Film scores

Soundtrack review: Noah (Clint Mansell – 2014)

Noah-Poster
Listening to this score is not an experience you will forget. Try it. It will change you.

“Noah” was the first Biblical epic of the year. Regardless of the story, or the exaggerations in it, Russell Crowe, Emma Watson and Jennifer Connely’s performances were amazing, moving and believable. The determination and insanity on Crowe’s face for the duration of the movie… the stark conviction of what he had to do… It drove the movie even more than the flood and kept me impressed.

I am a huge Darren Aronofsky fan. His movies are visceral, affecting and unforgettable.
A big part of that is due to Clint Mansell’s scores. “Requiem for a dream”, “The fountain” or “Black swan” all benefited from music that hits you in the gut before making its way inside and blowing your heart up. With these credentials and the Kronos Quartet returning to cut through flesh with their strings, there was no way I wasn’t going to love the score for “Noah”.

And yet I enjoyed it even more than I expected. The music that Clint Mansell wrote shakes your insides. It is heavy, it is rich, it burroughs inside you and builds up in there until it takes you over completely. By the time these epic cues have expanded inside you, they are so much a part of your being that you can’t ever forget them or take them out. Just listen to “Make thee an Ark”. This unbelievable cue (expect to find it high on my list of best cues of 2014) comes at you like the Biblical rain itself…From a few drops it slowly builds into  the flood that covers the entire world. It’s that epic. I’m not even sure if epic is the right word, because it seems small for the scale of this cue and for the entire “Noah” score. There’s not a single note that doesn’t mean something. I believe every single thing Clint Mansell tells me in this one. I’m invested in the story; the music grabs me and makes me pay attention. It’s stark, unforgiving and moving in the same time. I feel the main character’s struggle, I feel the heaviness of his burden and I understand why he doesn’t stray from his path. The story that Mansell tells has an epilogue worthy of the rest of it: “And he remembered Noah” and “Day and night shall not cease” close out a nearly perfect composition.

In a year with exceptional scores, Noah is one of the best. Listening to this score is not an experience you will forget. Try it. It will change you.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 76 / 79

Album excellence: 96%

Highlights:

In The Beginning,There Was Nothing

The End Of All Flesh Is Before Me

Sweet Savour

The Fallen Ones

For Seasons, And For Days, And Years

Make Thee An Ark

Every Creeping Thing That Creeps

I Will Destroy Them

The Wickedness Of Man

In Sorrow Thou Shalt Bring Forth Children

Your Eyes Shall Be Opened,And Ye Shall Be As Gods

The Flood Waters Were Upon The World

By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed

The Judgement Of Man

The Spirit Of The Creator Moved Upon The Face Of The Waters

Forty Days And Nights

What Is This That Thou Hast Done?

The Fear And The Dread Of You

And He Remembered Noah

Day And Night Shall Not Cease

 

 

About the author

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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