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Soundtrack review: Gone girl (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Gone girl (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, 2014)


Gone girl is the latest David Fincher offering, a movie about murder, betrayal and deception, starring Ben Affleck. I’m really excited to see this movie, I can’t wait. I also couldn’t wait for the score…I’m saying this from the start. I know a lot of people sighed and shook their heads when they heard that Fincher was insisting with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but I was among the ones happy with the renewed choice.
The music Reznor and Ross produce is not an acquired taste. It’s simply a love them or hate them kind of deal. And I love them. I grew up on Nine Inch Nails; they were, musically speaking, one of the biggest parts of my developing years. The one concert they did in Romania is still a surreal experience for me and my favorite concert out of hundreds I’ve attended. One of my fondest music memories is from the day after the concert, when I was hanging out in the lobby of the hotel (we stayed at the same hotel, totally by accident), just a couple of meters away from Trent, who was with his future wife under the stairs…I just stayed there with my best friend and we looked at him, from a distance, at the guy who had put a sound to our dreams, joys, sorrows or tribulations for so many years. We didn’t interrupt them.
I get their music. I’m close with what Reznor does, and the music is close with me. It travels very familiar roads inside me; its dark ambient mood is slithering through all the hidden corners of my memories, feelings and doubts and I recognize it and embrace it. For me, this is ambient music at its best. The piano inserts are just right; they punctuate the mood and underline the heartbeats of the other sounds.
Six years ago, Nine Inch Nails unexpectedly released four instrumental albums in one take, and that’s what led us here. That was Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ first score, except it wasn’t for a movie, but for daydreaming. I listened to Ghosts I-IV a whole lot and I eagerly awaited the next volumes. They didn’t come, but I got “The social network” and it was fine by me. I don’t care if it’s an instrumental album or a movie score, I’ll take almost any offering from these guys, because dark ambient music has become nourishment for my thoughts over the years. And I am hypnotized by their electronic beats and ethereal moods. Time stops, and I am gone while I listen to their music. I could listen for hours before snapping out of it. I’m addicted.
Of course, I can’t defend cues like “The way he looks at me”…I could say that maybe she is disgusted by the way he looks at her and that’s why the track sounds so… miserable and unintelligible, but that would be reaching. It is a bad cue. See, I’m not too far gone afterall…And Trent comes right back again with “Technically, missing” which sounds like a late Nine Inch Nails song.
In the end, all their tracks are ghosts, except they’re dressed in black. If you don’t like ghosts, you will hate this score; it won’t even register, you won’t see it or feel it and you’ll be bothered by it; you won’t understand it or appreciate it. Their music is for another world. It’s bleak, dark and hopeless, but there’s a method to the madness…I mean, one of the worst cues on this score is called “Something disposable”. Doesn’t this sound like these guys know what they are doing?
My ratings:
Cue rating: 82 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 61 / 77
Album excellence: 80%
Cues to listen to:
    “What Have We Done To Each Other?”
    “Sugar Storm”
    “Empty Places”
    “Just Like You”
    “Clue Two”
    “Background Noise”
    “Like Home”
    “Empty Places (Reprise)”
    “Technically, Missing”
    “A Reflection”
    “Sugar Storm (Reprise)”
    “What Will We Do?”
    “At Risk” – before the silence
Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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