisper of menace hiding in the light. It also shares elements of 'Perihelion' from the Dragon Tattoo score.

'The Way He Looks At Me' is, basically, the sound of the Dunne's relationship decaying and dissolving right in front of us, while 'Strange Activities' is the sound of some entity constructed from electric wheelchairs chasing you. Finally, 'Just Like You' starts out sounding like a combination of something from Silent Hill, 'A Warm Place', and Radiohead's 'Everything in Its Right Place', then about halfway through becomes the most standout moment on this album: an almost lounge-y piano solo from Reznor, literally unlike anything he's done before. 

I've said it before and, here I go, saying it again: a lot of Reznor's score work (not so much his work as Nine Inch Nails) has a very Akira Yamaoka feel to it.** In fact, about a third of the Gone Girl score would fit in perfectly (and perhaps better?) than some of Yamaoka's original compositions. Why am I bringing this up? Because I want Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to score the new Silent Hill game.

Listen to '

' while watching some of the more nightmarish footage from any Silent Hill game and tell me that this pairing wouldn't be perfect. Go on. I'll wait.
...

Sorry. This is something about which I feel very strongly.

Anyway, when I first heard that Reznor was going to get out of his musty little studio and actually utilize a traditional orchestra for Gone Girl, I was thrilled, as I've wanted him to do so for years. While there's not as much as I would have liked (should have guessed the majority of the instrumentation would only be manipulated and perverted to serve as his tools), seeing him step into the arena of crusty composers like Zimmer, Williams, and all the other fossils who get dusted off every time Hollywood needs to ram something down our throats or up our asses, and using their tools in ways they'd never think to was fantastic and will, hopefully, serve to both garner Reznor and Ross the regard they deserve and light a fire under those other guys' asses.

That being said, I feel as if something is lacking on this album; perhaps that was the intention or at the behest of Fincher, or, perhaps, Reznor took on more than he could handle, conducting a nationwide tour of the States while working on this project at the same time, a tour which wrapped up exactly a month before the release of the album. Both of Reznor and Ross' earlier scores were much more involved.

Ah, look at me. Complaining.

The Gone Girl score is something similar, yet completely different from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The addition of a traditional orchestra, and the brilliantly horrible ways they use and misuse it, adds a new dimension to their work, something not yet seen. I'm very interested to see what Reznor takes from this and how he applies it to Nine Inch Nails and How to destroy angels in 2015.

* Which you can read here, if you're mad/bored enough.

** Composer and sound designer for the majority of the Silent Hill survival horror game series since the late 90s.

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