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180 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Example Of Electronic Tones Working To Perfection With The Cinematography. Martinez Delivers A Masterful Score
Drive is an experience to be had. I waited to see the film before I reviewed the score because I felt like I needed to experience the sound and image of this film together. I'm glad I did. The effect of the score may be lost upon an unreferenced listen, but let me tell you that Cliff Martinez has done something quite amazing here. Drive is a pure adrenaline rush of a...
Published on September 19, 2011 by Kaya Savas

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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Wang Chung Tonight (CD review)
(3 1/2 stars) It's hard not to compare the soundtrack for "Drive" to the 1980's soundtrack for To Live & Die In L.A.: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, because the movie "Drive" itself was such an homage to that film. If you've seen "To Live & Die", you'll immediately think of it when you hear "Drive" for the first time, especially if you are sitting in a theater...
Published 23 months ago by A customer


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180 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Example Of Electronic Tones Working To Perfection With The Cinematography. Martinez Delivers A Masterful Score, September 19, 2011
By 
Kaya Savas (North Hollywood, CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Drive is an experience to be had. I waited to see the film before I reviewed the score because I felt like I needed to experience the sound and image of this film together. I'm glad I did. The effect of the score may be lost upon an unreferenced listen, but let me tell you that Cliff Martinez has done something quite amazing here. Drive is a pure adrenaline rush of a film. Nicolas Winding Refn has crafted a supreme thriller. The music of the film is the most important bonding element of this violent and suspenseful tale. The film is filled with stunning imagery and long duration takes. It also features a seamless soundscape between score and song.

Drive has a vintage feel. It feels as if it were made in the 70's but remodeled for modern day. Very much like a beautifully restored vintage car. The character of the driver feels as if he was plucked right out from a spaghetti western. He barely speaks and dons a jacket with a scorpion on the back (very much like El Mariachi's jacket in Desperado). The song choices will be the first thing that the audiences will pay attention to. The songs selected fit the same thematic feel of the movie. They sound like they are 80's hits but are all modern songs with a vivid techno pulse. Cliff Martinez then crafts his stunning score around this universe. The music lacks any graspable structure and is a sonic wash of electronic tones. The way it works in the film is absolutely stunning. I can only describe the music as colorful. There was a point in the film where Ryan Gosling was driving and the sequence was just him driving at night. The shot composition was tight with shallow focus so all you saw was blurs of colors. At that point I felt a rush as the music took over and all you heard were these tones of the night. Cool and crisp, I was able to close my eyes for just a few seconds and see distinct colors as the tones shifted. Martinez also plays the emotions heavy with the relationship between the driver, Irene and Benicio. The score crafts an incredible bubbling tension as well. The way it works with the editing of certain scenes is amazing. Refn is also unafraid to let silence play. A lot of times you will have pockets of pure silence that are broken with a startling sound. The sound design is impeccable and Martinez knows when music is not needed at all. All in all this is a masterful, bold and unique experience.

Drive is a rare example of electronic tones working to perfection with the colors and shot composition of the film. This is as tense as it gets; the score and songs MUST be experienced with the film. Do yourself a favor and see the movie before attempting this listen as it will make it the full experience. Cliff Martinez has done so much with so little here and has composed one of the best scores of the year. This is as untraditional as it gets, but it's oh so good. Damn good.
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82 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect soundtrack to a great movie, September 17, 2011
By 
Hayes Johnson (Swanton, VT, US) - See all my reviews
After seeing Drive I walked out of the movie theater knowing I had to have the soundtrack, which doesn't happen very often. Drive feels like a modern take on the action thrillers of the late 70's and 80's, and the soundtrack only matches that theme. With a retro synth sound not only does it fit the movie perfectly, it also stands well on its own. This soundtrack will definitely help the late night drives home from work feel a little more exciting.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECTION!, September 18, 2011
By 
S. Blair (Charlotte, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I also knew I had to have the soundtrack halfway into the movie :) It's perfection and the film/music reminded me a lot of the coolness in Heat, True Romance and The Professional. LOVE THIS FILM!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like this soundtrack there is much more to be found., October 1, 2011
The soundtrack is always important in establishing the overall atmosphere and tone for a film, but this goes double for Drive. Without this soundtrack it would have been an entirely different film in my opinion. But this is a review for the soundtrack not the movie, so go see it if you haven't already, it's amazing.

If you're like a lot of people now days and have a little nostalgia for the 80's, or if you like good electro and synthpop in general, this album is perfect for you. However, with only 5 actual songs before Cliff Martinez's score kicks in, I was left wanting more. Once I started researching the artists to see if they had any full-length albums of their own, I opened up a pandora's box full of equally amazing artists with the same vision and style.

All the artists on this soundtrack belong to a French collective called Valerie. They are largely unknown in the U.S. for reasons completely lost on me. Perhaps this movie will garner them the attention they deserve. While many artists today make modern music influenced by 80's synth, these guys actually seem to recreate it. They're more 80's than the 80's. Everything from the music to the album art is dripping with it. Check out Anoraak, Minitel Rose, Miami Horror, Futurecop!, The Outrunners, and Tesla Boy in addition to the artists on this album. Or check out Valerie's compilation album "Valerie and Friends" here on Amazon. You won't be disappointed.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energizing, emotional ... excellent, September 24, 2011
When I owned a record store back in the '90s, I had a couple customers who bought absolutely nothing but soundtracks. And not interesting soundtracks, either. We're talking the soundtrack to "Weekend at Bernie's II.

