Soundtracks are a lot more than movie music...

...or so I'm ready to argue as a 30 year devotee of this sorely under appreciated genre.  So, in an effort to do my part, each week
I'll be making recommendations of soundtracks current and vintage, make a fuss over long awaited soundtrack scores finally getting
a well deserved release, and in general, make some noise about this often overlooked category.  Beyond my long experience as a
listener and as a pianist and songwriter, both of which I've put to use in writing a quarterly soundtrack column for the
Tribune, I can only offer my recommendations.  You'll discern my taste soon enough and upfront I'd like to make it clear that I'll
focus most heavily on SCORE soundtracks.  In the end, all criticism is subjective but if I can point a listener toward a little heard
soundtrack or strongly advise you to either ORDER IMMEDIATELY or SKIP ALTOGETHER, all the better.
The Oscar nominations are out and though I'm REALLY irritated that Jonny Greenwood's
amazing score for
There Will Be Blood didn't make the cut (because it wasn't totally written for
the film - insert RASPBERRY HERE), I'm happy to see that Dario Marianelli's enchanting,
driving score for
Atonement did get a nod.

I wrote a bit about the score when I reviewed the film (read that
HERE) and have written a bit
about Marianelli's writing before (read that

About the
Atonement score, I haven't anything to add beyond what I wrote in the review
other than to say that I recommend it with this caveat - though I love the integration of the
typewriter into the main piano melody that Marianelli wrote for the film, I selfishly wish that
the soundtrack included a non-typewriter version.  Simply put, it works against my ears.  
When I hear the clack clack clack of the typewriter it immediately makes me anxious (which
I know it's supposed to do).  It's a beautiful device that worked wonders in the film (and I
think Marianelli should get the Oscar) but I can't help but yearn for a typewriter-free track.  I
don't want ANYTHING to get in the way of this gorgeous melody - especially when played by
a piano maestro like Jean Yves-Thibaudet.

The score does offer several tracks that have orchestral versions of Marianelli's haunting
main melody and several other large scaled cues.  This is a lush, epic sized score driven by
the classically inspired music beautifully played by Thibaudet.  A worthy successor to
Pride &
and a nice addition to the Marianelli canon (check out his work on The Brothers Grim,
which also has several wonderful tracks).


Don't forget to check out previous soundtrack recommendations by visiting the

Next Recommendation:  TBA
The soundtrack cover and its
composer, Dario Marianelli,
KATM's first choice for this year's
Oscar score.