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Soundtrack review: I don’t feel at home in this world anymore (Brooke Blair & Will Blair – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: I don’t feel at home in this world anymore (Brooke Blair & Will Blair – 2017)

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“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” (often stylized I don’t feel at home in this world anymore.) is a 2017 comedy thriller film written and directed by Macon Blair in his directorial debut. It stars Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, David Yow, Jane Levy and Devon Graye. It’s the story of Ruth (Melanie Lynskey), a nursing assistant suffering through a crisis of existential despair. But when her house is burglarized, Ruth discovers a renewed sense of purpose in tracking down the thieves. Accompanied by her obnoxious martial-arts-enthusiast neighbor Tony (Elijah Wood), they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals. The score was written by brothers Brooke and Will Blair. There are 21 minutes of score on this release, mixed up with a long of vocal songs.

I like the grungy ambient opening “Backyard”; usually when a score is this short I prefer a more minimalistic and textural approach. A short score with varied styles in in would not make much sense. I like the zest and funkiness of “Ruth’s action theme part 1” even more; it’s a spectacular over the top jazzy theme that makes me think of 70s action movies and I can’t get enough of it. It works also because it gives me the feeling of a black comedy or of heroes that take themselves too seriously. The horn, the bass, I just love this theme. This sound returns in part 2 of “Ruth’s action theme” and in “Open sesame” and it’s my favourite thing about this score. The music of the Blair Brothers works best when it goes funky 70s retro as I don’t hear nearly enough music these days written in that vein.

Most of the score for “I don’t feel at home in this world anymore” replies on a dark industrial sound with a lot of reverb and electric guitar riffs that create an uncomfortable and aggressive atmosphere peppered with background sighing or panting sounds. Even without seeing the movie I can feel the despair and danger of the story from the music and even if it’s not the most enjoyable standalone listening experience, it’s quite effective. I would have preferred more of the fun of the action themes but I am glad they were there anyway. “I don’t feel at home in this world anymore” is the type of score that works best in the context of the movie while also bringing fun standalone pieces.

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 4 / 21

Album excellence: 20%

Highlights:
Ruth’s Action Theme Part 1
Open Sesame
Ruth’s Action Theme Part 2

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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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