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SONIC DEATH MONKEY Soundtrack Reviews - Atonement

A tone monkey
by Michael Collins

So the Academy liked the music from Atonement, but what would they know? Itís not as if they are a bunch of industry professionals or anything who work closely with music producers or anything . . . no wait.

Regardless itís time SDM had a look at this soundtrack and see if it should be added to your music collection. Donít go rushing off to Amazon just yet. Itís all you would expect really, but it does it well.

One thing that modern music doesnít do all that often is provide a range of volume in the music. It just gets all loud as soon as it can until someone yells to turn down that goddamn awful noise.

Dario Marianelliís Atonement soundtrack provides a welcome alternative to that lifestyle choice and delivers to us lots of light and shade. One moment thereís a quiet melody. Then itís highlighted with deep double bass notes. Then the lush strings add volume and the piece takes flight.

A distinctive feature of the Atonement soundtrack is the sound of typing. The typing is fast, almost frantic. Itís funny to hear that really. Writers are more likely to be procrastinating than feverishly writing. At least as they wait for inspiration to finally hit them.

So naturally enough, all that frantic typing gives an urgency to the music. There is a full range of emotion in this soundtrack.

From rolling and lilting piano to emotional cello playing, there is a strong feeling of emotion in the music. I wouldnít say this soundtrack sounds like Craig Armstrong, but it does have that strong emotive punch that characterises an Armstrong score.

Driving, deep noted strings and soaring melodies pull at the listenerís heart strings. It all is rather effective - For a while anyway.

By about the 35 minute mark my attention was beginning to stray. The melodies were taking a step back and things were not being noticed. The typing, a little slower now, came back to pique my interest. And then they got faster . . . and then slow down again. Thatís all very well and good, but maybe a little more is needed.

A more comes in the form of harmonica and pipe organ to make cameo appearances towards the end. Again subtle variation in a nicely put together sound track.

Thatís the biggest message of this soundtrack - The lack of a big message. Itís all about ebbs and flows and subtle variations. This one is nice to listen to while you wrap yourself under a blanket and a good book. You will not change the world listening to this soundtrack, but it will add a little beauty to it.

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originally posted: 03/06/08 08:56:58
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