But had this soundtrack been available then, I wouldn't have been so baffled. It's not only the best soundtrack I've heard since "The Doom Generation," but it's also one of my top 10 albums for 2011.

Others have done a wonderful job of analyzing how deftly the director of drive incorporated music into the movie. I'll simply add that as lacomic as the characters are verbally, relying on expressions and body language to convey so much meaning, the soundtrack is asked to take on a heady roll of its own. It's the Robin to the main character's batman.

And the singles from this album, the first five songs -- the first three in particular -- are exquisite, touching and at times danceable.

I saw this movie four tmes opening week, and the soundtrack was one thing that kept me coming back.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing Song, October 2, 2011
By 
Daniel J. Sanchez (Valley Village, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ok so the title was to get anyone's attention who is looking for, in my opinion, the keystone song of the soundtrack.
It's Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)" off the album Apollo:
Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks
I would want to know that before I bought this album. This is a very solid soundtrack though.
I know - buy both albums and you'll be doubly happy!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Sounds, September 19, 2011
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Fantastic tunes here. I knew from the moment the movie started that I had to have this soundtrack. And this is cheaper than itunes!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drive, September 19, 2011
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phenomenal film, phenomenal soundtrack. both remind me of Valley Girl + Resevoir Dogs. just incredible. best songs are by other artists (rather than orignal works) but all fit nicely with the mood the director was going for. also Amazon has this $2 less than iTunes!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole Album Just Works, November 9, 2011
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I originally just wanted the first five songs on this album, you know, the ones that are available album only. But well, when the price dropped to five bucks, I figured I was just getting those anyway. Now I'm kind of glad that I got everything, because Cliff Martinez outdid himself here. I guess the music fit in the movie so well I didn't consciously acknowledge its brilliance, but listening to it by itself is a real treat. Everything from eerie ambiance to pulse-pounding action is represented. I already had Cliff's Solaris soundtrack, which I love. Happy to add this one. So if you're iffy about paying for the whole album - go ahead! You won't regret it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Wang Chung Tonight (CD review), May 3, 2012
By 
A customer (North America) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Audio CD)
(3 1/2 stars) It's hard not to compare the soundtrack for "Drive" to the 1980's soundtrack for To Live & Die In L.A.: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, because the movie "Drive" itself was such an homage to that film. If you've seen "To Live & Die", you'll immediately think of it when you hear "Drive" for the first time, especially if you are sitting in a theater.

And that soundtrack set the bar very high for OSTs, even though it was done by one of the 1980's historically forgotten (or made fun of) groups in Wang Chung. If not for a horrible name with an even cheesier Top-40 radio lyric (everybody have fun tonight, everybody Wang Chung tonight), that band would easily have been known for one of the best soundtracks of all time rather than for high school reunion mix tapes.

How does "Drive" do? Well, it's certainly very good, and very integral to the film. It has a distinct '80s sound but for the most part does not sound cheesy. The feel is instead very moody and atmospheric (think Miami Vice before it jumped the shark, or maybe even a few elements of Scarface), with a mix of a few vocal songs but predominantly ambient instrumentals. If you saw the movie, this will easily transport you back to it.

Some tracks are better than others (and some aren't even really songs), so in my opinion you'll either use this as background music if you want to set a certain tone or you will likely rearrange the order of things on your phone and jettison several of them. As a soundtrack, in relation to it's importance and effectiveness within the movie, this is close to a 5 star effort in that context. As a stand alone album, especially if you haven't seen the film, much more of a 3 star.

Some may say that is not a valid criticism, but compared to an OST like "To Live & Die", what brought that soundtrack to perfection was that it worked on ALL levels. It was an integral tone setter for the movie. It was a great stand alone album. You didn't have to see the movie to enjoy most of the tracks (which I think is the case here). "Drive" is more like Aliens: The Deluxe Edition, not in any direct musical sense, but that most of its contents are not stand alone songs and need to be taken as a whole to work well. While much of it is very good, there are a few tracks that do sound more like those elements of the 80' we are trying to forget.

With that being said, this soundtrack is an easy pickup for those who have seen the film and liked it. There seems to be some confusion as to whether all of the material is on this C.D., but from my perspective I didn't find anything missing that I was looking for.

If you haven't seen "Drive" yet, I would recommend it highly and then make a decision on whether to pick up the soundtrack as well. For those jonesing for something similar, you'll likely have to go back to the real 1980s. Part of what made "Drive" work, both as a film and as a soundtrack, is that we hadn't seen anything like it in a very long time. But I'm not sure if Don Johnson pastel tank tops are coming back anytime soon. Overall, a solid 3 1/2 star effort you won't be disappointed in as long as you know what you're expecting.
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Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Cliff Martinez (Audio CD - 2011)
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