Saturday, June 30, 2012

Howard Shore, Metric, K'naan - Cosmopolis (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [2012]

Howard Shore, Metric, K'naan - Cosmopolis: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Genre - Soundtrack, Film Score, Indie Rock, Hip Hop
Released - June, 2012 (May, 2012 in some European countries)
Length - 41:00 (approx.)
Publisher - Howe Records Cosmopolis
Wikipedia: Cosmopolis

Howard Shore has provided the score for nearly every film directed by David Cronenberg. Their 30+ year collaborative partnership has usually brought out the best in Howard Shore's compositional skills, their most recent film together, Cosmopolis, being no exception. I haven't seen Cosmopolis yet (it won't be released in the U.S. until August 2012), but based on the trailer, I'm assuming it largely involves Robert Pattinson as businessman of questionable ethics who spends a great deal of the film in his limo (I never read the novel). I've never been disappointed by a Cronenberg film, so it will be a first if I don't like Cosmopolis.

Canadian indie rockers Metric must have really made an impression when they worked with Shore on a song for the most recent Twilight film, because he invited them to co-write and perform three of the songs heard on this soundtrack. Due to their collaboration, the album flows seamlessly between the Shore instrumental tracks and Metric's songs. This is something I can't say is true about many soundtracks that try to mix score with songs, but it works flawlessly in this instance. There is an ethereal ambience to the album, with guitars and synthy melodies swirling about to create a very relaxed, almost dreamlike listening experience. I first discovered Metric when I heard "Black Sheep" in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (one of the standout songs on that soundtrack), so I was quite intrigued when I first learned they were working Shore, one of my all-time favorite film composers.

Howard Shore
Fans of Shore's largely orchestral and heavily thematic work on films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy may be turned off, but anyone that can appreciate his more experimental, atmospheric side displayed in films such as this and Videodrome should listen to this album. Metric fans or those that don't normally listen to film scores need not fast forward through the Shore instrumentals; the composer's music acts as a perfect compliment to the band's mesmerizing sound.

Aside from Shore and Metric, the album features a song by rapper K'naan, with lyrics penned by Cosmopolis novelist Don DeLillo. I'm uncertain whether Shore had any involvement the song's production, but it fits perfectly in this album, with the rapper chanting the words in a manner that is almost hypnotic.

Tracklist: (all tracks by Howard Shore unless otherwise noted)

1. White Limos
2. Long To Live (Metric)
3. Rat Men
4. Asymmetrical
5. I Don't Want To Wake Up (Metric)
6. A Credible Threat
7. Call Me Home (Metric)
8. Haircut
9. Mecca (K'naan)
10. The Gun
11. Benno

Rating: 9.5 (out of 10)

Key Tracks:
Metric "Long To Live"

Howard Shore "Asymmetrical"

K'naan "Mecca"

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